✅ – it’s week 12 of the A to Z of #seo – which means L for…

Local SEO 🎯

Local is a subset(superset?) of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and is primarily focused on searches with a location query such as “solicitors in Salisbury” with the aim of getting businesses visible in what we call the ‘local pack’ or ‘3-pack’ – this really means those Map listings that appear above the normal search results.

Whilst Local SEO shares many aspects of let’s call it ‘main’ SEO such as speed, content, on-page optimisation around tags and content, it differs with the heavier use of local facets such as reviews, citations, proximity and Google’s knowledge of you as a business.

This last point is paramount – to rank well locally you need a strong, complete and up-to-date Google My Business (GMB) listing. (I covered this in Week 7), you also need consistency (via citations – which are places on the web you are listed such as Yelp) in your NAP. This stands for Name, Address, Phone Number

Got a Facebook page? Get the NAP right. Got a FourSquare page? Get the NAP right. Got a GMB listing – you guessed it, get the NAP right. There are companies out there that help you find, fix and manage these. You don’t need tons though – just the main ones.

There’s much more to it, this is just a taster.

A few examples of live citations for this business – so you can see how they look in the ‘wild’ are at:

LacartesHotfrogGoogleFourSquareIndependent

…and an example of a listing that isn’t part of the local ecosystem:

Bark

More on NAP:

As mentioned above, Name – Address – Phone number CONSISTENCY is a key constituent of  Local SEO. If you’ve moved offices at some stage, it’s possible the A for your citations is inconsistent. If you’ve also moved areas, the P is probably different too. The key to this is that essentially if Google sees ‘different’ results they pretty much assume these are SEPARATE businesses. Tidy them up! Find all your citations – or have someone like me help – and you’ll be MUCH more likely to rank in Local Search Results.

You may also see reference to NAP+W or NAPW – the W stands for “Website” and this is important to get too. Make sure the W is to the full/working version of your site/domain. Upgraded to HTTPS recently? Well, it’s quite possible you’ll have citations out there that are ‘stuck’ on HTTP. Fix them.

A leading vendor of “Local SEO Tools” is called Brightlocal, based down in sunny (windy?) Brighton. They have recently released a FREE tool to help you scan for listings/citations to look for NAP inconsistencies. What do you have to lose? It takes 5 minutes and gives you a fantastic insight into the state of your citations. You can find this tool here. Good luck.

(updated by Dan in early June 2020)