10 Crucial Steps For Local SEO Optimization 

Written By RajSoftech

Updated on June 12, 2024


Category / SEO Services

Can you get your business to reach every potential customer in your location? Uncover the magic of local SEO to show your business as the solution to locality-based user queries.

A new business starts every day. Some struggle, while others succeed with high store footfalls. With many brands offering similar products and services, how can you stand out?

This is the place where you seek opportunities in the world’s biggest marketplace, i.e., the Internet. The Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) are the target of every business today.

71% of businesses worldwide have a website, improving their organic ranking in SERPs. So, having your business website helps you be in the top spots.

Local SEO Optimization

Today, you may be unaware of a high-rated coffee shop that has opened up in your adjacent street. Upon someone’s recommendation, you happen to find it in Google. And see that it has already received 5-star reviews in your locality!

How is it possible that a global search engine can give such accurate local results? That is not possible with classic methods like pamphlets, newspaper ads, etc.

Local SEO boosts website traffic and brings more customers to physical stores at low or no cost.

What Is Local SEO Optimization, And Do I Need One?

A key step to developing your business is to prepare a plan for local SEO optimization.

Local SEO optimization directs locational search queries to your business page or website. It means that if someone in your area is querying relevant keywords, your business must be listed at the top.

A locally focused website with the right keywords gives you a traffic advantage.

A Google Business Profile is essential for local visibility, even without a website.

Your business could be anything from;

  • A new pet clinic,
  • Own a coffee shop or a popular chain franchise,
  • A cloud kitchen,
  • Home-based cosmetic or dress sales,
  • A tailoring shop, and
  • Pani-puri stall, etc.

Google My Business(GMB) helps you register your business with Google to improve your local customer reach.

Once you create your profile, your business will get listed in Google Maps.

And show details like;

  • Operation timings, store address, contact details, and website link, etc.

Customer-posted images and reviews are the most influencing promotional tools for businesses today!

Google reviews are the lifeline for any business to flourish. A few negative reviews and unresponsiveness can spell doom for a business.

A GMB Profile with 100+ images and reviews boosts website clicks and purchases. Adding the right keywords to your business profile helps to tide a competitive edge.

Engaging with customers and adapting to local preferences help your business rank in organic SERPs.

Let’s Look at Some Statistics:

The following statistics have been published related to Google;

  • 46% of all Google searches are for location-based services.
  • 28% of local searches result in a buy/business.
  • ‘near me’ searches have increased more than 500% in the past few years.  
  • 72% of mobile users make purchases based on online reviews and suggestions.
  • 97% of search engine users use the Internet to find online businesses.

These numbers show the importance of enhancing local SEO for businesses to succeed in their area.

10 Steps For Local SEO Optimization

Now, we have understood the importance of leveraging local SEO strategies to improve our business reach.

…’Near me’ , … ‘in my area’, … ‘around me’, etc,. are some popular search query keywords relating to local searches.

All registered local businesses in the detected location will be listed by Google in its SERPs.

Upon registration with GMB,

  • Google checks for authenticity and trust before listing your business.
  • They check your profile description and allied information for organic data.
  • Location validity, contact numbers, website links, and other details listed are verified by Google.

Use the right local keywords to boost local SEO on your Google Business Profile. Google provides various tools to achieve these.

Improving local SEO strategy is key for driving store foot traffic and online visits.

Let us learn the ten-step guide to local SEO for boosting your business.

Step 1. Create And Optimize Your GMB Listing

Google My Business is the best tool to help you leverage your local SEO. Through this, your business gets listed on Google Search and Maps.

A Google Business Profile provides essential business details to potential customers. Profiles with clean, rich content and reviews secure a prominent spot in the Google sidebar.

Steps to create a GMB profile;

  1. Create your Google account and sign in to it.
  2. Go to www.google.com/business. Create your business profile by giving a name to your business. Provide location details, and product or service delivery details (if applicable) and verify the same.
  3. Choose a business category that exactly matches your business. If you are running an eatery, be specific, say a Chinese restaurant, Irani tea shop, etc.
  4. Provide your contact details, operational hours, website links, and other details.
  5. Provide a postal address to receive your verification code. Upon receiving this PIN, use it to log in to your business profile dashboard.

Optimize your GMB profile. Follow these best practices to improve the quality of your business profile page;

Provide All Necessary Information

Give your information like offline location address, contact numbers, operational hours, website links, etc.

A business logo makes your brand authentic. Complete profiles are more likely to be considered reputable.

Encourage users to post queries on your profile pages. Give prompt responses that increase your trust and credibility. So, Activate instant messaging in GMB to help conversations.

Adding new photos of your business can always attract customers. Based on user experiences change your business parameters, say operation timings.

If clients increase suddenly, consider adjusting store hours to serve more customers.

Use Category-Specific Features

Business-specific features are available on GMB profile pages.

  • For instance, restaurants can have a ‘Menu’ tab to showcase their offerings.
  • Pages of beauty parlors can have a ‘services’ tab to show services and their prices.
  • Travel or hotel pages can show room availability data and ‘book now’ options right on their profile page.

Businesses that are ‘women-led’, homemade and LGBTQIA-friendly are highly preferred today.

Including those key differentiators in your profile bio and categories can boost your local SEO optimization.

2. Ensure NAP/Citation Consistency

NAP abbreviates;

  • N – Name,
  • A – Address, and
  • P – Phone Number, correctness of a business listed by search engines.

Citations are the mentions of your business across various business directories, social media, web apps, etc. Some popular online business directories include ‘Justdial’, ‘IndiaMART’, ‘Sulekha’, etc.

Why is it important to be consistent across citations?

The more citations you have, the higher your chances of being listed in SERPs. Consistent NAP details across social media and directories boost trust and credibility.

Let’s assume a user tries to locate you through one of the directories listed in the SERPs. But that listing has an obsolete address after you have changed your store location.

So, the user finds another address in your GBP. Such confusions lead to the user moving away from your business and finding another.

73% of users lose trust in a brand if their business listing contains inaccurate data.

Best practices for consistent citations;

  • In many cases, the same or similar names are used for one kind of business! To prevent confusing your clients, provide catchy logos or taglines to identify your brand.
  • Do not forget to ‘claim your business’ once you register with Google My Business or any other portal. Complete every field in their forms with correct information.
  • If you own a website, the website’s URL is also analyzed to confirm its consistency with your business or brand’s name.  
  • Duplicate listings in directories can give you a bad SEO rank. So remove any obsolete data and keep your NAP details up-to-date across all your citations.

3. Collect Customer Reviews

The key to enhancing your local SEO optimization is to gather customer feedback. In SERPs, users check the ‘reviews’ tab in the GMB profile to make decisions about your business.

Ratings and reviews can make or break a business from flourishing! Around 81% of users check Google reviews before they visit a business website or store.

Customers have options to rate a business from 1 to 5 stars with 5 being the highest.

The average of your reviews is displayed at the top of your GBP and in SERPs. Along with stars, they can leave a note about their experience in your store or shopping with you.

To create a review link, follow these steps;

  1. Go to your Business Profile.
  2. Select ‘Ask for reviews‘ in Google search.
  3. In Google Maps, choose Customers -> Reviews -> Get more reviews.

This link can be shared in various ways;

  • Order process status/receipt mail when shopping online.
  • Place QR codes at the entrance of your shop.
  • Monthly newsletters or invitations.
  • End of chat interactions upon solving user queries.

As a website development and hosting company, we at Raj Softech have it as a mandate to collect customer reviews. It is a sequential process that helps us stay ahead of our competitors.

Active engagement with user reviews boosts credibility and enhances local SEO.

Respond to genuine customer reviews to avoid the risk of spammers or bots damaging your business reputation.

4. Focus On Local Link Building

Getting backlinks to your website or business profile pages is a great local SEO strategy. This could be through influencer mentions, promotional blogs, or recommendations from domain experts.

Such promotions must come from ‘trustworthy’ sources, based on Google’s SEO metrics.

When your business gets mentions, reviews, and recommendations on top SEO-friendly websites. Automatically your brand gets a powerful backlink.

Small businesses can follow these ways to build powerful local links;

  • Request your local social media community pages to feature more posts about your business.
  • Set up stalls in local events and trade fairs, and hand out free samples or catalogues.
  • Partner with popular influencers in your area to promote your brand on their social media pages.
  • Ask industry experts to review your brand on your Google Business Profile or website.
  • Find top bloggers and affiliates to recommend local businesses on popular websites and blogs.
  • Do your bit in encouraging and partnering with businesses in your locality. A joint sponsorship for a local event, and being a food and beverage partner are a few ways to get trustworthy backlinks.
  • Encourage your local newspaper to write a story on your brand and its purpose.

Above all, do not forget to get listed in all your local marketplace directories. These are the strongest backlinks to your business.

This kind of referral traffic is the backbone for honing your local SEO skills.

5. Check For Any Past Penalties

A sudden drop in web traffic or footfalls could mean your GMB page or website got removed from SERPs.

This can be because of a penalty imposed by Google for any of the following reasons;

  • Your website no longer meets Google SEO metrics, like, insufficient keywords.
  • Your page breaks SEO rules by keyword stuffing, plagiarizing content, and using backlinks from spam websites.
  • Your business has received negative reviews and reports relating to legal concerns.

Some small businesses use bots to create fake positive Google reviews. Google tracks such malicious activities and suspends them temporarily or permanently.

So how do you recover from past penalties?

It is mandatory to be up-to-date with SEO metrics and algorithms. Google SEO algorithms get updated frequently.

To improve local SEOs, including actual customer experiences in the form of reviews. It boosts your chances of recovery and making it back to the top in SERPs.

Running SEO audits, keyword research, or traffic helps you analyze reasons for low traffic.

Use tools like AHrefs and Google Search Console to identify common SEO issues in your business pages.

Assessing your inbound links and backlinks is crucial to help recover from penalties. Removing outdated links, potential spam, and backlinks to non-compliant pages can boost your SEO score.

Having a new or renewed business website is a great way to boost your GMB profile and remove past penalties.

Respond to original reviews. If certain reviews appear fake, respond to 1 or 2 of them that you have not served them anything.

6. Find and Fix On-Page issues

Your website’s landing page or GMB profile will rank highest in SERPs for local business queries.

On-page SEO refers to improving your web pages and websites for better ranking. Some popular SEO auditing tools are Semrush, AHrefs, etc.

On-page SEO must start with including a unique and relevant business name. Do not include services as part of your business name, as adding these can impact your SEO scoring.

For example, you provide hosting servers and didn’t include “hosting server company” in your name or GMB title.

Improve these common on-page SEO parameters to boost your local SEO optimization;

  • Keywords and their placement – research and use the right mix of primary, secondary, and LSI keywords. Place them in strategic positions like title, URL, header tags, image alt texts, etc.
  • Meta description – the short descriptions that follow the web page or GMB title in SERPs play an important role in conveying what you offer. Using the right keywords with concise information improves your SEO.
  • Rich content – creating engaging content with multimedia like YouTube videos is key. High-quality images of your shop or products can also turn your GMB profile or website into an SEO hotspot.
  • Internal linking – add hyperlinks to redirect you to other pages of your website. Keep them minimal. Several internal links can confuse your user and distract them from their main search goals.
  • User Engagement – invoke Call-to-Action (CTAs) when the user reaches certain spots in your website. Add a ‘Contact Us’ CTA at the end of your business catalog to help users get in touch with you quickly.

7. Run A Keyword Audit

This is a small yet significant step to help your local SEO optimization. Google Search Console, Keyword Planner, Semrush, etc., can help you in this audit process.

Semrush helps you analyze your keyword traffic, keywords indexed for your pages, etc. These methods pave the way to increase the visibility of your business website.

To help improve local SEO, we can use this tool to get the best keywords to attract traffic.

SEMrush Organic Research tool helps you learn the top keywords used in your competitor’s pages and websites. The Keyword Gap tool helps you to find keywords your competitors are missing.

On-page SEO checker helps analyze target keyword coverage in your pages having high traffic potential.

Identify the keywords that are attracting high traffic. Place keywords strategically on your website, including the landing page, URL, headers, and meta tags. Also, include them in your GMB profile page and other online directories.

Differentiate from your competitors with unique content. That captures the local pulse, while also including expected keywords.

Say you run a beauty parlor for women along with 2 other competitors in your area. One of them uses the tagline “Relax..Rejuvenate..Refresh”.

You can find a semantically similar yet unique tagline, like “Renew your best self.”

SEO for voice searches is not very different from typed search queries. The main differences lie with some quality metrics.

Google looks for complete and accurate business profiles derived from processed speech-to-text keywords.

Today voice search accounts for 50% of all searches. These happen through mobiles or dedicated voice assistant devices. 22% of voice search queries are related to locational queries.

Your business needs to rank higher for voice-related search queries. Versatility and adapting to trends are the main SEO sought after qualities by search engines.

Follow these best practices to improve your business listings for local voice SEO;

  • Claim your business through Google My Business. Provide accurate, relevant information that matches common voice queries for your brand.
  • Voice search involves long-tailed keywords like ‘best homemade cakes and biscuits near me’. Incorporate strategic keywords in your GMB profile description or website content.
  • Queries like ‘Top-rated restaurants in my area’ involve filtering businesses with higher ratings. Be sure to get your customers to review and rate your services.
  • Responding to reviews and queries on your GMB helps Google voice assistants for voice search users.
  • Keep updating your business listings across all platforms and directories. Any changes in your hours, closures, contact details, or addresses must be updated consistently everywhere.

With complete profiles and up-to-date data about your business.

Voice search enables Google to be your best marketer and influencer for your business!

9. Hone In Local Keywords

The right marketing strategies can achieve high-quality local SEO optimization for your business.

Suppose you own a tailoring business in your locality, say Gandhipuram in Coimbatore. A lot of budding tailors have their stores/boutiques in your area. Upon registering with Google My Business, your profile can come in the SERPS.

How can you optimize your page for local queries?

For these, you have to find the local keywords that people in that locality use to reach your business.

With tools like Google Trends and Keyword Planner, you can identify keywords used in local searches for similar businesses.

Examples: ‘Gandhipuram tailors’, ‘Coimbatore popular tailors’, ‘Wedding blouse tailors Gandhipuram’, etc.

A simple way is to use Google’s search bar auto-complete to find local keywords.

Keyword analysis helps you garner relevant keywords for your business. This refers to the intention for the user to query for your business.

In our example for tailor seekers;

  • If a person wants to stitch a blouse for their wedding, they can query with words like ‘wedding blouse tailors near me’.

Your shop must be listed for these too. Such keywords can vary with trends. Performing ‘related searches’ in tools like Google Trends gives seasonal topics to capitalize on.

After a keyword audit, add these keywords to your brand name in your GMB profile, description, services list, etc.

Update your GMB page, websites, and citations with these keywords for better visibility.

10. Take Advantage Of Online Directories

Remember the age-old ‘Yellow Pages’ that would have a list of local places, addresses, and phone numbers?

That big book used to be a part of all 90s households and had one published every year to include updates!

Now, when we imagine the amount of paper, money, and effort wasted on those, it feels funny. With digital evolution came online directories that have their search bar.

Searching for restaurants in a particular area lists not just locations and contact details. It also includes reviews, ratings, latest images, etc.

Online directories are global and specific to regions.

Popular online directories that list local ventures include;

  • Bing Places (Microsoft),
  • Yelp (Yahoo),
  • Yellow Pages (online),
  • Foursquare, etc,

Through these directories, one can view a businesses details, reviews, and ratings before making a decision.

In India, some common online directories like Sulekha, monster.com, etc., list businesses across domains. There are also directories specific to particular businesses.

For instance, assume you run a real estate brokerage agency. You can post your websites across several property classifieds directories like;

  • Commonfloor.com, Housing.com, etc.

On these websites, profiles are available for brokers. You can register your agency on those sites.

Citations in such popular classifieds websites can fetch your business powerful backlinks. SERPs contain online directory citations among the top results.

Visitors may directly contact you for more options, getting you extra commissions.

The more you’re presence in top global and local online directories, the more traffic and footfalls for your business.

Keep your information, offers, and promotions updated and consistent across all directories. It’s a key to authenticity and credibility.

Optimize Local SEO For Your Business

Local SEO optimization is an important SEO strategy for any business. So, it is important to increase your local visibility and grab a good stronghold before you open your business to a global audience.

It’s true that global corporates like;

  • Google,
  • Apple and
  • Microsoft is leveraging local networks and recommendations.

Help to boost the growth of small businesses.

Today it has become mandatory for a business to have a Google Business Profile.

Including a business website with your profile helps secure a top position in local search results. Your website is the best marketing tool that declares your authenticity and credibility to customers.

Not all business owners can afford or have the technical know-how to maintain a business website. In such cases, listing in online directories can boost your local SEO optimization. It helps to secure a higher position in SERPs.

At Raj Softech Solutions, we offer the best on-page and off-page SEO plans to help boost your business traffic.

We offer top-notch services like;

  • Keyword analysis,
  • On-page SEO Audits,
  • Content Optimization, and
  • Website architecture designs, to enhance your online presence.

Link building, content marketing, traffic share analysis, and most of what we discussed here. This will be customized to suit your business.

Contact our marketing experts today to get your business, the best of the online marketplace.


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