Local Search Engine Optimization or LSEO for short is the process of optimizing your Web presence for local search engine ranking.
An Introduction to Local Search Engine Optimization (LSEO)
Local Search Engine Optimization or LSEO for short is the process of optimizing your Web presence for local search engine ranking. Note that I specifically used the words “Web presence” versus “Website” to distinguish one of the unique aspects of LSEO strategy versus traditional search engine optimization services – namely that LSEO is driven primarily by Google’s emphasize on blended search engine results, which incorporates a number of non-website characteristics, including user reviews and business information in to Google search results. Indeed, you don’t even need to own a website to get ranked on Google – all you need is an optimized Google My Business Page. Learn more about Google+ Business Page Sign Up and Optimization.
The process of LSEO (also referred to as Small Business SEO) and traditional SEO is different in several regards, which is covered in detail throughout this book. For instance, the emphasis on “backlinks” or getting other websites to link to you takes a back seat (though still incredibly important and valuable) to making sure that your Web presence includes consistent local information across the Web, such as uniformity of business name, contact details (phone number, address), and category associations. One of the easiest ways (although it tends to be more difficult in practice since information changes over time) is to make certain that any and all local directory listings (i.e. Google My Business, Local.com, Yahoo Local, ReferLocal Business Pages, etc.) include the same local information that you provide on your actual website. If the information is not uniform you are off to a bad start with optimizing your local Web presence, but this book will provide you with specific advice and tips so that you aren’t left in the dust, but instead you are positioned for optimal success.
LSEO is committed to helping your business succeed by dominating local search results on Google and Bing. In fact, we are so dedicated that we wrote the book on local search engine optimization and we have repurposed it here for you at no cost.
The content published here includes a special bonus section at the end (don’t jump ahead just yet) which includes exclusive content from 15 Local SEO luminaries, including Bruce Clay, Founder of Bruce Clay, Inc., Tim Mayer, Former VP of Yahoo Search, Current Chief Marketing Officer at TruEffect, Todd Malicoat (aka stuntdubl), SEO legend, Professional Fisherman and head of MiamiFishing.com, Andrew Goodman, President, Page Zero Media, Co-Founder, HomeStars, Author of Winning Results with Google AdWords (McGraw-Hill; 2nd ed. 2008), Neil Patel, Cofounder of both KISSmetrics, and Crazyegg.com, Fili Wiese, SEO Consultant at SearchBrothers.com, Former Google Search Quality Staffer, David Mihm, Director of Local Search Strategy, SEOmoz.com, Thom Craver, SEO and Digital Analytics Strategist and WebMaster Radio Co-Host, Chris Boggs, Chief Marketing Officer, Internet Marketing Ninjas, Wil Reynolds, Founder & CEO, SEER Interactive, Dennis Goedegebuure, Head of Global SEO, Airbnb.com, Matt McGowan, Managing Director, Incisive Media (Search Engine Strategies / Search Engine Watch), Christoph C. Cemper, Founder of Link Research Tools, Marcus Tober, Founder and CTO, Searchmetrics.com, and Eric Enge, CEO at Stone Temple Consulting Corporation.
First things first, when optimizing for local SEO you must start with learning how to properly set-up, verify, and optimize your business listing on Google. Making sure that your secure, verify, and optimize your business information on Google is absolutely critical to your LSEO success since Google uses structured data from your Google business listing to rank businesses in local search. Without managing your business identity on Google you are highly unlikely to succeed in local search. Keep in mind that simply securing your Google business listing is not enough – it’s very important that you take advantage of the ability to add interesting, educational, and insightful images and video about your business. In addition, one of the most important aspects of having a strong identity on Google is the ability for customers and fans to submit reviews about your business. Reviews, in particular those submitted via Google, are a primary factor in Google’s local blended search algorithm. The good news is that there are a number of simple, yet effective strategies you can employ to generate more reviews and social engagement with your business on Google. However, managing your identity on Google, generating lots of positive reviews, and optimizing your business website will require a meaningful commitment of both time and financial resources.
If you want to improve your local search rankings you must leverage and grow your social media presence and influence. Google and Bing have publicly stated that social media factors are considered (how much is not known) when ranking websites in search. Search engines look at a range of social media signals, including how often your business is mentioned on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and how many Twitter followers, Facebook likes, comments, and so on may influence your ranking. However, search engines appear most interested in measuring “social influence” instead of simply how many followers or comments your business generates. In fact, services such as Klout have been created to algorithmically measure social influence. Measures of social influence appear to look closely at how you engage with people and how they interact with you through social media, including how influential those engagements are. LSEO is dedicated to helping you improve your social media presence and influence with the goal of helping your business rank higher in local search results.
Link building continues to be a primary factor considered by Google when ranking businesses for local search and a 2105 local search ranking report by Moz Local confirms this fact. Since getting your business ranked in local search is typically less competitive than getting ranked for high traffic terms in national search even a few high quality backlinks can make a huge difference in getting your businesses ranked in local search. LSEO is thrilled to present you with 20 proven strategies for building links to your website and Google+ Local page. Yahoooooo!
Content is king. Search engines rank websites based on content so it is imperative that you develop strategies to build content that Google loves. The more content you develop the more likely search engines will refer traffic and leads to your business. LSEO is proud to help you maximize your content marketing strategy by sharing ten strategies for producing fresh content that Google loves, including user generated content, video / audio content and transcripts, interactive FAQ’s, infographics, white papers, interviews, and more.
Last but not least, we examine the six most common negative ranking factors that plaque many local businesses. What is a negative SEO ranking factor? Think about it this way – Google is not a person, it is a machine. Therefore, local SEO requires that you minimize tripping up Google with inconsistencies across the Web (like your business information) and other factors that might end your business up in the dog house.
So when push comes to shove improving your search ranking in local results comes down to optimizing specific local SEO ranking factors.
Local SEO Education:
At LSEO we take great pride in helping you execute your local SEO strategy – if we can help, contact us. If not we still want to help you.
Local SEO is a process that includes a series of steps. We conceptualize each step as a “Ranking Factor, which Google used to determine whether to rank your business over the competition. Optimize each ranking factor and you’ll be in the drivers seat. Click any of the links below to learn more about Local SEO.
Ranking Factor #1 – Google Business Listing Optimization (formerly Google Places and Google+ Business)
Ranking Factor #2 – Business Reviews (Quantity, Velocity, Sentiment)
Ranking Factor #3 – Local Link Building (Quantity and Quality)
Ranking Factor #4 –Content (Quality, Quantity, Resource Laden)
Ranking Factor #5 – Local Citation Management (Consistency of NAP Information)
Ranking Factor #6 –Social Media Signals (Size of Audience; Quality of Engagement)
Ranking Factor #7 – Avoid Negative Ranking Factors
Ranking Factor Bonus – Small Business Local SEO Tips from 15 Top SEO Experts, including Bruce Clay, Neil Patel, David Mihm, Matt McGowan, Chris Boggs, Christoph Cemper, Marcus Tober, Matt Bailey, Andrew Goodman, Eric Enge, Thom Craver, Todd Malicoat, Fili Wiese, and Chris Boggs.