You already know a lot about Local SEO. But what we’ve found is that there are lot of myths floating around about local SEO that might leave you strung up on things that don’t matter – or the reverse, thinking somethings that don’t matter actually do.
While you probably know all of these already, chances are… you’re not using them to the fullest. They may seem insignificant and “bigger” tasks like building backlinks are probably sitting higher on your task list, but leveraging these rules is something you can’t put off
So we put together this list of 10 things you already know about local seo, but with the details that make them clear!
We’re going to clear up some myths, set the record straight, and hopefully give you some new ideas for domination.
Let’s get into it…
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1. NAP consistency is king, but st. vs street isn’t going to kill you
Having the same NAP (name, address, phone number) is a critical element for local seo, and if you don’t have consistency, it can cause you to not rank as high as you should.
Each citation counts as a vote, and if you don’t have them consistent, they could be treated as different businesses.
With that said, you don’t have to go crazy with how exact they need to be, because Google will actually normalize the data. That means if you put in 353 East Street in one citation and 353 East St. in another, that won’t actually hurt you!
Whitespark put together an awesome list of what actually gets normalized here.
2. Reviews are actually important, for more than 1 reason.
In this recent study of the snack pack update by Casey Menaz, he concluded that reviews draw a significant amount of clicks.
On top of that, reviews matter to customers as more rating and review data is added. A recent study by brightlocal shows that 87% of consumers won’t consider a business with low ratings.
3. Organic is more important now after the snack pack update
Organic listings accounted for the largest majority of clicks in Mike Ramsey’s local pack click through case studies. This means even if you are not in the top 3, you can still win with organic results.
4. People are searching for neighborhoods, not just your city.
If your city is large enough, there is a good chance that people are not only searching by city but by neighborhood as well, so it would be a good idea to implement keywords based on neighborhood.
Check out these examples of searches in a neighborhood called “Wicker Park” in Chicago – If the business had only used Chicago as a geo-locator, they would miss out on these searches!
5. Get more traffic by optimizing your placement on the top ranked directories
One often forgotten factor is the ranking inside the top ranking directories. Industry directories tend to rank well in Googles search results. Yelp sometimes takes up multiple spots. So if you you rank highly in Yelp or another directory that is already ranking, you could grab traffic (even without a website!).
Take note of what top directories are ranking page one for you terms, and do some investigation to find out what the ranking factors inside their platforms are.
Phil Rozek put together a list of Yelp ranking factors and it’s a great example of how you could improve your listings inside of these platforms.
6. You can still build out an organic landing page without an address
Let’s face it, you might not have an office in every city / location that uses your services. OR you might not have an office at all. No problem – Just build out landing pages on your site for that city / town and you can still rank organically. There is no verification needed!
Adam Steele at the Magistrate wrote an awesome article about how and why to build local landing pages.
Phil Rozek also published another awesome resource for what to actually include on these pages in his article “25 Principles of Building Effective City Pages for Local SEO.”
7. You CAN use call tracking numbers, if you use them wisely
Call tracking can be great for proving ROI of paid campaigns, and you can totally use it, but you just want to make sure Google doesn’t scrape that data. You can do that a few ways, by either using dynamic insertion or by creating an image with the number on it.
8. You CAN actually get Google on the phone for local support.
Google actually has pretty good support for local, and has for a while – Here’s an article on how you can access phone support.
9. Mobile is huge for local.
Distilled points out that 94% of smartphone users have looked for local info and 84% have taken action as a result. Needless to say, you need to optimize for mobile for local (especially with the more recent Google Mobile Update!)
10. You CAN rank more than 1 property on the front page.
Don’t forget, you can always rank more than just your website and your Google My Business page. You can rank youtube videos for your keywords, Facebook pages, WordPress blogs, Twitter accounts, local directory pages all for your keywords. Sometimes these are even easier to rank than your real site since they have the authority built in.
We hope these 10 points have cleared up some confusion about local and given you some more ideas for domination!
Do you have any more myths that you’ve heard? Let us know in the comments!
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Clayton Johnson is the CMO of The HOTH SEO company. He has over 8+ years experience in the SEO industry and has spoken at events like SEJ Summit. The HOTH has been featured in Inc 5000, Forbes, SMX, Pubcon, Content Marketing World, Affiliate Summit, Brighton and more.