Your Comprehensive Guide to Local SEO for 2021

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Ron EvanDigital Marketing Specialist at Thrive Agency

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The term search engine optimization (SEO) is something that’s extremely well-known not just in the digital marketing industry but in the business sector as a whole. Yet while most people are familiar with this, they often focus on popular topic areas and undervalue the potential of local SEO.

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Considering that most transactions nowadays are handled online rather than through physical establishments due to the ongoing pandemic, many companies have used SEO to try to level the playing field when competing against other businesses. It’s especially useful for startups that are expected to compete with larger companies that barely have to do anything to overshadow new businesses.

That said, there’s no one-size-fits-all tactic when it comes to SEO solutions. Often, the best thing to do would be to consider what the company needs the most and take steps to achieve the primary goal. For example, while there are undoubtedly plenty of ways to try to gain influence on a national level, there are times when the best thing to do would be to find a niche and push toward attracting the right audience. It’s the reason why most companies are content to utilize local SEO.

In the case of SEO, there’s a difference between the general search engine and the local search engine. Local SEO is a means for companies to help focus their efforts on the users most likely to become clients and supporters. After all, there’s not much benefit from trying to push forward with general digital marketing strategy when the products and services rendered are better off marketed to a specific location. For those who are interested in finding their niche and focusing their efforts, here are just some ways to help develop an understanding of local SEO.

Different ranking factors for local SEO

To help develop a deeper understanding of local SEO solutions, it’s good to be familiar with the criteria that go toward ranking a company through the local SEO search. Such factors include the location of the online user, citations, a My Google Business listing and Google Maps ratings. It also includes the most common keywords for local search, as well as the keywords utilized by individuals when they review the products and services.

While there’s no absolute guarantee that the Google search engine algorithm makes full use of such factors, all patterns point toward the factors above mattering in the grand scheme of things. As a matter of fact, most Google searches have a high percentage of local intent, even in a year where a strictly online lifestyle for basic necessities is the norm. An understanding of the different factors can help provide company owners with an idea of how best to utilize such knowledge.

Why other search engines matter

Depending on the website used, there are quite a few ways to take advantage of another search engine when it comes to general keywords. One example is through video; local SEO tactics include companies providing videos that relate not just to the products but the location. YouTube is a great place to start for video content, as it’s a user-friendly social media platform for anyone looking to make a career out of making videos.

The best part of YouTube comes from its surprisingly helpful search bar. For those who are looking for keywords to use in local SEO, the YouTube search bar recommendations offer some of the most relevant keywords to the site. They aren’t just search terms that people might be using — they’re 100% the same keywords online users type to find the things they want. The company owner can also find relevant keywords in the title and description of some of the most popular videos. While YouTube is just one of many social media platforms out there that can help with local SEO, the fact that relevant keywords are so easy to obtain shows that working smart (and not necessarily hard) can provide results.

It also helps to make use of the best local SEO agencies, as they can point a company in the right direction. Even a startup will benefit heavily from such companies, as local SEO isn’t necessarily an expensive outlay.

How the pay-per-click (PPC) method helps local SEO

Aside from finding smart ways to get the data needed for a decent digital marketing strategy, there’s a relatively straightforward method of analytics in the form of the pay-per-click advertising method. It involves having advertisements set on other sites and paying them a small fee each time the advert is clicked. A company can take advantage of the PPC method from both sides, though there are two main advantages that come with handling the PPC advertising model.

  • It guarantees a spot in the paid rankings: Just as there’s a difference between regular and local search, there’s also a difference between paid and organic search. While the latter might be more trustworthy due to slowly and steadily climbing through the ranks, the advantage of being put in the paid rankings is the fact that the company gets instant results. It might not net as much as organic in the long run, but the second advantage seals the deal.
  • It provides relevant data as it goes: One of the most crucial reasons to make use of the PPC advertising model is the fact that it eventually provides data relevant to the current digital marketing campaign. Such data can help a business get started with another marketing strategy without necessarily relying on PPC the next time around. Not only does the PPC method offer instant results; it provides a foundation for the next strategy.

On the topic of proper content marketing

While content marketing is hardly an unusual tactic for traditional SEO, local SEO adds another spin to the reliable marketing strategy. For example, while blogs and articles relevant to the products and services are undoubtedly crucial in encouraging online users to make a purchase, they can be elevated to the next level.

The blogs and articles can also relate to local events and various other aspects specific to the location. The fact that long-form content in blogs (a thousand words and over) is gaining more and more traction is just another reason why it’s so useful to look into local SEO methods for content marketing.

The impact of reviews

While reviews are an integral part of any digital marketing strategy, they can be especially helpful for a company that relies on a physical establishment. Reliable review websites aren’t just there to showcase the efforts of a company, but to let people know where to find the establishment. Even a negative review can be seen as a boon, as a company can try to turn things around by responding to the reviewer and trying to rebuild the relationship. Even if the reviewer no longer replies, the fact that the company took the time to reply and try to fix things can speak volumes; it projects an image of reliability and an eagerness to fix any perceived issue.

Even companies that might not necessarily be used to local SEO methods will likely gain quite a lot with the help of the best local SEO agencies. It’s undoubtedly a set of best-practice methods that are well worth trying, especially for startups. There’s no need to compete with every company in the industry if the business owner can instead focus their efforts on a particular location.

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Ron Evan

Digital Marketing Specialist at Thrive Agency

https://thriveagency.com/

Ron Evan is a Digital Marketing Specialist and a writer who takes his time writing articles about traveling, psychology, and digital marketing. He learned about the digital marketing industry accidentally almost four years ago. He is currently based in Taiwan, taking up an MBA degree with a focus on Marketing. During his free time, he enjoys going to karaoke, window shopping, and watching Netflix.

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