Note: Following is an edited transcript of this video, featuring Josh Eberly, Conklin Media’s chief operating officer and SEO wizard.

I’m going to highlight a tactical skill called local SEO that you can apply to your business. Local SEO is super important if you’re in a service-based industry or want to attract customers to your business via the internet.

I hope this local SEO guide helps you understand the term “local SEO” better and gives you an idea of the local SEO tools you’ll need.

Let’s get started!

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO (local search engine optimization) is basically Google’s attempt to show relevant search queries for certain services to users based on location. For example, if you were to search “awning dealers near me” on Google, you will see a list of awning dealers show up. This is called a local map pack.

Google Maps has an integration that will show you which services they think are nearest to you. You will have the option to click on these services, go to their websites or get directions. The map pack is normally above the organic rankings on the page.

How Local SEO Works

Before we get started on how to rank for local SEO, let’s take a look at how local SEO works. When I search “awning dealers near me”, a large list of services pops up. This includes ads put out by Garrety Glass, Kreider’s Canvas Service, C.B. Dombach and Sons, and many others. These are dealers that are local to my area. These dealers cannot compete with the organic perspective of services like SunSetter, Angie’s List or Lowe’s. But because Google is serving the local query based on my location, it’s telling me that these services are the most local vendors.

How to Find Local SEO Keywords

Most people type the words “near me” along with the query they are searching as well as a variety of other keywords. You’ll notice that the more keywords you type, the more specific the results will get. For example, if I search for “awning dealers,” there will be more search results than if I were more specific. In addition to the map pack showing more results, you’ll also notice a lot more organic listings and PPC listings (pay-per-click listings).

When I type in “awning dealers Landisville, PA”, the results will be a bit different. Not only will the map pack show dealers that are local to me, but the organic listings will have local results as well. Mainly what local SEO is doing is ranking for very specific queries that are location-based. That’s why it is important to learn how to find local SEO keywords when getting started on improving local SEO.

For another example, I’m going to highlight one of our vendors and partners, Marygrove Awnings. If someone types in “retractable awning”, the No. 1 query that will show up is retractable awnings. The reason why we are beating out the big guys like SunSetter and the other services that rank higher organically in search results is that we’re more specified.

How to Do Local SEO Marketing

Now that you understand what is local SEO, let’s dive into how to boost local SEO for your site. The first step that I highly recommend everybody do is set up an account for Google My Business. Google My Business is free to use and super easy to set up.

You can create your account on Google.com/business.

How to Set Up A Google My Business Account

Once you are on Google My Business, you will have the option to sign in or manage your account. By hitting the “manage now” button, you will be able to sign up for your business. Be sure that you are set up as the admin on your website so that you’ll be able to control what happens to that page.

Once you have your Google My Business account set up, you can optimize your business to get more search results. The most important thing to do is to keep your business listings optimized and up to date. It is also beneficial to add imagery, posts and other valuable items to your account. By doing this, people who find your business will know what it’s about and what you have to offer.

A cool thing about Google My Business is that it allows you to look at how many customers searched for your business and what keywords they used to find you. This can help give you an idea about how to optimize your website to gain even more traffic.

In short, you can really optimize your business on Google My Business to rank higher. Simply set up your account, add up-to-date information and work to get reviews on your site. Actively getting reviews for your business is a trust signal to Facebook and Google that you are a valid business. As a result, you will rank higher in the local pack. That’s really important for local SEO because, if you’re not visible on that local pack, people don’t trust you as much.

Why Local SEO Is Important to Your Business

Local SEO is important to your business for a number of reasons. By claiming your Google My Business account and adding up-to-date information, you’ll be able to attract more customers to your website. In addition to customers’ noticing your business, Google will also look at your service. The more active you are on your Google My Business account and the more information you post, the better you’re going to rank on search results. Another important factor is how many reviews your business receives on Google. Once again, the more reviews you get, the higher you’ll rank.

What Are Local SEO Services

Once you have set up your Google My Business account, the next step is to work with a local SEO agency like us. Here at Conklin Media, we can help you build citations and attract customers to your business as well as go into deep dive on your on-page SEO for making title tags and your pages relevant to a specific area. Once your page is relevant to a specific area, we can get localized search terms to come to those pages.

Final Thoughts on Local SEO

Well, there you have it! Today I walked you through what is local SEO, how to do local SEO marketing, who needs local SEO and how to improve local SEO. If you are in need of a local SEO expert, let us know as we’re more than happy to do a growth strategy session with you.