September 16, 2022

If you want to get more local customers to your business from organic search, you need to focus on Local SEO.

Local SEO

The practice of improving your online presence to get more business from local searches is local SEO. Many searches are done on different search engines, but SEO that is focused on a local area will optimize for users of Google specifically.

Researching how people specifically search for the local services you offer can help you better understand what keywords to target to promote your business. If you want your website to be successful, it is important to optimize it for what people are searching for.

Let’s go through how to do this.

1. Find service-based keywords

Many people don’t realize that there are numerous ways that others may search for the products or services they offer.

For example, a customer looking for a plumber may type “plumber” into Google. While some people will use general phrases like “plumbing services,” others will search for specific services, like “drain unblocking.”

This is why it’s a good idea to start by brainstorming a list of all the services you offer. This will help you increase your visibility for queries your customers are searching for.

Here’s what that can look like for a plumber:

  • Drain unblocking
  • Boiler repair
  • Boiler installation
  • Boiler servicing
  • Radiator installation
  • Burst pipe repair

To find more services to add to this list, use the keywords from the services already on the list as “seeds” to search for related services that people are also interested in.

For example, if we plug the services above into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and check the Matching terms report, we see keywords like:

  • gas boiler installation
  • combi boiler installation
  • electric boiler installation

If you offer services related to the keywords mentioned, you may want to target those keywords in your marketing. Here’s another way to find “missed” keywords:

To find out what your competitors are up to, enter their website into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool and check out the Top pages report to see what services they offer.

2. Check search volumes

??Keyword research tools show you national search volumes. To find search volume data for a specific location, you’ll need to use Google Keyword Planner.

Unfortunately, Keyword Planner has its issues:

  1. It shows broad search volume ranges (e.g., 1K-10K), not absolute numbers.
  2. It groups keywords and shows a combined rounded search volume.

This is more productive because you are checking the keywords at a national level. This is because what happens in one city is likely similar to what happens in the next city.

You can find keywords using a keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. For example, the tool tells us that more people search for “boiler repair” than “boiler installation” in the U.K.:

This is a good way to figure out which keywords to use, no matter what city you’re in.

3. Check for local intent

Local intent means that searchers want to shop nearby. If your services do not have a local SEO opportunity, then it is not worth pursuing. To see if your query has local intent, type it into Google and check the results.

If there are map results and/or blue links to local pages, the user is likely looking for something nearby. If there are no results for map packs or local “blue links,” then there is no local intent.

Local SEO is not the best way to target keywords that don’t have local intent.

4. Assign keywords to pages

Your homepage is unlikely to be ranked for all your service keywords. So you’ll need to target some with separate pages. When assigning keywords to URLs, think about which services they correspond to.

If the services are very different, such as “boiler installation” and “burst pipe repair”, put them on separate pages. If two services are similar, such as “drain unblocking” and “drain unclogging,” they should be assigned to the same page.

How to do local keyword research is detailed in the guide below.

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)

Google Business Profiles contain information such as your business name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. They also include a link to your website, and allow customers to leave reviews. Google My Business is a free listing that allows your business to appear in the map pack and on Google Maps.

Best practices

Many of these best practices come from Google itself:

  • Be specific when setting your business category
  • Set your business hours (including holiday hours)
  • Add your address (if you have a storefront)
  • Set your service area (if you visit or deliver to customers and clients)
  • Add the products or services you offer
  • Add photos
  • Ask customers for reviews

NAP citations

A citation from the NAP (name, address, phone number) is an mention of your business online that includes those three pieces of information. Profile photos are often found on business directories and social media profiles.

This means that they are not as unimportant as they used to be, but they are still not as important as other things. SEOs have been increasingly ignoring the importance of citations since 2014.

Citations can help searchers discover your business online. Directories tend to rank on the search results for local queries. If you’re in the directories, people will find your business when they click on the directories in the search results.

Best practices

  • Get listed with big data aggregators (in the U.S., these are Data AxleLocaleze, and Foursquare)
  • Submit to other big players (in the U.S., these include Apple Maps, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, and Facebook)
  • Submit to other popular directories in your local area and industry
  • Keep your citations consistent (same name, address, phone number) everywhere

Here’s a quick way to find industry and local directories:

  1. Paste your homepage into Site Explorer
  2. Go to Link Intersect
  3. Enter the homepages of a few competing businesses in your area
  4. Set the search mode to “URL” for all targets
  5. Click “Show link opportunities”

The following text will show you sites that are linking to your competitors, but not to you. If a website links to many competitors, it may be a directory where you can also add a listing.


Everything About Local SEO

Reviews are ratings and comments given by customers about a business. These can be found on a business’s Google Business Profile and other websites.

Best practices

Many of these best practices for getting more reviews come from Google itself:

  • Remind customers to leave reviews (you can create and share a review link in Google Business Manager)
  • Focus on getting reviews on your Google Business Profile
  • Respond to reviews to build trust (you’ll need a verified Google Business Profile to do this)
  • Don’t offer or accept money in exchange for reviews (it’s against Google’s terms)
  • Don’t discourage bad reviews or request good reviews from customers (it’s against Google’s terms)


Links are like votes for your site from other websites.

Best practices

  • Get links from other top-ranking sites
  • Get links your competitors have (use Ahrefs’ Link Intersect tool for this)
  • Get local citations (these often have links)
  • Claim unlinked mentions
  • Reclaim lost links by redirecting old versions of your pages to new versions


This type of SEO focuses on optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher on search engine results pages.

Best practices


A way to find out whatdetails matter to searchers is to look at what the top-ranking pagesin your area are discussing. You can do this by looking at the pages. You can discover new keywords to target by finding the keywords that are mentioned on the top-ranking pages for your seed keywords.

Improving Local SEO Tips

1. Link Building

Link building is essential for improving your brand’s visibility and getting more traffic to your site. When other web pages link to your content, it is called link building. There are two types of link building: internal and external.

Internal link building is just as it sounds. When you’re writing content, you can link back to other content you’ve created to help drive traffic to your site. This is a great way to keep people on your site longer, and it can also help improve your search engine ranking.

Linking to other websites from your own website is called external linking. For example, if another website linked back to your website, this would be an inbound link.

External link building for local SEO will be more beneficial to your business because it will allow more people to see your website. You can attract audiences you wouldn’t be able to on your own by this simple tactic.

2. Meta Description and Title Tags

Adding keywords to your meta descriptions and title tags can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages. Every website has meta descriptions and title tags. The data mentioned helps improve your website’s search engine visibility.

A meta description is a brief description of the content on your website. The title tag is useful because it provides information to both search engines and searchers about the topic of the page before they click on the link to your website.

The title tag of a web page is the title of the page. The title tag and meta description on your website should both include relevant keywords.

If you want your content to be seen by more people, include keywords that signal to search engine crawlers that your content is relevant.

3. Page SEO

There is on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO includes optimizing your website to make it accessible and relevant to search engines and searchers. On-page SEO is the technical side of SEO that you can perform on your website to make it accessible and relevant to search engines and searchers. Off-page SEO consists of the actions taken outside of a website to improve the site’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). Both types of website design make it easier for search engines to rank your pages.

In order to generate awareness on Google and other search engines, you need to include specific data so that they are aware of what is on your site. When search engines can read your site easily, it makes your site look more credible to them, which will improve your rankings.

4. Keyword Research

You must research your options thoroughly before making any decisions. In terms of local SEO, we’re talking keyword research. We often talk about SEO in connection with keywords.

If you want to reach your audience more effectively, you should use the same keywords that they are using. blogs are an easy way to include responsive keywords in order to target your audience.

All you need to do to improve your titles is to include some keywords. Before you can start creating content based around keywords, you must first understand which keywords are most important to your audience.

That’s where keyword research comes in.

Utilizing keyword research tools will enable your business to recognize the words and expressions your audience is using in their quests, just as what your rivals are using too.

If you want to increase your local traffic, you can optimize your brand name and location area as keywords. The most important part of using keywords is researching which ones would be the most beneficial for your business.

If you’re looking to open a restaurant that only serves vegan food, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. If you don’t want to waste your time, you should use the right keywords.

After you locate the most effective wording for your content, you’ll observe how much more successful it is in creating awareness.

5. Google My Business Listing

One of the most popular search engines used today is Google. If you want your business to be more visible, you should set up a GMB account or verify your business information for Google.

If you optimize your listing on Google My Business, it will help Google realize that your company is real and legitimate. Local consumers in your area will be able to find you more easily. You can make your listings more effective by adding photos, maps, business hours, and reviews.

If you don’t have a GMB account for your business yet, it’s very easy to set one up. If you want your local business to succeed, you should create an account and optimize it.

6. Online Business Directories

Ever heard of Yelp, Four Square, or Yellow Pages?

Telephone books with numbers and addresses really helped local businesses in the past, even though you might not remember them.

Nowadays, you’ll seldom see those books, but there are now plenty of online directories you can use to get your business information out there.

Online directories can help improve your local link building. Many people use online platforms to research businesses in their local area.

It is essential to have your business’s information on these websites. The more avenues you use to get the word out about your business, the more likely your target demographic will come across it.

7. Google Reviews

Getting reviews may sound a little intimidating at first. However, search engines favor business pages that have reviews. Google will take into account the number of reviews a business has when determining its ranking.

It doesn’t matter whether they are positive or negative. If you receive a positive review from a customer, remember to thank them.

It is also possible to respond to negative reviews in a prompt and professional manner. Reviews are not only good for search engines, but they also help your audience.

An example of this would be if you found an item online that you were interested in, but there wasn’t much information about it. The reason you didn’t buy the item is likely because you were skeptical about it. It works the same way for any business.

When customers leave reviews on your business, it gives you an opportunity to see what parts of your business are doing well and what needs improvement. If your business has amazing products or services, you’ll want to show that to everyone.

8. Landing Pages and Website Design

Everything About Local SEO

Page design is an important part of SEO. It’s not just your website visitors that matter, but also the search engines. This is referring to the search engine crawlers that were mentioned earlier.

If your site contains inaccurate information or is poorly structured, search engine crawlers will also have difficulty understanding it. They can’t rank it properly if they can’t read it.

The goal is to make it easier for search engine crawlers to read your content so that it will be given better rankings.

9. Social Media

Social media is great for increasing your engagement organically. If you have a LinkedIn profile for your business, you can optimize it to help your business be seen by more people. LinkedIn can be a great way for local businesses to get exposure.

If you want your content to be seen by your audience and recognized by search engines, you should use as many platforms as possible.

If you use the right keywords, this will be especially true. You can use targeted keywords on social media to help improve your visibility online.

About the Author Brian Richards

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