Is it possible to dominate local search? Absolutely.
And landing on page 1 of Google for relevant keywords can significantly boost conversions.
In this article, we’ll share what you must do to dominate local search.
But first, let’s see what dominating search results looks like.
What Does Dominating Local Search Look Like?
For our example, we did a Chrome Incognito search for “boston krav maga” and “krav maga boston.”
Krav Maga Yashir Boston, a small business offering training in the popular Israeli self-defense sport, dominates the page.
On the left, we see organic search results, with the first 6 links belonging to this small business. And on the right, we see their Google Business Profile, which provides 6 more links.
Almost all the above-the-fold space is taken up with a dozen links to this business.
Scroll down a bit, and on the right side, you’ll see 7 more links to Krav Maga Yashir Boston.
Then scroll past page 1, and there are 14 additional links to or about the business.
So, how can you get results like this?
While Google doesn’t guarantee high rankings, and search results change over time, it is possible to stack the deck in your favor.
How to Dominate Local Search
Most of the actions required to dominate local search aren’t complicated. Some require a modest discipline, such as spending 15 minutes a month on them.
And yet, many businesses lack the knowledge or the commitment to take action.
And that provides an opportunity for you.
1. Get a Website, Don’t Rely on Facebook Alone
Do you need a website? Can you just use Facebook?
Most small businesses will benefit from having a website. In the Krav Maga example, none of the links above the fold were from Facebook.
As you’ll soon see, a website provides many ways to attract traffic and capture leads.
But even if you don’t currently have a website, you should immediately proceed to Step 2.
2. Create a Google Business Profile and Optimize it
In our example above, we saw how Krav Maga Yashir Boston has a prominent search display on the right of Google Search results.
This is because they set up and optimized their Google Business Profile.
It’s free to set up a profile. And the instructions are simple.
Going one step further than your competitors by ensuring your Google Business Profile is complete and updated will help you dominate local search.
It takes as little as 15 minutes a month to update your profile with an announcement, a casual photo, or a reply to a review.
Google Business Profile was formerly called Google My Business, or GMB for short.
3. SEO: The Checklist Approach
Checklists are effective tools for getting accurate, consistent results. That’s why they’re widely used. Even surgeons and air pilots use them.
You can use them for SEO too.
This is where a WordPress plugin like All in One SEO (AIOSEO) comes in.
The plugin will also show you exactly how to improve your SEO.
The All in One SEO (AIOSEO) plugin appears as a sidebar on the right in the WordPress editor.
Clicking on any sidebar item, like Basic SEO or Readability, opens specific recommendations.
You’ll see what you’re doing well. And what could be improved.
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is designed to be easy for beginners. Yet small businesses, marketing managers, and agencies also use it to drive consistent results.
We use it to optimize all of our content before publishing. It takes us about 5-10 minutes to do this.
As we take action on the recommendations, our SEO score goes up.
Do the following to get the most out of AIOSEO for your small business.
- Set up local SEO for a single location or multiple locations.
- Do an SEO Analysis of your homepage.
- Turn your pages into rich snippets to get more click-throughs.
From Drab to Fab: Get Some Rich Snippets
About that last point: rich snippets are a big deal. You can think of them as super-deluxe search engine displays.
To see the difference, here’s a standard search snippet.
And here’s a rich snippet.
With All in One SEO, you can transform your pages into rich snippets by using our powerful Schema Generator.
And you can apply different types of schema markup to create different types of rich snippets.
These types include products, recipes, events, books, courses, and so on.
Making All in One SEO a regular part of your publishing workflow can help you dominate local search rankings.
4. Business Listings: How to Get Them Fast
Websites like Yelp, YellowPages.com, and Thumbtack.com publish listings of local businesses sorted by category. They also typically feature reviews.
These sites often rank high in searches for local services and places. So, getting listed on these platforms is a way to attract more traffic.
The easiest way to get business listings is to use a low-cost service like BrightLocal.com. All you need to do is create an account and fill in a form.
Follow our step-by-step instructions.
You probably guessed that Google Business Profile counts as a business listing, and so do your social media pages.
Aim for roughly 25 other business listings, and keep your business contact information accurate across the web.
Business listings are also called local listings, business directory listings, or local SEO citations. The latter term can include getting mentions in local media.
5. Keyword Research
Going back to our example of Krav Maga Yashir Boston. They use 2 domains and 2 identical websites, although this is 1 business with a single location.
- bostonkravmaga.com (Name: Krav Maga Yashir Boston)
- Kravmagawoburn.com (Name: Krav Maga Yashir Woburn)
Not surprisingly, a search for “krav maga woburn” has this business showing up in:
- #2 slot in the Local Pack
- #1 and #3 slot in organic results
- #4 slot (Yelp)
- #6 slot (Patch.com)
- #7 slot (Mapquest)
- #8 slot (Woburn Chamber of Commerce)
- #9 slot (KravMagaBlog.com)
Total domination of page 1 of search results, again.
Did you notice that 3 of these results are from business listings?
More importantly, the business targets keywords likely to be used in queries for local Krav Maga classes. Then, they created content (and listings) to fit those keywords.
If you’re new to keyword research, don’t fret.
- Read our SEO Secrets.
- Find keywords that are easy to rank for.
- Check out this beginner’s guide.
- Then dive into this Ahrefs guide.
Q&A on How to Dominate Local Search
We’ve provided some Q&A below to assist you in improving your online presence, reaching new customers, and increasing market share.
If you have questions of your own, please leave those in the comments section below this article.
We’d be delighted to assist in your quest to dominate local search results.
What is the difference between organic search and local search?
The difference between organic and local search is that the latter considers the user’s local area, which may be inferred from several sources, including IP address. Inferring location helps search engines deliver relevant results. For example, if someone in Lahore, Pakistan, searches for “pizza delivery” or “dry cleaner,” Google will assume they want a local option, not results from New York City or Tokyo. Also, observe that some search terms (e.g., “krav maga boston”) imply the searcher wants local options.
Chrome users can share their location with Google to receive results for events, services, or businesses in or near their zip code.
Note that organic search refers to all search engine results that don’t include paid ads.
What is an example of a local search query?
Examples of local search queries are “thai food near me,” “taxi,” and “24-hour plumber.” Local search queries contain explicit or implicit information indicating the user wants results in their local area.
Will negative reviews on Google impact my SEO?
All businesses get negative and positive reviews on Google. You shouldn’t be too concerned about the negative reviews though. Google points out: “Customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy.”
How can I boost my business’s online reputation?
To optimize your business’s online reputation, follow the instructions in this article. Creating a Google Business Profile, getting business directory listings and customer reviews all play a part. Optimizing your site for SEO is crucial too.
Also consider setting up 1 or more social media pages. Sometimes local customers are reassured when they see a business has a presence on other platforms. Getting involved in local events can also raise your visibility.
Do I need to submit a sitemap to Bing or just to Google?
Local SEO Resources
The following resources will help you plan high-quality content and improve local SEO.
These articles cover aspects of local marketing including local directories, online reviews, online reputation, and algorithms.
- How to Use a Google Business Profile to Boost Local SEO
- What is NAP in SEO? (Plus: Business Directory Listings Tips)
- How to Get Local SEO Citations and Business Directory Listings
- What are Google Local Services Ads for Small Business?
- What is the Google Guaranteed Badge for Local Businesses?
- Local SEO Tips: A Complete Checklist
- How to Add Local Business Schema in WordPress
- Local Business SEO for a Single Location
- Local Business SEO for Multiple Locations
- Setting up Google Maps for Local SEO
- How to Add Rich Snippets the Easy Way
- How to Add Product Review Schema in WordPress
- How to Add Shipping Information to Google Search Snippets
- Small Business SEO Scams: How to Detect and Avoid Them
- Referring Domains vs Backlinks: What’s the Difference (Plus: SEO Impact)
- 7 Benefits of SEO for Small Business Owners
- 35 Ways to Get Leads Fast
- What Are SERPs in SEO?
- 29 Link Building Statistics to Help Power Your SEO Strategy
- Best SEO Tools for Small Business
Now that you’ve learned how to dominate local search, what’s next?
Learn how to manage customer reviews for SEO. Get clear on the different roles that SEO and social media play in digital marketing. And discover the importance of keeping your business information, including your phone number, consistent across the web.