Semalt Local SEO Or How To Make Your Business Visible On The Internet

Do you want your business to be more visible on the Internet? You've heard about local SEO but don't know where to start or what local SEO tools are available? You've come to the right place! There are tens of millions of small and medium-sized businesses in the world. The majority of users (dare I say over 80%) use the Internet (specifically search engines) to search for information and the location of local businesses (restaurants, offices, supermarkets, etc.). 

This means that there is a lot of opportunities for local SEO, but also a lot of competition (and the trend is increasing). As in traditional SEO, local positioning is a set of techniques that work to improve the position of a digital asset (website or company profile), but with a local focus. 

In this guide, I explain everything you need to know to understand how to position your business in your area of influence and what the DSD tool will do for you.

What is local SEO, how does it work and what is it for?

Local SEO is a set of techniques that focus on increasing a website's exposure to local searches by a user based on their geographic location. For example, if a company has a physical location and pays attention to a certain geographical area, it will be found by its potential customers if they perform searches related to that company or not to its products and services.

Local SEO consists of the SEO techniques you use to make your business visible in your area of influence (whether it's a neighbourhood, village, town or city).

This does not mean that local SEO is not compatible with the techniques that are used to position a website, a blog or an online store in a global environment. In fact, the importance of global localization is greater if the sales potential is concentrated there. That's why local SEO will mean an essential strategy for local marketing for any business that offers its products or services in this area.

Benefits of having a solid local positioning strategy

A well-targeted local positioning strategy will help you reap the benefits of local positioning in search engines, applications and directories. Think about it! When someone searches for you (no matter where they are) they will be able to find information about you: name, address, photos, hours, reviews and contact phone number.

Thinking through all this information can become a strategy that can bring in more and better customers. Here are the benefits of having a local positioning strategy:

Steps to optimize your company's local visibility in search engines

Once you know what local positioning is, the importance of having a good local identifier (NAP), the benefits of having a local positioning strategy, the differences between local SEO and the rest of the SEO types and the basic fundamentals of local web positioning, it is time for me to explain the steps to make your physical business visible in search engines and directories. I will explain it in detail, so don't skip any steps:

1. Be clear on who your customer is and who you are offering to

Before you do anything, as always, you need to be clear on who your customer is. To do this, you need to determine the buyer persona, which is an archetype of the ideal customer for your service or product. By taking into account specific socio-demographic data and information on aspects such as their online behaviour, personal, professional life and relationship with the company that offers this product or service, you can "guess" the type of customer of your local business and better guide your marketing and SEO actions.

2. Define your company's geographical area of influence

The first step must be to define the geographical area of influence of your company. Although it may be clear that if you are in Madrid, you photograph the entire community of Madrid, this often makes no sense (depending on the type of business). In the case of the example, it doesn't make sense because you already know that there are many Italian restaurants in Madrid, so you need to become strong in your area of influence. For example, if the restaurant is in "Callao", you must make an effort to position it in that specific area, not in the "Barrio de Salamanca" (which, although not far away, is outside the area of influence of your business).

3. Create (or claim) and verify your local business profile

The first step to start taking control of your local SEO and making your business visible to users and passersby is as simple as creating an account with Apple, Bing, Google, Yahoo or Yandex. Sign in to Apple Maps Connect, Google My Business (formerly Google Places), Bing Local, Yahoo Local or Yandex Local. When you have done so, follow the steps to register your local business and verify it correctly (include a phone call or postal letter to verify your address).

Sometimes, especially if up until now you haven't paid much attention to the visibility of your local business, you don't have a website or social profiles, your business has been automatically added. This is because the major search engines have indexed information from directories such as 11870, Facebook Places, Yellow Pages, QDQ, Yelp, etc. 

4. Fill in all the information about your business in detail

Local business management platforms like to have all the information about your business. They will ask (or even force) you to give them all the information about your business they can, so they can show it to users. This is not an invention of these platforms, but rather the user's need for up-to-date and truthful information. In this part, you have to take great care of the information you upload, because it will be essential for whether a user chooses your company or another. These are the most important data and elements that you should have prepared based on Google My Business.

5. Control the information about your business on other sites

A big part of local search optimization is getting information from other sites. Local aggregators and directories search the internet for images, reviews and any information they can get about your business. Therefore, go ahead and register your business with services such as 11870, Facebook Places, Yellow Pages, QDQ and Yelp. The problem here is that if something is not correct on another site (very common), it could confuse a potential customer. If this happens, your duty is to contact that site and ask them to update the information.

6. Ask, manage and solicit constructive criticism about your business

Reviews, although a special case (due to their complexity), are very important for both physical and online businesses. Most search engines and directories (except for Yelp), agree that you should ask your customers for feedback on their experience with your business. These reviews, good or bad, make your business trustworthy and more transparent to future customers.

In that sense, I would like to say, even though I'm sure not everyone will agree, that bad reviews are good. No business is perfect, so if a user looks at the opinions of your business and doesn't see any negative reviews, they may take it the wrong way and, for that reason, they may choose another site. Bad reviews are part of any business and some bad reviews can make good reviews even better.

7. Detect, analyze and spy on the competition (whether local or not)

Before you entered the online business world, you were already spying on and analyzing your competitors. Whether it was a classroom or a sports team, you did not only want to keep up, but you wanted to know where the brand was located so you could go further. After all, you were looking for new opportunities and setting new goals based on who you wanted to beat. You develop the local SEO strategy and you need to know what your competitors are doing, whether it's the keywords they are ranking for, their link building strategy or their investment in payment methods (Google Ads for example) and what your positioning is in your local area.

These are very typical needs when trying to develop a roadmap for a local web positioning project, SEM campaign or link building project. Knowing data such as the average profile of visits per organic positioning and per advertising campaign or investment can make the difference between a successful strategy or one that does not reach the objectives. This is why I would like to advise you to use the SEO Personal Dashboard tool, an all-in-one tool that will allow you to reveal what the local SEO strategy of any competitor is. 

8. Build quality links (Link building) from local sources

Does link building sound familiar? Different link building strategies vary over time, with some actions that will be considered harmful and new ones being incorporated based on Google's updates. The goal is for you to optimize your efforts in your backlink strategy to get the ones that are really going to be beneficial for your company profile or website's local SEO ranking, both in terms of authority and awareness and visibility.

The idea that you should stay with is that quality should prevail over quantity. So focusing on getting very good backlinks of the same theme and field of action will always be more beneficial than having a lot of them of dubious origin. 

Conclusion: start optimizing your company's local visibility

As you've seen, a careful local SEO strategy performs a positioning and value-generating function that helps generate greater visibility in search engines and provides value to potential customers searching for keywords related to the brand's business. For this reason, local positioning must be done consciously and accurately, and if you don't dare, call on a professional like Semalt, to help you do it (or ask for help with saving Google My Business files).

When a user has a need or problem that requires a product or service, they search the Internet for a business that meets their expectations and can fulfil their needs. Your company profile and your website must be optimized with keywords related to the field of your product or service. Therefore, if you are having trouble finding the right keywords or performing any other SEO tasks, the DSD tool is what you need for sure.

What do you think of this guide to optimizing your company's local SEO? Do you already have a business listing on Google My Business? Have you started any of these techniques? Were you left with any doubts or questions? I ask you to leave a comment. It doesn't matter if it's a question or a simple thank you, but I'll be more than happy to read and answer it.