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What Are Local SEO Services? [and How to Vet an Agency]

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Connor Wilkins


What are local SEO Services

Local businesses that implement local SEO services experience significant growth and success, while solidifying their presence in the competitive digital landscape.

What Are Local SEO Services?

Local SEO services are specialized strategies and tactics aimed at improving a business’s visibility in local search results. These services are designed to help local businesses connect with their target audience and outrank their competitors in the local market.

Common deliverables in a local SEO campaign include:

  • Website localization 
  • Local content creation
  • Local link building
  • Google Business Profile setup and optimization
    • Google Business Profile Posts management
    • Google Business spam fighting
  • Building local citations
  • Managing local citations
  • Reputation management 
  • Monitoring local search rankings
  • Local search audit
  • Keyword research

Why Should Businesses Invest in Local SEO Services?

Local SEO works wonders when it comes to boosting your visibility in local search results.

When you optimize your website and online listings with the right keywords, you’ll start climbing up local search engine rankings for phrases that will drive new business.

That means when potential customers in your area search for products or services you offer, they’ll find you faster. 

Know that local SEO isn’t just about being seen; it’s about hooking more local customers to reel in increased revenue.

When local customers search for what you offer, boom — there you are. That type of exposure ultimately leads to higher conversion rates, more sales, and more money in your pocket.

What About Working with a Local SEO Expert?

Collaborating with an expert agency for local SEO services amplifies the benefits businesses can expect from their investment.

By partnering with professionals who specialize in local SEO services, businesses gain access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can supercharge their online presence.

Agencies, like ours, have a deep understanding of the ever-evolving landscape of local search algorithms; necessary knowledge for crafting tailored strategies to ensure maximum visibility and engagement.

Working with the right agency can also bring invaluable insights and resources to the table, as they have access to advanced tools and technologies that can analyze market trends, competitor strategies, and consumer behavior.

But how do you vet the right agency? We’ll get into that soon enough.

Common Deliverables in a Local SEO Campaign

1. Website Localization

Website localization in Local SEO refers to the process of adapting a website to be more relevant and appealing to local audiences in specific regions or markets.

It involves incorporating local elements, such as the name of the city, county, state, or region, throughout the website’s content, metadata, and URL structure.

The goal is to increase the website’s visibility in local search results and attract organic traffic from users searching for products or services in their local area.

Here are some common tactics we deploy for our clients:

  • Adapting images, graphics, and multimedia to suit the local culture
  • Incorporating local keywords and phrases in website metadata and content
  • Including location-specific contact information and addresses
  • Integrating local maps and directions for physical store locations

2. Local Content Creation

Local content targets specific local audiences to improve relevancy and visibility in local search results.

The process involves creating relevant, informative, and engaging content that meets the needs of local searchers and aligns with their location-specific interests.

Here are some common tactics you can try:

  • Incorporate local keywords and phrases in web page titles, headings, and meta descriptions.
  • Write blog posts or articles that address local topics, events, or news.
  • Feature customer testimonials and reviews from local clients.
  • Include location-specific information such as addresses, contact details, and maps on landing pages.
  • Showcase local partnerships, sponsorships, or community involvement on your website.

3. Local Link Building

Local link building is an essential among local SEO services as it plays a vital role in improving the visibility and credibility of a business within a specific geographical area.

By acquiring relevant links from local websites, businesses can enhance their online presence, drive organic traffic, and ultimately rank higher in local search results.

One of the key reasons why local link building is crucial for local SEO is that search engines consider backlinks as a vote of confidence and trust.

When reputable local websites link to a business website, it signals to search engines that the business is reliable and authoritative within the local community.

If you’re considering working with an agency for local SEO services, be sure to gauge their knowledge on local link building, as this is a serious component to any successful campaign.

4. Google Business Profile Optimization

Google Business Profile optimization directly impacts your visibility and reputation in local search results.

When potential customers search for products or services in their area, Google Business Profiles that are well-optimized have a higher chance of appearing in the Local Pack and Maps.

This increased visibility can drive more traffic to your website and physical location, ultimately leading to more conversions and sales.

This is something you can definitely do yourself, but there’s always an advantage of having pros manage this for you. 

Here’s what a fully optimized profile looks like: 

Optimized GBP listing

5. Building Local Citations

This one is a no-brainer and one of the easier aspects of local SEO – given you use the write tactics… or software. 

All in all, building local business profiles on local and general directories will have a positive impact on your local visibility since your brand will have an increased visibility index (the chances of showing up in local searches from various sources). 

Note: if an agency claims to do this manually, rather than using a Local SEO tool, like Direction Local, then you may be in trouble. Manual citation building has lots of room for error. So, when vetting an agency, ask if they have their own citation building software to fulfill this deliverable. 

6. Managing Local Citations

This one all comes down to accuracy and consistency. For local citations to have an impact, they need to be fully optimized and accurate across the board. 

A single misspelling in your business name, address or phone number can set you back, so it’s important to be very diligent if doing this manually. 

As we mentioned above, local SEO tools like Direction Local are the best approach. Tools such as this are built with direct API connections to publishers, and are supported by a network of data aggregators, to ensure the distribution of accurate information consistently. 

7. Reputation Management

Reputation management in refers to the practice of monitoring and influencing the perception of a business’s online reputation within the local community.

It involves actively managing and responding to customer reviews, addressing feedback and concerns, and promoting positive experiences to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Honestly, if an SEO agency claims they will do all of this for you, they’re likely going to miss the mark. At best, an agency should consult on best practices for building a bullet-proof online reputation. But for the most part, these actions should be kept in-house to ensure solid quality control on customer perceptions of your business and your customer service team.

8. Keyword Research

Keyword research is a non-negotiable for launching a local SEO campaign. If the agency you’re vetting is using this as a selling point… oh, boy. 

Yeah, an agency might charge for this as part of a campaign strategy and roadmap creation (we do), but that’s the only real way to begin a campaign.

9. Local Search Audit

A local search audit is an evaluation of a business’s online presence and visibility in local search results.

It involves analyzing various factors that influence a business’s performance in local searches, such as its website, Google My Business profile, online directory listings, customer reviews, and overall online reputation.

The goal of a local search audit is to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies to enhance the business’s local SEO efforts.

Here are some key areas we focus on when running a local search audit to start a local SEO campaign:

  • Website Analysis: Assess the business’s website for local SEO elements, such as the presence of location-specific keywords, proper optimization of title tags and meta descriptions, and inclusion of relevant contact information and local landing pages.
  • Google My Business (GMB) Profile: Review the completeness and accuracy of the GMB profile, including the business name, address, phone number (NAP), hours of operation, categories, and images. Ensure that all sections are fully optimized and up to date.
  • Online Directory Listings: Check the consistency and accuracy of the business’s information across various online directories and citation sources. Inaccurate or inconsistent NAP information can negatively impact local search rankings.
  • Competitor Analysis: Compare the business’s online presence and local SEO efforts with its main competitors. Identify areas where competitors are excelling and determine how to differentiate and improve the business’s visibility in local search results.

Vetting an Agency? Look For Bundled Services and Software

All in all, when vetting an SEO agency’s local SEO services, ask them about the above deliverables. 

If they cannot clearly articulate the quantity and timeframe for each deliverable their SEO contact, then they are likely not a good fit. 

At the end of the day, when working with an agency, you want complete transparency into your campaign. If they cannot provide that then it’s best to look elsewhere.

Another thing to look out for is bundled services. This is a good thing. If an SEO agency can bundle local SEO services in conjunction with a local SEO tool then your campaign will benefit from hands-on attention and foolproof automations — all of which translate to a more effective campaign. 

If you’re interested in getting started with local SEO, get in touch with our team. We’ll provide a free consultation, covering what we outlined above, while providing some immediate guidance that you can deploy whether you choose to work with us or not.

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