Top Ten Strategies for Local Rankings

Top Ten Strategies for Local Rankings

Top Local SEO Strategies for Local Businesses

This is a comprehensive list of the top ten items of completion for a local business to rank #1 in the search engines.  Now that you have gained a fundamental knowledge of what Internet Marketing is for you and what it means for your business, this list can follow as your action plan.

1.   Profiles

Establishing your profiles’ authority is critical. Follow Google’s Best Practices Guide, which can be found by googling “Google Best Practice Guide”.

You will need to claim your listings, as chances are your business is already listed.  While there’s a long list of places to profile your business, you really need to claim at least Google, Bing, Yahoo and Superpages before moving onto the next step.

Follow the bullet points below to create profiles that have authority.

  • Verify and Claim your Listings at Moz Local
    • Claim at least Google, Bing, Yahoo and Superpages
  • Complete all info thoroughly, including clear, long, excellent description (Basic and Enhanced Information)
  • Establish NAP format
  • Use email matching domain to register account 
  • Establish photo shoots with Google when possible.  Always upload at least 5 pictures or more.
  • Use images and video, (walk-through, testimonials) as much as possible!
  • Establish Service area 
  • Utilize QR Codes when possible 
  • Real Address, No UPS or PO Boxes 
  • Consider implications of Walk-in versus Service Based 

Stay Away from: 

  • Violating Google’s Terms and Conditions
  • Using 800 Numbers 
  • Using Phone Number Tracking 
  • P.O. / UPS Boxes 
  • Multiple Place Pages / location 
  • Duplicate Phone on Multiple Place Pages

2.   Reviews

Implement a Review Acquisition System.  We do this for all of our clients.

As previously discussed, it’s a violation to solicit reviews. Our Review Acquisition System does not solicit reviews, we simply implement the systems and procedures in the business to have a lending hear for quality compliments.  In turn, we make it simple to digitally capture that compliment, making it a review. 

For a copy of the LMS Review Acquisition Strategy we implement with our clients, follow this URL

  • Professional Service offices should create a ‘Thank You’ post card when a thank you mentioned in the office, including instructions to leave a review on Zagat. 
  • Properly train employees to have a lending ear for positive feedback from customers, patients and clients.  
  • Encourage positive customers to leave a review online.  
  • Use the hReview HTML Rich Snippet Markup on Website for reviews.
    • Link Reviewers’ name to their online social profile, preferably LinkedIn.
  • Do not solicit reviews.  Only ask to leave a digital review if a verbal unsolicited testimonial is provided.

3.   Social Media

Create and participate in social media channels

  1. Create a Business Page or Fan Page
    1. Facebook
    1. Twitter
    1. LinkedIn
    1. Follow Best Practices
      1. Photos
      1. Descriptions
      1. Links
      1. Product / Services
      1. SEO Optimization
    1. Engage with Audience
      1. Add value
      1. Use LinkedIn for B2B Sales
      1. Online Reputation Management Strategy

4.   Citations

Citations are web references.  Consider your business, your industry, your locality.  There are a variety of websites that participate in those communities.  Where have you frequenting public locations for new business?  Such as the Chamber of Commerce. You can have citation on many types of sites, but your BEST citation if your own website.

Make sure you follow consistent formatting for your NAP.

Acquire citations from as many of the following sources.

Public Sources 

  • Annual Reports, SEC Information 
  • Federal, State and City Gov’ts 
  • Business Magazines 
  • Newspapers 
  • Postal Service Information 

Data Providers & Review Sites

  • Superpages 
  • infoUSA 
  • Theme Sites 
  • Yelp 
  • Citysearch 
  • InsiderPages 
  • Google 
  • Yahoo Local 
  • Angie’s List 
  • Judy’s Book 

Outside the Box

  • ATM or Kiosk at your location?  List in directories
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Free Wifi Directories (if you have wifi in your office)
  • RedBox Directory
  • Sponsorships / Charity Events
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Host a Weather Station

5.   Video

Local Businesses can create and distribute at least four types of video.  Video is very easy to create, even with an iPhone.  Here are four simple types of video that can be created for most business types.

  1. Office / Warehouse Walkthrough
    1. Testimonial Video
    1. Operational (for product / service)
    1. Commercial (advertisement for product / service)
  • Distribution to YouTube is critical.  Optimize video title and description.  Clear concise title that is keyword rich.  Include link in description.
  • Promote through Social Channels once distributed and optimized.

6.   Local PR

Create and distribute an effective press release. Hire a local writer from the local news paper.  Distribute the local press release to at least ten local publications, including:

  • Local Newspaper
  • Regional Newspaper
  • Local FREE Publications (pick one up a Chiropractor’s office)
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Local College – Approach business admin

Try to have at least one new press release that is news worthy for your business once every quarter.

7.   Website On-The-Page SEO

This is only a partial list of the factors and represents the most important items to complete on your website.  You can give these instructions to your web developer. Remember, this really only helps the search engines fully understand what your website is all about and giving it credibility.  This will not improve conversion on your website.

  1. Validate your HTML code so it is “spider” compliant.
    1. Text link navigation at the bottom of the page.  Use your keywords as anchor text.
    1. The Title Tag should be compelling and keyword focused.
    1. Your description tag needs to work hand-in-hand with the Title to get the searcher to “click” on the listing.
    1. Every page should have a unique (60% of the words completely original) Title & Description.
    1. H1 tag should be used and should be very compelling
    1. Add ALT tags to your main graphics and do not attempt to fool the Search Engines here.
    1. Place your keyword phrase in the following areas:
      1. Title Tag
      1. Meta Description
      1. H1 tag to begin the content
      1. First paragraph of content
      1. Appearing in Bold or Italic in the first three paragraphs of content (if possible, not that big of a deal)
      1. Appearing in the filename (or directory name)
      1. Used in anchor text to either an internal page or relevant external site.
    1. Fix bad links and create XML Sitemap and submit to Google.

8.   Company Blog

This is a critical piece for any Internet Marketing Strategy for a business.  Almost every piece of marketing communication can be hosted on a blog including all types of media.  Try to get a new blog post once a week.  Here are some tips on for your blog.

  • Use WordPress Self Hosted.  It’s free, hosting is cheap.
  • Use SEO Plugins (Yoast is my favorite)
  • Blog Weekly
  • Internal Links to your Website on blog posts
  • Opt-in Conversion Optimization (Welcome Gate / PopUp / Scipt).  Consider an email auto responder once they opt-in.
  • Create compelling content prospects can relate to

9.   External Links

Link Building is critical for Organic SEO Rankings in the SERPs.  Find sources to link to the following pages, including your root domain.  Remember, links are not citations.  You can have a link from another blog to your website, or an industry forum.  There is a lengthy strategy behind links, but for the purpose of ranking a business, building links is your last major activity you should be working on.  If everything else is done properly, links will come organically…which is essence is ironic since links are the premise for original organic ranking.

Location Based Pages 

  • Local newspaper (PR Campaigns) 
  • Chamber or Networking Groups 
  • J.V’s 
  • Local Directories / Phonebooks 

Theme Related Pages 

  • Directories / Data Providers 
  • Social Networking Groups and Sites 
  • High Authority Exposure

10.        Systems for Measurement and Correction

Create the systems for measurement in your business, and measure at least the following items for your online marketing campaign.

Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy said “Everything that is measured, improves”.

Here are some resources and tips on what to measure.

  1. Claimed Listings (you can use or download this worksheet we use at
  2. Keyword Rankings (We use a company called Bright Local to automate our rankings)
  3. KW Strategy (evaluate your KW strategy regularly and post list to review regularly)
  4. Competitive Research 

Citation Acquisition Strategy (we use the following worksheet as a basis to monitor our citation strategy )

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