Local SEO Guide

Local SEO Guide

SEO

Local SEO Guide

What is Local SEO and NAP?

Local SEO can be a confusing term for those who don’t understand the way search engine optimization works. The confusion stems from the term itself, “local SEO” and what it seems to imply. Local SEO has nothing to do with the location of the SEO company you work with; rather, it has to do with the digital marketing strategy used for your business. A business that serves one or more areas, would want to be found on top for each area they serve in.

Local SEO is a digital marketing strategy that includes improving website content in order to increase search engine visibility. Local SEO is about following a set of procedures in order to achieve good search engine rankings for each area your business has a location. It goes beyond regular SEO maintenance because the focus is on building search presence for the particular area the business is located.

A company in Portsmouth, NH, that only serves northern Massachusetts and the Seacoast region of New Hampshire has no reason to rank high in Seattle, Washington. Thus, their goal would be to focus on doing the things that would help them rank well on search engines in the regions they have an actual presence. However, a business with headquarters in Portland, Maine, but has no actual retail presence in that state, might instead be focused on improving the SEO for their locations throughout the rest of the country.

No matter when your digital marketing agency resides, the important thing to ask is whether or not they know what they are doing to help you improve your search engine presence? Being local to your business has no bearing on the quality of the work they will perform. Instead, do they have numbers to demonstrate success with other companies? Do they work with your competitors? Do they understand the procedures necessary to improve search engine ranking through white hat SEO techniques?

These questions are just the beginning! The most important thing to understand regarding SEO, whether you are doing it yourself, or whether you are hiring a local SEO agency, is that steady wins the race. Many SEO companies use tactics or “tricks of the trade” which produce short term gains, and long term failure. Ultimately, Google, Bing, and other search engines will catch on to their scams. What happens in these cases is that it hurts you, more than them. They can adjust their procedures (often creating new tricks), but meanwhile, you suffer through a Google Penalty, and let me tell you this… nobody wants their website penalized.

Penalties occur when rules are circumvented in order to produce unnatural results. White hat SEO, as it is often referred to as, is about producing natural results by doing the things that help improve a users search engine experience, rather than take away from it. For example, have you ever searched for something and ended up visiting a page which was completely irrelevant to what you were looking for, and instead had a bunch of keywords and links, rather than real content? Those are unnatural results achieved by black hat tricksters. It irritates users, and thus, irritates search engines since they want to improve the experience for their users.

By improving your website content and following the rules, you will not only achieve good results, whether you hire an SEO company or do it yourself, but you will actually help improve the internet. Of course, it’s not all selfless; everyone wants to get paid, and your motives are likely no different than anyone else's. So, when it comes to local SEO, you need to understand these basics, and get it done right. Here are a few steps to improve your local SEO yourself. Even if you hire a company like ours, you should understand these techniques to ensure your business is getting what it pays for.

The core procedures you should know are the fundamentals of local SEO, and the value of local SEO and NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone. It’s about consistency, but we’ll get to that later...

One of the fundamentals about local SEO is ensuring that your local business (or multiple business locations) are each represented on search engines and your website. This ensures that customers can find you when using Google Maps or other mapping programs, and strengthens your brand in those areas. If you move locations, it’s just as important to make those changes on the web, as it would be to change your address online. So, make sure your business location is listed on your website, and add this location on Google My Business, Bing, and other search engines and directories to ensure it is easily found.

Another important aspect, which we mentioned earlier is NAP. The reason that Name, Address, and Phone numbers are so important, is that consistency helps ensure your business branding and location are consistent; thus, improving how it appears to consumers, making it easy for search engines to qualify your business, and improving your overall presence. Your business name and address should remain consistent, and your phone number should be tied to each location. This sounds simple enough, but do a search for your business and notice how many variations there are. Part of the process is making sure there are little to no variations so that your business is easily found.

Lastly, local SEO involves good ol fashioned copy editing. Grammar, spelling, and sentence structure all has an impact on the quality of your content, and how it is indexed by search engines. Depending on how much time you have, and how busy your business is, many small businesses can do this themselves. It all depends if you can commit several hours per week, consistently. As long as you do that, or hire professionals to do it for you, you can achieve the results you want. Just remember, even if you are not doing it, doesn’t mean your competitors are not. At this point, everyone wants to be on top, and if you want your business to grow, you need to take local SEO seriously… You won’t regret it.

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01. About Us

Make it Active, LLC is a full service Marketing Agency located in Dover, NH, just minutes from Portsmouth.

We offer complete marketing solutions, including SEO, Website Design, Marketing, as well as graphic design and printing.

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03. Latest News

  • 17
    Oct
    2019
    National Veteran Small Business Week Marketing Workshop
    Make it Active, LLC welcomes all veterans for National Veterans Small Business Week on Tuesday, November 5th at Noon. We will be providing information to veteran-owned businesses about reaching customers on Google. We will be providing free info about search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing to all veterans in attendance to help give you the tools needed to grow
  • 04
    Oct
    2019
    Grow With Google & Make it Active 2019 Holiday Workshop
    Join Make it Active, LLC as we partner with Google and Constant Contact for our annual holiday marketing livestream in Dover, NH! Start off the 2019 holiday season right, and get your business ready! Event is on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019. We will have tips, tricks, and popcorn to bring in the holiday season.
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