3 Essential Processes for Successful Local SEO

In the following article we will present the most important factors for ranking the website of your local business on Google’s top spots. It covers 3 areas of local SEO: Google Maps listing optimization and management, citations and NAP(Name Address Phone) data synchronization and link building for small businesses.

Google Maps Listing


Address has to be real

When registering your company on Google Maps always use real and unique addresses. Google is very strict about this matter and will make sure your business is really present at the address you gave them. Don’t try to use locations with P.O. boxes or any other kind of virtual office because they will easily find out and remove your maps listing for good.  Recently we have noticed that Google Maps support team sometimes even ask for a photo of your office as a process of validation.

Also avoid creating any duplicate Google Maps listings in order to rank with more listings for same location. Although this spammy technique decreased lately it is still present and it should be avoided at all costs because no matter how creative you are with combination of company name, phone number or website url final result will be negative. Google will eventually either recognize your intention or your listings will be too similar between each other and won’t be able to rank because they don’t have unique data. There is always some duplicate data between them; name, phone number, website or address.

So choose your real company name, phone number and website and stick to it and if you have more than one office create additional Google Maps listings for those locations.

Carefully Choose Business Category and Type of Service

When choosing the type of your local business see that you follow these guidelines.
Fill out your listing completely. And when choosing categories try to keep up to 3 types of businesses categories.
If your business is service area type(limo, taxi….) …) check the box that you are receiving customers at their location. Try to precisely define areas you serve also don’t set too big (up to 50 miles would be ok)  or set dozens of locations across the state or city because you will weaken your area focus.

And if you have storefront business like bakery, jewelry store or something else check the box that you are receiving customers at your location

In case your business is really doing both select both options with precise details of served area and location. These cases are very rare and try to avoid this option if your business is mainly focused on one of these types, because if you set this option unrealistically your listing won’t have chances to rank good.

Beside standard fields like business hours and description field where you should write promotional text but without repeating keywords and especially links ( try to maximum 2 links) also don’t forget to insert logo and other pictures that give your company visual identity. Keep in mind that listings without logo attract less attention to searchers than those with proper visual representation.

Keep Your Listing Live and Updated

When you have Google Maps listing, try to be active and connect it with your overall online activity. This means you should promote your discounts, offers and generally products and service not only on your website and Facebook or Twitter but on Google Maps as well.


Citations – Synchronize Your Company Data Across the Web

To rank for locally related keywords and phrases one of the most important factors are citations, and representation of your company on various local listings nad directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Superpages and many more. The most important thing in this matter is to maintain precise data about your company on all citations because Google weighs a lot of importance to clear and precise data about your company. If you keep your Name, address, phone number and website data consistent on all local listings it gives them clear blueprint of what’s your name and where your company is located and what services you provide in that area.  The other equally important factor is to eliminate duplicated listings of your company if they are present. This usually happens when company changed their SEO agency or uses various local SEO software without analysis of current citations.

In short, the more you keep your data consistent and without duplicate listings of your company the better rankings you will achieve on Google Maps.

Links and Reviews

Local Communities

Reach out local and niche communities to get links. Search and connect with blogs and websites of local companies whose area of work is natural partner with yours.  Create a good relationship for mutual benefits and links.  Depending on the location(smaller or bigger city) and service or product you offer, you will have more or less opportunities for links. But in any case try to except high number of links also to get links from websites that are within your target market and with a good reputation.

Also don’t be reluctant to offer some stuff for free or to sponsor a charity or any other type of local event ,if you have the resources. It will get you links, good online and offline image of your company.

Reviews Matter – Track and Respond

There are certain doubts over reviews and their influence on rankings but in any case they very important because  they are what people trust according all relevant studies.  So instead of just counting the positive and negative ones try to focus on actually managing them like for example you are managing your Facebook page.  This means that you track what your customers say about your company on most popular local listings like Google Maps, Yelp, Yellow Pages and respond in appropriate way. Listen to those praise your company and be generous. Also take maybe even greater care for those who perhaps weren’t satisfied with your service and find out what troubled them and how to correct that mistake.

It all comes to standard of good business management and that means the better you treat your customers the better and quicker your business will grow.