So in the next part of this ‘How to do local SEO 2021’ guide, and after you’ve optimised your Google My Business profile correctly, you’ll need to focus on what your website is saying.
It’s VERY important to understand that what Google is really looking for here is consistency across your Google My Business profile and your website, and together it should all paint a really clear picture about where you are and what you do.
But what if your business serves lots of locations and can’t rank in the map pack across your entire service area? Well, you can have more than one Google My Business profile to target each area, but you will need to have a real physical office in each area. This can be a rented office just for this purpose, but you can’t use a PO Box or mailing address, as Google can identify them easily and will close you down quicker than you can say SEO.
But don’t worry if having an office in each location isn’t practical for you, as that’s where the organic search results come into play. All you need to do is create a new page on your website targeting and optimised for each location e.g. If you’re an SEO company in Plymouth for example, but also cover Tavistock, then you would create a new page on your website properly optimised for the keyword or search phrase ‘tavistock seo services‘. You then do the same thing for all the areas you cover and for all related keywords e.g. tavistock seo, tavistock seo company and so on.
But like your Google My Business profile, there’s a right way to do this too, and most business owners (and some SEO companies) are doing it completely wrong, so if you want to do it right, there are a few things to keep in mind;
- DO NOT treat these pages like an afterthought, as they are really important. If these location pages are how you’re planning on getting customers from your website, you need to treat them exactly like your home page with all the same strong on-page SEO, high-quality content including benefits, testimonials, FAQs and all the good stuff that converts visitors to your website into customers.
- Use your home page as a template and tweak it for each location. Just change all instances of the location name, tweak the content and FAQs as needed, mix in some secondary keywords, change meta tags (H1, Title & Description), images, videos, Maps etc. and you’re good to go.
- Make sure your content isn’t just written for the search engines, because your customer isn’t going to be Google. Make it natural and use proven psychological sales techniques to draw your visitors in and choose you over your competitors. You can have the best SEO optimised page on the Internet, but if it doesn’t convert your visitors into customers, then it’s all been a big waste of time.
- Create a footer that shows on each page of your website that has the EXACT same business name, address and telephone number that’s on your Google My Business profile. Also, link the address in the footer back to your Google My Business profile, embed a Google map showing your business location and have an ‘Areas we serve’ section linking to all the location pages you created.
Next in our ‘How to do local SEO 2021’ guide, and after you’ve got your foundation built strong by getting your Google My Business profile and your On-Page SEO sorted, it’s time to start getting citations. These are simply getting your business listed in as many quality business directories as possible like Yell and Yelp.
The Golden Rule to remember when creating citations is to make sure your business name, address and telephone number are EXACTLY the same as the ones listed on your Google My Business profile, and I mean EXACTLY the same. If your business address on your Google My Business profile is 123 High St. then you CANNOT use 123 High Street. It must always be 123 High St. Seems a small thing I know, but it’s REALLY important it’s always exactly the same.
Creating citations is simply a case of going to each directory online and entering your details. It’s boring tedious work, but MUST be done right (Contact us if you want us to do it for you). Some are free, and some you pay for. Stick with the free ones to start with is my advice, but the one I do recommend paying for is your local Chamber of Commerce as it’s a powerful local link that Google loves.
Next comes the most important part of SEO, whether it’s local SEO, national SEO or even global SEO, and that’s link building. Having a lot of quality links to your website from other sites that Google likes and trusts, has always been a key ranking factor, and it’s just as important today as it’s always been.
But, and this is a BIG but, you must NEVER start link building until you have built a strong foundation for your website by doing everything we’ve talked about above, or you’ll just be wasting your time and money (If you only take one thing away from this ‘How to do local SEO 2021’ guide, make sure it is that).
Not only do quality backlinks help you rank your site organically, they also help you in the local business map results as well. For local SEO, all quality links are valuable, but you also want to get some links from local websites as well to further tie you with your local area (This is why the Chamber of Commerce link is a good one to get), so reach out to all the local businesses you have a relationship with and see if you can get a link from their website to yours.
If you’re a member of a trade organisation or have a professional membership, check to see if you can get an entry on their website with a link to your website.
Another way to get quality local backlinks is to offer to provide free content (like gardening tips if you’re a landscape gardener, or cooking tips if you’re a cafe owner etc.) to local blogs and websites, local online newspapers and magazines etc. in return for a link to your website.
When building links though, just make sure you start small and gradually build them up to make everything natural and organic. This is a mistake a lot of website owners (and SEO companies) make. Going from a few low-quality backlinks to suddenly getting a bunch of powerful links from the home pages of websites will set off alarm bells at Google and may get your website penalised, so it’s always best to build links slowly and naturally to keep Big G happy 🙂
Follow this ‘How to do local SEO 2021’ guide and I guarantee you’ll get your website to the top of the search results (Local Map & Organic) where over 90% of everyone searching for the service you provide will contact you.
That’s the reality of what will happen, so you need to ask yourself are you ready for it and do you really want it? (Some business owners we work with say they are, but when the calls start flooding in, they quickly find out they’re not).
So, local SEO will get the phones ringing off the hook, it’s now your job to turn as many of those leads into customers as you can. Make no mistake about it, this can be a game-changer and will at least double your business within 12 months (normally much sooner), so make sure you’re ready for it.
Have processes and procedures in place to deal with all the extra leads you’ll be getting. Have a good sales team in place ready to convert the leads into customers. Have extra funding ready to purchase new plant, equipment, premises and staff to deal with your expansion. DO NOT even bother trying to grow your business using SEO if you’re not 100% ready for it first.
We’ve been offering SEO services for over 20 years and see it all the time. We ask every new client we take on if they’re ready for all the new business we’ll be sending their way because once you’ve started SEO, it just continues to grow, so be ready.
We can switch paid ads on and off when you have more leads than you can handle, but SEO is a different beast that continually builds momentum and keeps on growing and growing.
Having more customers than you can handle is a nice problem to have for most business owners, but it’s not for everyone, so make sure you’re honest with yourself that it’s what you really want before you start.
Now if you prefer watching rather than reading, don’t forget to check out our free SEO training videos. Click HERE to sign up and get instant access to our free Kick-Starter video course.
I hope you found this how to do local SEO 2021 guide helpful. I know it’s a lot to take in, so if you have any questions or need any help with anything I’ve talked about here in this post, go to our contact page to get in touch.
If you’re looking for a complete Local SEO checklist to learn how to dominate the Google Map Pack, do not miss Part 1 of how to rank in Google Maps using local SEO.