A Comprehensive Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy, although it has not received as much attention from marketers as its big brother, organic search. As the second most profitable form of online advertising for small businesses (organic search is #1), there is no question that local SEO will continue to be a popular method of generating leads and driving traffic to your website.
Labeled by many as the “front step” to the conversion funnel, search engines have become more sophisticated in determining where a customer falls in their purchase journey. This means that consumers are further down the funnel than ever before, making local SEO an essential part of any digital marketing campaign to attract relevant customers close to buying your product or service.

Local SEO helps small businesses capitalize on this phenomenon by creating compelling content for relevant searches and discovering ways to leverage social media and mobile results. In today’s competitive small business environment, being able to track and measure ROI for each local search strategy is critical for business growth and sustainability. Don’t wait another day—get started now! It can be the best way to get listing in local directories 

Local SEO Citations

Local Citations are the mentions of a business on another website. They are usually found in online directories and local media publications, as well as other sources. Citations are important for local SEO because they provide Google with information about your business.

Business directories and online yellow pages are two examples of local citations that might appear visually similar at first glance but operate quite differently behind the scenes. Best to hire a local citation services agency.

Before getting familiar with different types of citations, it’s helpful to understand one main citation type: NAP or name, address, and phone number(s). This standard citation format is used by many small businesses and entrepreneurs who don’t want to shell out big bucks for an SEO professional with a more complex citation strategy.

Why Are Citations Important for Local SEO?

Citations, or NAP citations, are the online business equivalent to an individual’s contact information. It’s simply your name, phone number, and address. If a customer is trying to find your business online, they visit one of these sites and search for you by name. Since there are thousands of businesses competing for customers in your area, your citations must be accurate and up-to-date on these local citation websites. For example, if you are in London, your local listing of London businesses should have complete details of London NAP, including all essential information.

Search engines like Google use these local citations as hints to learn about what you do as a business and where you’re located. When done correctly, local SEO can increase your click-through rates on your website and drive more traffic directly to your physical location. Citations help potential customers know that you’re a legitimate business in their area so they don’t have to worry about fake reviews or being scammed into buying something from a bad company that happens to be nearby. They also help build trust with customers who already know what you do—maybe even shopping at your store before—and want to return! The most important thing is that when done incorrectly or not done at all, citations can hurt how people find out about you online—and won’t even tell them how great of a company you have!

What Should You Include In Your Business Name For Citations and Local SEO

The first thing to remember is that your business name, address, and phone number should all appear the same everywhere you’re being cited. If you’ve got a name for your business and it’s different from the official legal name of your company (incorporated or registered), make sure there’s only one version of that name online. This means using your business name on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+, Yellow Pages, and many other local directories.

“But I have a different idea for a business name than my registered company.”
It’s easy to get inspired when naming the company and allowing yourself to dream up something unique or clever. However, names like “Rainbow Pizza Company” can confuse or prevent people from finding your listing if they don’t know what you’re called. You can use a different company name on social media sites, but make sure the citations are consistent with whatever you decide is the most important point of contact for your customers – whether that be the physical storefront or an online presence like Facebook. It should be regional-wise for the United Kingdom. You must go for the UK local citation service.

How To Find Citations That Need To Be Fixed or Created

Google is the most powerful search engine in existence, and it has become an entirely different animal now that it’s primarily a platform for interacting with apps and services (YouTube, Android, Google Maps, etc.). For this reason, to get the most out of your SEO campaign you need to have profiles on as many Google platforms as possible. In order to do this effectively, you first need to know what those platforms are.

By using local SEO best practices like accurate business address information on popular citation sites and directories, potential customers will be able to find your business easily through a variety of methods:

  • Search engines like Google and Bing
  • Mobile apps such as Yelp or Foursquare
  • Social media sites such as Facebook
  • General websites where people can leave reviews or tips (such as TripAdvisor or Amazon)

A comprehensive local SEO strategy takes time and effort. It also needs to be updated regularly because if you aren’t actively managing your citations, competitors will take advantage of that gap in your marketing strategy and use their own local citations to gain an edge over your business.

What Else Can You Do For Local SEO?

The formerly missing component of local SEO, local content, has been a valuable tool for small businesses worldwide. However, the fine art of writing a well-tailored blog post is often overlooked in favor of simply posting something about your business on every social media platform and tool under the sun.

That’s not to say you should stop posting content on your own website—far from it! But as a bonus to everything else you’re already doing for SEO, much of the value that comes from writing compelling and useful articles can be cultivated by publishing them on other websites as well (we’ll show you how).