You’ve tried it all but still haven’t made it to the top pages of Google? Worse, your competitor is ranking there already? The answer to your woes is finding a good, if not the best local SEO agency.
According to Statista, 52% of global internet traffic is through phones or mobiles. At least 1/3rd of these Google searches are local. Based on this data, it is clear…
Local searches are growing faster than mobile searches — at least by 50%.
There are umpteen companies offering SEO services. But you need to pick the best digital marketing agency for local SEO, which can get you tangible results.Before selecting the right company, you first need to understand…
What is local SEO?
Local SEO or Local Search Engine Optimization is also called local search marketing. It is an effective measure to market your local business online. For example, if a person sells garments online. Local SEO intent would be garments near me or garments close to me.
Research shows that businesses promote their products and services to local customers precisely when they are looking for them online.
So here’s what you can do to find local SEO services that can make a difference?
Don’t worry about the complications of SEO practices. The best digital marketing agency for local SEO is there to simplify the process for you. All you have to do is find one… And that’s easy.
For starters, you can go for a good litmus test. Ask the SEO company to explain their SEO campaign in detail. Along with expertise in SEO, they should also be creative. Ideally, there should be no SECRET formula or proprietary process here.
Creativity is the key to success!
If an agency claims to have some proprietary process— they are not the right agency for you. However, it’s your business — your brainchild, so you will have to go that extra mile to ensure you follow the best SEO practices.
How to Choose the best digital marketing agency for local SEO?
Here’s a definitive guide on choosing the best digital marketing agency for local SEO and helping your business reach new heights.
1. Check their specialization
Most agencies either have:
- Specialist focus: This means they are exclusively on local search and local SEO services.
- Generalist focus: They are focused on higher-level goals which range across multiple channels.
Pros & cons
Now, you need to first understand here that a specialist company would be very much focused on just local SEO. They may not be able to guide you on the complete marketing campaign.
So would they be right for you? Only if you have the expertise and team to manage all other parts of online marketing. You have to evaluate your budget and expertise before choosing a specialist company. On a limited budget — it’s advised that you avoid them.
Generalist local SEO services are the ones that look at the overall performance of your campaigns. Wondering how local SEO can help my business?
These companies integrate local SEO into your campaigns on social media, email, direct response, or advertising. They can also create content to enhance local SEO campaign performance.
In short — everything is taken care of. They are like the jack of all trades, which is a boon for SMEs and smaller businesses.
If you have a limited budget or lack the expertise — then they are the right pick for you.
2. What is the strategy of the best local SEO agency?
Organic SEO strategies are different from local SEO. As a digital company, you may use organic SEO techniques to appear on the top lines of search engine results pages (SERPs) for important keywords.
For instance, if you are a nail salon in Jersey City, you’d want to be one of the top organic listings for italicized keywords.
The best local SEO agency strategy would be to get you quality placement in the Google Map, which includes three listings (or what is also known as the three-pack). So here your organic keyword — a nail salon in Jersey City — should appear in the local three-pack.
The best local SEO agency should use the above along with:
- 1. Google reviews
- 2. Location pages
- 3. Google My Business optimization
- 4. Inbound link and citation strategies
- 5. On-site optimization with NAP (name, address, and phone number)
- 6. Keyword research for a specified area
- 7. Integrate online marketing efforts with local SEO
#Note: Google algorithms change. Do ask your local SEO service provider how they monitor and stay updated with the same.
Your local SEO can help your business should help you with:
- 1. Relevance
- 2. Distance
- 3. Prominence
Relevance is the proximity or closeness to which a local listing matches what visitors seek. Complete and detailed information helps Google match you up with prospects.
Google compares how close a listing is in terms of distance. In cases the location is not used, Google uses its algorithms to find the best possible one.
Your reputation precedes you in Google. Companies with more reviews, campaigns, etc. rank higher and get prominence.
3. What to expect from the best digital marketing agencies for local SEO?
They will tell you that reviews are essential. Additionally, they will suggest ways to generate more reviews. Your top three criterion for choosing local SEO services should include:
A) Do they cover NAP?
When there is a NAP (name, address and phone) of a local business on the website, that’s a local citation! Though you can find it on:
- 1. Local business directories like HubSpot
- 2. Social media platforms
- 3. Individual websites
Additionally, the best local SEO agency should help you:
- 1. Select and choose quality sites for your citations
- 2. Gradually & steadily boost the number of citations
- 3. Ensure the information provided is accurate
#Note: Wrong citations means Google trusts your business less, which reduces search volume and ranking.
B) Do they Google My Business (GMB)?
Provided by Google, GMB is a tool that helps manage business information on Google. This is a free tool, but you will need to verify your business listing. Alongside this, you also need to optimize the same strategically.
An Oxera report reveals that businesses with verified GMB listing were twice as likely to get more reputable. For example, with the right GMB, people can use Google Maps to access and get key information about your business.
SEO companies that use GMB to complement your existing website and enhance your online presence, which is critical for local SEO services, should be selected.
C) Will they manage Google reviews?
As per a 2017 study, Google reviews are the top-ranking factor in local search.
For example, your nail salon in Jersey City has 5 Google reviews. The best digital marketing agencies for local SEO will help your listing rank more highly in the local pack.
This is a checklist of what they should be doing:
- 1. Avoid excessive or over-flooding of Google reviews because it seems spammy. Let this happen over a period of time.
- 2. Focus on positive comments.
- 3. Not promote or sell on reviews
- 4. Avoid writing fake reviews
- 5. Don’t write negative things about your competitor
Now you have a basic knowledge of what you should expect from the local SEO services. But how do you find the right one?
Ask yourself these questions:
- 1. Who is your target audience
- 2. Which locations do you want to optimize
- 3. What product/services you are targeting
Here’s what you should do to find the best local SEO agency:
- 1. Search on Google and check a ranking. Don’t discard low-ranking ones yet because they may be more creative and cost-effective though they are new.
- 2. See online reviews — not just on Google but also on Facebook and other social media channels.
- 3. Ask for case studies and testimonials. The idea is to get a sneak-peek into how they have been performing.
- 4. Speak to them and get a gist of their strategies and approach to local SEO.