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Local SEO

How local SEO will get you clients

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1. Business Page and NAP

Web pages are analyzed by bots. They crawl day after day, indexing whatever they find on their way so that users can get the most relevant answers to their search queries. We tend to forget that the easier we make the crawling process for these bots, the best results we will obtain.

One of the things you do not want to mess is your official business page listing. Google, but also Bing, Yahoo and many other search engines, want you to give them the standard information about your business so that they can use that to cross reference everything else their bots find on the web.

Business name, address, phone number (these three data are also know as NAP), but also service type and opening hours are all essential pieces of information that you want to set straight with them.

And you want to make sure that anywhere else your business appears the information you provide match the ones stored in the search engines business page or your rankings will suffer from the inconsistencies.


Of local searches will result in a purchase


Of local retailers do not have a Google Business Page


Of users look for online reviews before purchasing

2. Local Keywords

Keywords are always one of the starting points for any kind of SEO you want to implement.

They are such a great source of opportunities that more and more businesses are trying to capitalize on them. Fortunately enough, there are so many words and variants that we are going to be safe for a few years still. We just have to use creative thinking.

One way to be creative is search your keywords locally. Looking for "natural cleaning" within the USA is going to give different results than looking for it on a local county.
And for me the best way to check locally is Google Trends. You can over there, see what keywords are trending, and be able to narrow them down to County level. That place has got to be your first port of call.

Secondly, you will need a SEO tool designed to suggest you keywords based on your input: there many both free and paid, but my favorite is Ubersuggest by Neil Patel.

Once you have done your search, try and tweak those words adding modifiers that you think are relevant to your target audience: for example, if you have "plumbing services", you may want to add best, cheap or where, and also your location.Then rephrase accordingly: "best plumbing services Nashville". I know it seems straightforward, but there are infinite possibilities capable of bringing a lot of local traffic. Spend some time thinking about your specific case and test it out.

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Did You Know?

29% of consumers who look for a local business on mobile,
will call or visit it within 24 hours.

3. The 3 - Pack

Whenever Google gets a flag that the user search has a local intent, it will display the so called three pack among the search results.
The pack is basically an embedded map showcasing local businesses (with the best reviewed ones highlighted) and then a lower section with the three most prominent and best reviewed underneath that, with a lot of extra information about them.

Needless to say, you want to be showing up among those three.

How to show up among the local 3 pack on Google?
Start from the Google Business profile, then get a lot of positive reviews, then optimize your website speed performance (take care of mobile speed especially), and finally build your online presence within local websites and social media. And start blogging, seriously.

A little disclaimer here, as being among the top 3 results is not an exact science: Google ranking factors are guessed (quite in a reliable way) but we do not know exactly according to what results are displayed. What we can do is do our best to get every little detail SEO friendly and see the performance over the time. Then adjust as we move forward

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4. Local SEO & Social Media

The combination of these two branches is becoming increasingly more important year after year. The boom of social media channels and providers has introduced an impressive amount of opportunities out there for the savvy businesses. A good social media profile has a deep leverage in 2021 online success.

You, as a business owner, want to know which social media platforms best suit your needs, then build up your profile in there or claim it if it has already been created by the platform or your consumers (yes this is a possibility).

Once that is done you want to add a lot of links from your own website pointing out to each of your social media profiles. If you have a blog (and you really should have one), be sure to add sharing options to each blog post.

Next, you want to get out there some information about you: research what your local audience is interested about and post about that. Post regularly. A good way to search for post ideas is on Quora: follow the topics you are targeting and check the latest questions that have been asked, then write about those.

Offer your followers a service: write about local events, write about the products you offer, invite them to contribute to the discussion, ask them about their opinion. In other words, get to know them while keeping them interested.

Make sure to use hashtags: research the ones that are locally relevant to you, then add them on at the bottom of your posts so that when the next user searches them you have good chances to come up among the results.

Why bother getting a presence on social media?
There are many reasons, the most straightforward ones that come to mind are: build brand awareness, free advertising, and easy way to get contacted by interested people via instant messages. Bonus tip: all the big brands are on social media, and you can "exploit" their success. How? Post about their products (if you use them of course), tag them, and get guaranteed visibility to a lot of their followers. Keep this secret for yourself though...

5. Reputation Management

People like to know as much as possible about the products or services they are buying, and in the internet reviews are the most direct way to get information.

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you cannot afford to ignore your online reputation. In fact, we recommend everyone to set up a full review strategy that includes thorough ongoing management. How to do that?

First of all you define 4-5 websites that offer online reviews: Google will be your number one, the other websites will depend on the nature of your business ( Yelp, Trust Pilot, Amazon and Glassdoor are just some examples).
You then create your business profiles in there, and start encouraging your customers to leave reviews. You can do this directly if you have a customer facing role, or you can reach out via email if you sell online only. The goal is to have a steady influx of positive reviews.

Make sure to acknowledge all of them and address eventual negative feedback you may receive. Pay attention because even positive reviews sometimes include little negative remarks: tackle that too, for example thanking the customer for the input and ensuring that follow up corrective actions will be taken.

An healthy business should aim for a mix of 4 and 5 star reviews. Negative reviews should be kept at a minimum, but unfortunately it is hard to avoid them altogether: it is acceptable to have a negative one as long as it is addressed. Mind though, if you begin getting a few you really want to investigate what is going on and stop the influx as soon as possible.

This approach will help your business shine, both augmenting your visibility and trust perceived.

At The Coding Lab we offer both reputation audit and management, reach out to enquire about your free online reviews audit.

6. Frequently Asked Questions

How many customers read online reviews?

According to this BrightLocal report, 82% of customers will read online reviews for local purchases. The percentage goes up to 93% for customers aged 35-54. In other words, a solid reason for you to act now and begin your reputation management strategy.

How often should a business post on social media?

In broad terms, a good approach is to post at least once a day, five times per week. Although this will vary. The more data you get about your audience, the better. The type of platform will also affect your advised frequency, no wonder that social media marketing has become a well sought full time job nowadays. And, to make things even more complicated, keep in mind that each social media has unique posting time slots too.

How to improve SEO for Google Maps?

As discussed in depth above, there is no magic wand here. Many factors affect your google maps ranking. The basics are: optimize your google business page, get consistent positive google reviews, build consistent online citation profiles, and get links pointing at you from other local authoritative websites.

What is Google My Business?

This is the business profile that google stores in its database. It lists many information about you and the services you provide. It has a section about questions and answers (although this has been suspended recently), and of course allows customers to review you. It also provides you with a way to post photos, posts and updates. Make sure to take advantage of this free service and fill in as much fields as you can.

How important are Google reviews for SEO?

Very important. And this applies to other review websites too, as Google now displays reviews associated with your profile found elsewhere on the web (such as Facebook). A good reputation will mean higher chances of showing up in those search results. A bit of a warning though: reviews are important but not the only ranking factor. It can happen that businesses with worse review averages figure above competition with much better reviews, because they have all of the other ranking factors just right.