6 Simple Tips to Dominate Local Search

6 Simple Tips to Dominate Local Search

Local SEO Tips

How hard will it be to come up at the top of search engines in 2018?

Without question, the rules for effective search engine optimization evolve to a more complex marketing channel. As marketing professionals we need to refine our SEO processes multiple times a year.

Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways.

Implementing new search engine algorithm updates, will keep your business at the top of search engine results in 2018.

Why your business should care about SEO
When potential customers are looking for your business services, 81 percent do research on search engines according to Ad Week.

Eighty-one percent of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase. Sixty percent begin by using a search engine to find the products they want, and 61 percent will read product reviews before making any purchase. On average, a consumer will visit three stores before making their purchase.

If you want to reach that audience, optimizing your website presence is important. SEO is essential in turning online traffic into potential customers for your small business.

You and I both know that there’s a lot more that goes into a good SEO than the first few keywords that come to mind.

In this blog post on SEO, you will learn six essential tips when it comes to improving SEO for your local small business in 2018.

  1. Get Discovered with Local Keywords
  2. Clean Up You Location Data
  3. Intentional Website Structure
  4. Focus on User Experience
  5. Optimized for Mobile
  6. Have Original Images

1. Get Discovered with Local Keywords

How do you find the best keywords for your small business? This is a question that clients always ask me.

They want to understand exactly how keywords work, and how they will make back their money from search engine optimization and pay per click campaigns.

One of the most fundamental steps when starting your search engine optimization campaign in 2018, is finding targeted keywords that prospects will use when finding your local business online.

If you are just starting out its important to have realistic expectations on SEO. You are not going to rank #1 for your local business in your community overnight.

  • Naples lawyer
  • Naples attorney
  • law firm in Naples

Your best focus is to target traffic in the city tied to your companies business address. Targeting competitive regions should be done after basic SEO goals have been set and achieved.

2. Clean Up You Location Data

Moz conducted a survey that listed off-site location signals as a major influence of search engine ranking.

As search engines, like Google, become more advanced they will rely on more offsite signals to determine the legitimacy of a business and local ranking of the businesses website.

What to do
Make sure your Name, Address, and Phone number is correct. Nothing kills your chances of success faster than bad contact information.

Make sure your website lists your NAP information (name, address, and phone number).

Verify on Google Maps

Unlike other aspects of Google search, Google Maps provide your company name, address, and a clickable phone number, so the 50% of Google local searches done via a smart phone can call you on the way to your store.

If you give a bum address or phone number, it severely diminishes your chances of a good ranking.

Get Reviews for your Google Maps listing. Next ask your current clients for reviews of your business.

According to a recent survey by Moz.Com, Google’s algorithm gives 9.8% of the weight of your listing to the number of steady, quality reviews of your location.

3. Intentional Website Structure

Website structure for SEO purposes of your web site should help users find the information they want in the quickest possible way, this is your main objective.

What serves users well will naturally serve search engines too.

Essential pages trustworthy websites

  • About Us – A well designed about page improves the credibility and trustworthiness of a web site.
  • Contact Page – Should serve your visitors with pertinent contact information like email, phone and business address.
  • Privacy Policy – Search engines, like Google, like it when websites have a privacy policy in place.
  • Sitemap – Help visitors easily find and access all of your website content from one page. This would be different than an XML sitemap for search engines.

URL Structure: The format of your permalinks should describe the basis of the content of each webpage. If you have WordPress, opt to enable clean permalinks vs. id post permalinks.

Cornerstone Content: Website owners use cornerstone content to answer the fundamental questions their newest prospects have.

4. Focus on User Experience

The user experience has a direct impact on your website structure and site-wide SEO. Remember the goal is to give people what they want as fast as possible.

Delays or confusion due to poor UX can increase your bounce rate and conversions.

Original Content: Original content is becoming more important than ever. The more original content that you can produce, image, video, or written content, the more users with actionable intent will be attracted to your website. People like things that they can quickly digest.

Navigation: The navigation of your website should help first time visitors access information as efficiently as possible. Group related pages like products and services together so it makes sense.

Breadcrumbs: Try using breadcrumbs to inform visitors where they are and how they can get back to where they were. Its a visual back button that also helps search engines group our related content together effectively.

Search box: If you have a large site with deep content, try having a predominant search box for visitors to use. Sometimes search boxes are not practical if your site has just a few pages.

5. Optimized for Mobile

With mobile search becoming such a dramatic part of online search, it’s absolutely crucial that you optimize your site in 2018 so that it is seen by searchers and engines.

According to Google’s book, the top three positions on a search page matter even more in mobile world since the digital shelf gets really small on mobile devices.

6. Have Original Images

So how and why should you use images in your business communications, marketing and social networks?

60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results according to this study.

Not surprising, the better the photo the more traffic it can drive to your website.

Naturally, this scares a lot of business owners. But image creation doesn’t have to be scary. This article will guide you through everything you need to know to create amazing custom images without breaking your budget or taking up all your time.

Different types of Images

A. Public Domain Images (free). The public domain refers to images that are either very old or those that the creator has released into the public space.

These images are all free and safe to use and don’t require you to link or give attribution to the creator (although you can if you want). Here are more resources for free images.

B. Creative Commons Images (free and paid). Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that provides licenses to all types of creative work, including images.

The images you find in Creative Commons are usually higher quality than public domain pictures and sometimes on par with paid images.

C. Stock Images (free and paid). Stock images are created by professionals. They are typically very high quality photos.

While public domain and CC images have their time and place, most of your images should be stock images.


A good SEO strategy will not only benefit your sites placement in search engines, but also the usability of your site.

It’s one thing to get people to your site, its another thing to monetize that traffic effectively.

If you are committed to developing good SEO practices, you will get to the top of search results in 2018. Which of these SEO tips can your website use today?

12 responses to “6 Simple Tips to Dominate Local Search”

  1. fabian wiz says:

    Thanks for the updates, really appreciate it.

  2. Jack Kelsall says:

    Thanks Charlie, great article. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who is looking to improve their rankings and map listings. As you say, I think the mobile aspect is very important now. I believe Google always favors mobile friendly sites, even on desktop search.

  3. Kenneth says:

    Hello, thanks for the write up. It has really help me grow my business very well.

  4. hipcraft says:

    The top 3 positions in SERPs tend to be more and more of the focus with, both, white hat and gray/black hat SEOs. Of course, everyone would like that #1 position as it’s the most ideal for anyone, but as you mention with ZMOT, I wonder if ‘first page of SERPs’ will actually change to ‘top 3 SERPs’ in the near future?

  5. Nathan says:

    This is a great article!
    When you mentioned having consistent NAP, What type of inconsistencies are you talking about?

  6. I have noticed search results shot up almost by 20% after getting more reviews on one of my client’s google local listing profile.

    As you rightly mentioned Google is also focussing more on user experience, Many sites with very good page speed are ranking much better than those popular sites which have bad page speed.

    Thanks for the detailed write-up. Really Helps and I am bookmarking it.

    • Charlie Rose says:

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a review! if you can, in the future, just comment under your name vs. your company name. here’s a podcast I did on page speed.

      • James Allen says:

        Sorry Charlie, my apologies. Will be sure to do in the future. Thanks for the share on the Page Speed podcast. Listening to it now. Looking forward to your newsletter too, just signed up. Thanks, James

  7. Riyaz says:

    Thanks, Charlie Rose.

    I understand now why I am behind in Google Search and what I am doing wrong.

    Now I will optimize my website, Create Google Map, Verify my business, and will focus on user experience.

  8. Raghav Verma says:

    Thanks for sharing such a relevant experience with us, this will help every SEO seeker and this helps me too. A number of the review sites, like Yelp, have also become pretty significant traffic generators because Yelp pages rank very highly in search. I did a search for Blue Bouquet, the florist in the number one position in the local search above, and their Yelp profile is in the number two position, right after their own website. (Followed closely by social profiles and industry related directories.)

  9. Jack Thomas says:

    I am glad to find it. I found this much useful information. Thanks for sharing this so interesting post! I really want to be thankful for the way you have put it here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *