What Is Local SEO? Your 2020 Guide


Do you want to get local customers to walk into your store? Are you after a wider spread of customers from your location and surrounding areas? Do you want to improve your reputation within the city limits? 

If so, you have to optimize your Local SEO. 

This guide tells you how. 

Let’s Get To It – What is Local SEO? 

While standard SEO is the focus of optimizing a website for specific keywords in an industry or region, Local SEO is the practice of optimization for local searches only. Standard examples include “lawyer in X,” “doctors in Calgary,” “plumbers in Nose Hill,” “Edmonton SEO” and so forth. 

It also works the same way “normal” search does: you type in the keyword and get the search results. But what makes Local SEO unique is that it looks at local ranking factors, including “where” the person is searching from, online reviews and Google Maps. 

As such, the strategies are slightly different, with keywords being localized, the building of NAP citations and maximizing Google My Business. 

But before we get to that, maybe it’s important to know why Local SEO is so essential in 2020.

Why Is Local SEO So Important? 

The stats prove it all: 

  • As many as 46% of all Google searches are local, according to HubSpot. 
  • Wordstream says that “72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location”.
  • Bright Local says that “61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site”.
  •  “Where to buy” + “near me” mobile queries have grown by over 200% in the past two years, states the Think With Google 2019 Research Review. 

But why have these numbers increased over time? Simple: the use of mobile phones and tablets. 

With the power to search anywhere, users can now seek particular products and services around their current location. Since travel is an essential factor, finding services close by is necessary for day-to-day life. It’s why Local SEO is so powerful. 

In saying that, specific industries and businesses tend to thrive with Local SEO more than others. We’re talking about restaurants, doctors, plumbing and electrical services, household services and retail outlets. These are “on-the-spot” and go needs where you can get instant service right then and there. 


What Are The Benefits of Local SEO? 

If you are thinking about why you should invest in Local SEO, then these benefits can convince you: 

  • Builds better brand awareness and online visibility in local areas.
  • Greater local visibility means more foot traffic, more service customers and more sales.
  • An optimized Local SEO strategy also means more targeted traffic to your website and store. You’ll find more interested customers than usual. 
  • Having a strong local presence in your area will build trust and enhance your online and in-store reputation.
  • Local SEO is a long-term, cost-effective strategy compared to PPC ads and other forms of advertising. 
  • Like all Calgary SEO, it can be achieved without spending thousands of dollars. 

Now that you know the benefits of investing in Local SEO, now it is time to learn how to improve it – straight from the mouth of the best SEO companies in Calgary. 

How To Improve Your Local SEO 

1. Optimize Google My Business.

Google My Business is the cream of the crop for Google. It provides vital information to both your customers and Google. More so, it is the starting point for your Local SEO strategy. 

Create a profile and ensure that all the information provided is accurate and relevant. You need to be as detailed as possible, so Google knows you’re a legitimate business. Include opening hours, address, location and so forth. This all helps with your NAP (name, address, and phone number) citations throughout the web. 

Ensure that your bio includes relevant local keywords and that all posts you make from it include similar long-tail keywords. This will help build authority for your GMB profile and your website at the same time. 

2. Make GMB Posts Part of your Social Media Marketing 

Like posting on Facebook and Twitter boosts your SEO, you should include posting on your Google My Business as part of your social media marketing strategy. 

Google considers content shared on social media more important now than ever before, and seeing it happen from their own platform is bound to boost your authority. Share the exact posts as you would on social media and respond to customers’ interactions and reviews. 

3. Build Local Citations & Directories

Local directories and industrial niche sites can help you narrow build links back to your website and spread your Local SEO. Sites such as Tripadvisor, Bright Local, Yelp, the Better Business Bureau, and more can make a real difference to your online reputation. 

Just a few pointers:

  • The consistency of NAP information is key. Everything must be exactly like your GMB profile. You’ve got to make it easy for people and search engines to find you.  
  • Be as professional as possible, and avoid discrepancies at all costs. 
  • Remove any duplicate listings you find as it might damage your online reputation and perceive you as falsely link building.
Calgary SEO

4. Add Location Pages To Your Website 

If you are serving Greater Calgary, then creating pages with targeted locations can help you narrow your audience within that local area. 

For example, take a look at SEO Calgary and SEO Edmonton. 

Both offer the same service, but the content is entirely different and is optimized for SEO within their key cities. 

Make sure that each location page has your name, address, phone number, store hours, unique store descriptions, and any special information regarding the store. It is also essential to avoid duplicate content across these location pages. 

5. Optimize URL, Title Tags, Headers, Metas, and Content

A standard SEO tactic but one that must work with Local SEO.

Make sure you optimize your website (or specific pages on your website) with high-volume local keywords in the URL, title, header, meta description, and body.

6. Create Local Content For Link Building 

Link building remains one of the most important factors for SEO. And we’ve already mentioned the benefits of content marketing before. 

So make a two in one. 

Create engaging localized content to attract a local audience, and build a strong authority as a leading provider of information and value. Create local industry gatherings, news, employees, and other educational content and then find a site to post it on. 

Guest blogs and sites are valuable inbound links that are incredibly powerful opportunities to boost your local SEO. Every inbound link tells Google you’re a legitimate company and will raise your domain authority.

Find story websites, such as Forbes or UpCity, where you know you can boost localized information and send it back to your own website. You can also look at niche sites and industry affiliations. 

Contact GrowME if you’re in need of advice, digital marketing help, or for your next marketing campaign!  For more information, send an email or give us a call! Local: (403) 5-GrowME | Toll Free: 1 (855) 547-6963 | [email protected]

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