Successful Local SEO in 2021

Local SEO is a business promotion tool that is directly related to the geolocation of users. With its help, the site gets higher positions in the search results for the requests of residents of a certain city or region.

Let’s figure out how to achieve efficiency using this promotion method, and what trends are most relevant in 2021.

First, this type of search engine optimization will help small firms to be in the TOP of search results, which will allow them to successfully compete with large organizations. These are companies whose target audience selects them by their location – in the city center or closer to home/office:

  • beauty salons;
  • shopping centers, cinemas;
  • restaurants and cafes;
  • medical clinics;
  • supermarkets.

Accordingly, local SEO will turn out to be inappropriate for online services, online stores, as well as for sites that are optimized for the whole country. 

The peculiarity of this promotion is the search results format. First, the user sees a map and a block with organizations, and only then – the rest, organic issue:

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Fig. 1 – Typical Local Google Search Results 

If a user has found what he needs on the blocks of the first page, then he may not get to the rest of the organic search results.

This is where complex work is required.

In order to properly build the process of website promotion using local SEO, you need to rely on the information obtained at the previous stage at each subsequent stage.

The optimal sequence of actions for growth in search, tied to the region::

  1. Competitor analysis.
  2. Optimization and usability of website pages.
  3. Promotion using Google Maps.
  4. Link building (link building).
  5. Improving the reputation of the business. Content Marketing.

1. Competitor analysis

To understand a business promotion strategy, it is important to dive into its essence. First, you should find out the list of competitors in a niche without regional reference, and then analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

At this stage, they evaluate:

  • availability of additional requests;
  • the need for synonyms for the main request;
  • link mass of pages;
  • how convenient it is to use them.

They look at how well the internal optimization of the site is carried out.

In addition, it is at this stage that it is worth understanding which pages are bringing search traffic to competitors. The most convenient way to do this is with the Ahrefs service. As practice shows, traffic mainly comes from the main page of the site, although if a web resource has a blog, then from its pages.

For example, here are the keys for the website of a medical clinic whose main competitor is Doctor Alex. 

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Fig. 2 – Analyzing competitors’ search queries using Ahrefs

Next, you need to collect the semantic core. This is easiest to accomplish with the help of Google tips at the bottom of the SERP, Ahrefs or Serpstat. Additional keywords can be found on competitors’ pages by comparing phrases that appear in their content.  

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Fig. 3 – Analysis of competitors’ search queries using the Serpstat service

If the site already has a history and is seen by search engines, then Google Search Console is a great solution. Its Performance tool allows you to analyze queries based on Clicks, Impressions, and Positions.

Ranking factors in maps and organic search results influence the position of your web resource in the local Google search results. Among these, the most important are link signals and page optimization.

2. Optimization and usability of website pages

In order for a site to rank in local search, you need::

  • make its structure as clear as possible;
  • optimize its headers and metadata for business-specific requests;
  • display current contact information, better schematically;
  • optimize the main page of the site: first, the content already existing on it, then add the necessary blocks with information;
  • embed a Google map into the contact page;
  • add clear calls to action to increase conversions;
  • enable the option of recommendations and reviews on the site;
  • pay attention to the mobile version of the site and constantly work on it.

When we optimize existing content, we do this::

  1. We draw up a technical task for the page metadata. It should contain the main keys and the region of promotion.
  2. Let’s structure the subheadings.
  3. Add primary and secondary keys in the required occurrences.
  4. We check how correctly the mobile version of the site is displayed, because most local queries are searched from phones.

The blocks “How it works” and “They are recommended” are aimed at increasing trust.

3. How to promote a website using Google Maps search results

Google displays local results even if only the name of the business is entered without specifying its address. But the display in maps is directly influenced by how the profile in Google My Business is designed. Its signals are considered the most important ranking factors. There must be all the up-to-date NAP data (name, address and phone number) and the correct business categories.

Therefore, completeness of information is the first requirement for ranking in the SERP. 

If you have representative offices in different cities, you can register several profiles. But it is important to monitor the accuracy of the information and update it in time, otherwise the outdated NAP will lower the position in the local search.

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 Fig. 4 – Issuance of Google Maps on computers

How do you assess whether your Google My Business profile is well-designed? This will be clear if the following are shown to customers in search results:

  • exact location right up to the building where the address of the company is located – so it will be easy to find you;
  • clickable phone number;
  • opening hours so as not to be trapped with a visit;
  • block with photos, which helps users to make the first, virtual impression of the company;
  • prices – many are annoyed by the additional need to ask the cost of goods / services;
  • reviews of grateful customers;
  • social media profiles.
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 Fig. 5 – Google knowledge graph

The search results will be shown as close as possible to the user.

4. Link building

Building the link mass is another important stage that affects the ranking and recognition of the business in the region. The essence of local optimization is to place links to the promoted site on other successfully working resources. 

Criteria for correct links to your site:

  1. The resource covers the region where your target audience is located.
  2. The website from which the link redirects is relevant to the business topic.
  3. Links improve your brand’s reputation.
  4. They bring in visitors who might soon become customers.  

It is important to pay attention to the quality and relevance of these links here, as this process will increase the value for search engines due to the traffic to the target resource.

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 Fig. 6 – An example of a transition to a supermarket website from an aggregator

The main types of external links:

  • from local blogs and online publications (local relevance is required);
  • from a video hosting site on Youtube or Vimeo – a channel that introduces a company, personnel, production of goods or provision of services with the help of short videos, will be one step ahead;
  • from thematic catalogs (in them you can leave a link to your resource);
  • from aggregator sites;
  • from guest articles on other authoritative resources;
  • from interest forums, where the target audience of the site communicates and finds answers to thematic questions.

To search for opportunities, combinations of queries are written: “key + your location”, “industry / industry + forum” or “your location + services”.

5. Improving business reputation

The search for additional traffic growth points is directly related to the company’s reputation. It’s no secret that many of us will give preference to a well-known establishment that is easy to find around the city and on the net. By far the strongest impact on it comes from user reviews. They affect not only consumer decision-making, but also the promotion of a site in search engines. The average review score is displayed in Google on the product card.

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Fig. 7 – Google Reviews

For local optimization, it is necessary to collect geo-independent key queries with occurrences of a city, district or street. For example, the issue for the request “bob haircut” will depend on the user’s current location, and “bob haircut in Kharkov” will already show less dependence on the area of ​​the city.

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Fig. 8 – Geo-dependent keyword query from a mobile device

In addition, consumer confidence today is also formed due to local promotion in social networks – Facebook or Instagram. 

What you must do to increase the growth of the right traffic:

  • write about your business in thematic local groups;
  • connect the ability to comment, repost through social media accounts;
  • mark your location in publications where the target audience is concentrated (possibly during thematic events);
  • leave links in publications on the brand page;
  • launch advertising campaigns on social networks.
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Fig. 9 – Example of Facebook Promotion for Cinema Certificates

Local SEO in 2021 is quite demanding on the quality of content, otherwise it will not be possible to achieve stable positions in Google search results. It is also important to create news and articles for local requests.

Your content must meet the following requirements:

  • it is informative and relevant;
  • corresponds to a specific location;
  • correctly conveys the values ​​of your business;
  • a loyalty program is thought out: when offering goods / services, you do not forget to implement special offers, discounts, promotions and bonuses.

It is these factors that can positively affect the clickability of a snippet on the SERP. In addition, information traffic will bring the creation of a blog in which you can share news.

Thus, by setting up website promotion for requests that take into account the location of users, you will attract more potential leads.

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