Local SEO is the best practice for small owners to optimize their website to increase traffic to their website, leads and brand awareness from a local search using some local SEO tools available. Some common tasks associated with local SEO has to do with business optimization for My Business, building NAP ( Name, Address, and Phone number) citation, and finding local keywords.

Whether you are a startup or an existing small business brand, there is no doubt that SEO is a challenge. SEO is a constant, long-term effort that changes in line with the latest Google Algorithms which is why many prefer to focus on local SEO instead.

Local SEO Checklist

Local SEO is a great way to achieve your business website presence on Google in a relatively short space of time. It’s great for those with a local brick-and-mortar store, looking to get ahead of their competitors in their area.

Best Local SEO Tools

When people search, Google will scan through its index to provide the best results for that individual’s query. Since Google is using a different set of ranking factors to rank the local search results, this is what makes local SEO unique.

Unique Local SEO Ranking Signals

  • Location the person is searching from
  • NAP ( Name, Address, and Phone number) citations
  • Keywords used in Google My Business profile
  • Presence of Google My Business listing
  • The sentiment of online reviews
  • Keywords used in online reviews
  • Shares on social media
  • Google Maps star rating for that business
  • Number of “check-ins” at that location

So, how can get ahead with local SEO for small businesses

Connect Your Business Website to Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a web service local SEO tool by Google formerly called Google Webmaster Tools which allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize the visibility of their websites. Google introduced a new version of the local SEO tool with changes to the user interface.

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A business owner can use the Google Search Console tools and reports to help users to measure their website’s Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make their website shine in Google Search results.

How to use Google Search Console

  • Optimize your content with Search Analytics: See which queries bring users to your website. Analyze your website’s impressions, clicks, and position on Google Search.
  • Get your website content on Google: Submit sitemaps and individual URLs for crawling. Review your website’s index coverage to make sure that Google has the freshest view of your website.
  • Get alerted on issues and fix your website: Receive email alerts when Google identifies issues on your website. See which URLs are affected by these issues and tell Google when you’ve fixed them.
  • Understand how Google Search sees your pages: The URL Inspection tool of this local SEO tool provides detailed crawl, index, and serving information about your webpages, directly from the Google index.

Create Pages for Each of Your Product or Service

The sitemap you have submitted to the Google Search Console will be easier for Google to understand if you have a specific product or service on each webpage. It’s better to create a dedicated landing page (for example, law firms might have family law and corporate law) to give your website wider coverage. This may also help with PPC if you are considering paid ads for your business website in the future.

Claim Your Business on Google My Business Listing

With this local SEO tool, you will get more than a business listing. Your free Business Profile will let you easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps. You can post your product photos and offers to your profile to show what makes your business unique, and give customers reasons to choose you every time.

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With Google My Business Listing, your customers are ready to connect by calling, messaging or leaving reviews. Now, with more ways to transact, you can do more business. If your business has been around for long enough, you may notice it appears on Google My Business giving it NAP ( Name, Address, and Phone number) data and a place on Google Maps.

This is usually down to user-generated content, such as local reviews. But if you did not set up the business listing yourself, it’s time to take ownership. Tell Google that you own the website and become verified (Search Console will help). You will then have free rein to add photos, change opening hours and respond to reviews as you please.

Start collecting reviews

With this local SEO tool, Google My Business comes into its own. As your profile is run by Google, collecting reviews helps to boost your SEO – in particular, pushing your business above others on Google Maps. Your star ratings may also appear in search results, which you can use to interact with customers.

Submit Your Business Website to Local Directories

Website link building is one of the most challenging areas of SEO, this local business directories offer a great head start. You can use this local SEO tool to categorise your products or services and add NAP ( Name, Address, and Phone number) data to your profile, helping contacts in your area find your business easily online.

Post Regular Content on Your Website Blog

Once you have signed up to Search Console, you will want to keep those Google crawlers working hard! Posting fresh content constantly lets Google know your website is active, so consider starting a blog if you have not done so already.

Every time you update your business website with a new blog post, Google takes notice. And when you don’t update, Google notices that too and when Google thinks your website is dead, Google doesn’t crawl your website.

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Your website visitors will like to see that you are active and engaging and that you care about keeping them informed with new content and updates on your website. A quality, secure, easy to use website builder for small business websites can help add new content to your website regularly, without much hassle.

I will also recommend a local SEO tool called Local Falcon for detailed Map tracking of your website. There is another local SEO tool like Local Viking that do pretty much the same thing.

Finally

if you want to optimize your website for local organic ranking, you will need to use your website keyword in your Title Tag, Your Url, and all the traditional on-page SEO stuff. If you want to get a better idea of where your business website is ranked within your local setting. you can use any local SEO tool to track your website’s rankings for that same keyword across lots of different spots.

Fortunately for you, using local SEO tools for keyword research is a “one and done” process. Unlike a blog, you usually don’t need to keep finding new keywords all the time. That’s not to say keywords are not important for local searches. They are. But in most cases, all you need to get started is a shortlist of keywords that people use to find your local business.

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