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Local SEO

Local Rankings for Your Local Company

 

screaming-beagle-localSo what exactly IS “local seo” all about?  It is sort of self-explanatory, but there are differences in what some companies want/need than others.  Local search optimization focuses completely on getting your website found for either your service or your product and usually a geolocation identifier. This could be something like “on-site SEO Raleigh”, “blue widgets in Raleigh Triangle”, or “computer repair Clayton” – anything that contains a service/product and a location is usually going to be included in local SEO.

If your company is what is referred to as a “brick and mortar” business, you thrive on walk-in customers, and you rely on residents or consumers within a certain radius for business, you are almost certainly looking for local SEO.  while there are exceptions to this rule, most service companies fall into this category. When customers come to your business, you will be focusing on local rankings.

National Players

home lostA lot of websites focus on a national or even international audience. These types of websites/companies can sell their product anywhere. They are either providing information, online sales platforms or something along those lines which allow them to benefit from positions ranking worldwide. In the case of your local business, it doesn’t make good sense to target an audience in Los Angeles for a plumbing repair company in Raleigh. While you may get traffic to your website, the odds of someone from Los Angeles searching for, or truly needing, a Raleigh plumber will be somewhat limited.

Targeting Local Searches

For that reason, local SEO has slightly different parameters – and methods.   Because we are targeting people in a specific geographic area, generally that means that we are not competing against the rest of the nation, or world for that matter, to get to that top spot. We just have to have a better/stronger website than other websites competing in this geographic area.  most of the time, that makes it considerably easier to get to the top of the heap.

If you’re competing for one of the major cities in the RTP Triangle – such as Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or Cary even – getting to the top will be more difficult than fighting over a smaller location such as Garner, Clayton, Knightdale, or one of the other outlying city/town areas. Success in one of the major cities will require more links, more time, and overall, more effort. As such, it will usually be more expensive to achieve top rankings in those areas.

Local Ranking Strategies

One approach that we often suggest is to knock off the smaller towns one by one first. This will allow your company to build up a base of solid page one rankings, thus getting the phone to ring, making you more money, and working towards achieving top rankings in the bigger cities. Look at it as going after a series of smaller wins in preparation for the larger wins later. Some niches can actually be dominated, even in the larger cities, fairly quickly, it just really depends on what your business is, current domain strength, and current competition.

National Sites in Local Markets

PR 057- SI - 06_11_12 ROW-166One thing that does crop up, that can occasionally make it more difficult to achieve a top spot, is the presence of numerous service directories. These can include sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, Home Advisor, Service Advisor, YellowPages, etc. We are sure you have seen many of them in your searches. While we personally feel that most people would rather connect with a single local company in each listing, and not be provided a link to yet another group of links, that is the way it is currently.

Specific Local Listings

Google is forever working with the way in which they present local listings. In the past, these listings have been referred to as a 3-pack, a 4-pack, and most often, a 7-pack. At the end of August 2015, Google shifted towards a new format. This format has been affectionately dubbed, the snack pack, and appears to be the direction in which local listings will be presented going forward. This snack pack is comprised of only three listings. Obviously if your company is one of those three and appears on the top of that page, that is wonderful news for you. We also feel it’s good news for all other organic listings on the page. Why? With as many as seven local listings, and as many as 10 to 15 organic listings on a front page, there was a lot of competition for your click.

With the new snack pack, there still be no lack of competition, but the overall format will be somewhat more predictable. There are 10 organic listings three place/local listings, three paid advertisements at the top, as well as a sidebar that will contain any where from a few to 8 paid ads.  with the snack pack, focus will be on becoming one of the three local listings.

Do Onsite SEO and Offsite SEO still apply? AND Social media?

Yes, yes and yes – ALL of the factors come into play with local search optimization like they do with any national or worldwide search engine marketing campaign. the snack pack includes a few extra factors that are taken into consideration when determining which companies will appear there. We’ve seen very few cases where sites that are truly pathetic in organic rankings do well and appear in the local packs.  most often, the sites that appear in the local snack pack will also be placing on the front page. Usually they will be high on the front page.

Overall site strength, inbound links, social media references, good site structure – they all still apply.

Not sure how to get your company listed in the snack pack? Let Lizardwebs guide you through this with a minimum of fuss.  Do you think YOUR company might be a good match with the Lizardwebs and work together nicely?  Get started by filling out our Client Discovery form to get us a little information about your company, your goals and what you currently have in place.