Local SEO Guide | How To Rank Locally in 2 Months
Step 1: Buy Your Domain Name
If I were you, I would choose your domain name to be as exact match to your keywords as possible. However, this is not necessary, and not recommended if you’re going to try to make the site national at some point.
Note: EMD’s (Exact Match Domains) are not a ranking factor, it’s just easier to brand EMD’s with exact match keywords which seems to make local sites easier to rank.
Step 2: Choose Your CMS
I use Squarespace for my rank and rent sites because it’s easy to create a website in a few hours with a decent theme.
If you want to use WordPress, you definitely can.
The downfall of Squarespace is that you are limited in some regard with SEO capabilities.
Furthermore, if you’re going to eventually target national (IOW: go for other city’s other than the main county you’re targeting) I would really recommend WordPress as you’re going to hid a lot of roadblocks with Squarespace, especially in regards to Schema Markup.
Step 3: Site Creation + Keyword Mapping
Once you choose your CMS (Content Management System) you’re going to want to map out your pages and keywords for those pages.
I recommend you follow the template I created with my iPhone Repair site:
Home: iPhone Repair + City Name
About: About iPhone Repair + City Name
Contact: Contact iPhone Repair + City Name
Services: Iphone Repair + City Name Services
Blog: Blog: iPhone Repair + City Name
You can additionally add pages like Reviews, and Location with the same format.
You’re going to want to include service pages with as many related keywords as possible.
For example, you could create pages following something similar to:
- iPad Repair + City Name
- Android Repair + City Name
Just make sure that if you’re going to stay local and not going to target national at some point, use the URL path for services to match domain.com/services/name-of-service/
If you are going to go national, I would use the URL path domain.com/”city”-services/name-of-service/
For content for these pages, I actually bought a lot of content off Fiverr.
There were a ton of spelling errors in some of the free lancers work, but I quickly combed through the paragraphs and corrected the errors.
Just make sure if you are going to hire someone off Fiverr, run their work through a checker like Plagerism Checker to make sure the content is original and not appearing on other sites.
I recommend you get content for literally everything you do as a service, I even have pages up for things like iPad repair even though we don’t do it, because it helps Google understand the entire site entity as a business that does everything related to it’s main service. Even if some of the queries have under a 10 monthly search rate.
Just make sure you grab around 300 words of unique text per page. You can of course somewhat repeat yourself on these pages but whatever you do, do not copy and paste text from other pages.
Another benefit of having these extra pages is that you also get tons of more pages to pass on page link juice through internal link siloing.
If you’d like to see me rank a local site in a month with only on page link siloing check out this 2 hour video I did for one of my clients.
Step 4: Start Internal Link Silo’s
I’m skipping basic on page SEO as I assume you guys know somewhat how to optimize title tags, meta descriptions, alt tags, etc. 😛
If you need help with on page basics for Squarespace check out the 30 minute tutorial I did here.
Once your main pages are up, you will want to do your on page link building and link to the most relevant pages. In almost every scenario, I will always link back to the home page with anchor text matching, “iPhone Repair + City” or the brand name, which is the same since we are using the home page brand name as the exact match keywords. 🙂
For the other pages, I will link to the ones with the highest search rates and occasionally switch it up and link to the contact page or reviews, etc. to mix it up.
I recommend 2-3 internal links per 1,000 words and 1-2 external links to relevant sites per page.
Here’s a 7 minute tutorial I did on link silo’s if you need help.
Step 5: Schema Up Your Site
Unfortunately, with Squarespace, there isn’t much you can do here except fill out your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) and hours in the business info tab.
Note: Regardless of Schema you’re going to want to list your NAP on every page of your site, preferably in the footer. (I just looked and saw that I’m actually not doing this one the iPhone repair site, so that’s something I need to fix).
Step 6: Setup Analytics, Search Console, Conversion Tracking, and Rank Tracking
I’m going to skip setting up Analytics and Search console, as I’m assuming most of you know how to do this.
For conversion tracking, you’re going to want to track online and offline conversions to measure ROI and see where your leads are coming from.
Once this is done, you’re going to want to track your keywords.
Unfortunately, I don’t use any free tools for this. I use SEOProfiler but you can use anything you like, like AHREF’s, SEMRush, etc.
If you’d like to my tutorial on SEOprofiler rank tracking you can go here.
Step 7: Setup GMB (Google My Business) and Optimize
This step is arguably one of the most important steps.
Seeing how one of your main source of leads is going to come from the map listings.
In order to setup your GMB correctly, do the following:
- Choose the category: electronic repairs shop.
- Take tons of pictures (around 30 if you can) of your location, your “services” IOW: broken iPhone’s being worked on, etc., and your “team.”
- Before uploading the images change the file names to match what the pictures of, IOW: broken-iphone-6-repaired.jpeg
- Start generating reviews and respond to them (we’ll get to this soon)
Step 8: Build Citations and Get Listed On Main Local Indexing Platforms
This step is pretty easy. All you have to do is:
- Order about $60 worth of citations from http://www.citationbuilderpro.com/
- Plug your GMB listing into Moz Local and buy the $80 subscription to get your listings distributed. Alternatively, you can do this yourself, however, it does take some time to get them all setup.
Step 9: Setup Review Generation Strategy
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. It is my belief that reviews account for about 20% of Google’s local map algorithm, if not more.
That being said, it’s extremely important that you drive tons of reviews to your business, especially in high competition areas.
I have a few ways of doing this which may or may not be completely white hat, however I have been using these strategies for years with problem.
There are of course more ways then the two I will list, but these are my go to methods.
Strategy 1: Ask Friends For Reviews Off Facebook.
Generally, I will message around 10-20 people a day and ask them to leave me a review for my new business and then drop a link with a tool called Pleper.
All you have to do is head over to their review generation tool, plug in your business name and it will give you a link to the auto five star popup.
If you can’t find your address because you just made it, you will have to take the link of your Google map listing and manually plug it in.
The reason why you will want to use Pleper is that it takes them to an auto five star pop up to leave a review for you business.
This method alone has generated close to 70 reviews for one of my clients in under a few months.
Strategy 2: Generate Reviews Off Facebook Group Members
This method I use personally and have generated over 140 five star reviews from said technique.
All you have to do is funnel any of your viewers to a Facebook group around what you do.
So if you want to do this with iPhone repair, you could start doing iPhone repair tutorials and tell your fans about your exclusive iPhone repair group for tips around making money with iPhone repair.
You then message the group members (filter by date member was added so you don’t keep asking the same people) and ask them for a review on the stuff you teach.
You won’t technically be getting reviews for your iPhone repair services, but you will get reviews for what you teach.
Who knows, you could even eventually start selling paid iPhone repair tutorials to your group members. The sky is the limit.
If you’d like to see a video of how to get reviews from Facebook group members, check out this video I did here.
You can of course use email lists, phone numbers, etc. to message people for reviews, but you’re potentially going to be doing the same thing.
Lastly, make sure you respond to your reviews. I’ve heard that you don’t get the true ranking benefit of reviews until you respond to them.
Step 10: Start Competitive Local Link Building
The reason why you’ll want to target hyper local links is that the more relevant the links are to your area or niche, the higher ranking benefit you get from them.
If you’d like to see a video I did on how to do this check it out here.
Step 11: Start Pushing Social Signals
Setup daily automated social shares with a $10 Buffer subscription.
If you have no ideas for content, you can simply share each of your reviews daily with a link back to your site or reviews page.
You don’t have to share on every platform but I recommend at least Google+, Facebook business page, and Twitter.
Step 12: Watch My Free 7 Part Video Series For Local
There are tons of smaller yet extremely useful techniques that I did not list in this article.
Said techniques will help you rank higher and drive more conversions like using video to reduce bounce rates and increase on page dwell time, leveraging testimonials before CTA’s (Call to Action’s) to improve conversion rates, and much more, but these are essentially the basics.
If you’d like to see more specifically what to do for these techniques, here is my entire playlist on local SEO for 2018.
Note: Assuming you’re not in an extremely competitive city, and you still aren’t ranking on the first page within a few months, let me know, this should be enough to get you some pretty sick rankings.