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Updated: June 11, 2021

10 Tips for Effective Local SEO

10 tips on how to attract new clients from the Internet if you’re a local Chicago company with a tight marketing budget.
10 Tips for Effective Local SEO

Many of our clients ask us for tips on helping small and midsize businesses improve their local SEO. If you are in a particular city or region of the country, let’s say, you’re based in Chicago and have a tight marketing budget, then we recommend honing in on your nearby community to focus your efforts. Here are 10 practical tips to help you succeed. 

1. Investigate Current Conversion Rate, Optimize Website Design

Look at your Google Analytics data for website traffic then look at your checking account. Figure out your current conversion rate. Compare it to industry standards (most industries range between .1% and 6%). If you have 5,000 targeted visitors per month and no phone calls, most likely you will need to redesign your website; as it is not effectively selling your product(s) / service(s). Make sure you leverage Google My Business to ensure optimization as well.

2. Identify Issues and Opportunities

Look at Google Webmasters, and use a variety of SEO tools (ex: SEMRUSH, Majestic SEO, etc) to ensure that your site does not suffer from any serious SEO problems. Analyze your top competitors, investigate what exactly they are doing to win the Search Engine game. Define realistic goals.

3. Develop a Strategy and Identify Issues and Opportunities for Local SEO Optimization

SEO is a very sophisticated process. Some things you can do by yourself while others require you to hire an SEO company. Chicago for instance, where Comrade is based, is full of them but you need to be careful in choosing the right agency.  Regarding this expenditure as an investment in your future success, and understand that professionals have tools and experience that you do not. You should have realistic expectations and understand that it is a long-term process that will bring you residual results (customers as well as brand exposure) in the future. Whether you are based in Chicago, Illinois, or Indianapolis Indiana, you need to focus on leveraging local content as much as general content. And make sure that Google is identifying your business.

4. Local Directories

Most companies have terrible SEO rankings because they have inadvertently neglected to ensure matching: Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) in different directories. As a result, Google cannot determine if all your pages truly belong to the same company (for example all three of these names are viewed as “different” by Google: Comrade Digital Marketing Agency, Comrade Digital Marketing, CDMA). So here are some good local SEO tips: spend as much time as needed to fix your NAP presence on all major directories and online platforms such as Yelp, Google Places, BING, Angie’s List, Facebook, FourSquare etc. Local search optimization is imperative to helping your business grow. Increasing your local SEO ranking factors in many variables, as enumerated here. Be sure not to overlook the importance of marketing in your own backyard. Don’t underestimate the importance of a solid local SEO strategy.

5. Reviews

People will look for your company reviews online while shopping around. Bad reviews significantly decrease your conversion rate. Encourage your clients and partners to leave good reviews on multiple online platforms. Be creative about it. Be responsible. It is a very serious project for your business.

Be sure to seek help on reviews with Google My Business. Request reviews from customers with a short URL. As well, learn how to leave Google reviews, reply to reviews whether good or bad, and verify your business information is accurate on Maps, Search, and other Google pages.

6. Content Strategy

Google will increase your SEO rankings as a result of you generating quality SEO content on a regular basis. Studies (and common sense) show that your potential customers love to find recent case studies, industry-related articles, relevant, interesting blogs and FAQ’s. Demonstrate that you know your industry, you have experience and you’re successful. Highly recommended to have a smart content strategy.

7. Backlinks and Social Media Marketing

Distribute articles that you create for your website through social media channels. Link them back to your website. Add subscribers, likes and followers. Optimize your micro-sites. Be a Guest-Blogger. Find trusted industry-related sites and figure out methods for placing backlinks to your website. Google increases your rankings when its robots “see” and catalog them. Backlinks can still cast magic!

Local SEO link building and off-page SEO are very important to establish yourself as a sought-after business in your community. Simply put, local link building is when other websites in your local area link to your website. Using source citations in your blog, online directories, participating in or hosting local events, press releases, and local influencer outreach are just some ways of establishing a good blanket of local SEO links. Be sure to sign up for Google’s mentions monitoring system to see when your website and/or business name is being used by other sources.

8. PPC

In many cases paying for clicks is the best short-term marketing strategy Paid clicks deliver visitors to your site, right away. If your offer is good, people will buy. For added success, you can spend more time optimizing your PPC campaign on Google, Yelp, BING, Facebook, etc.

9. Onsite SEO

Must use the following techniques:

  • a. Schema.org integration.
  • b. Optimize meta information (title, description tags) as well as overall URL structure.
  • c. Create 301 redirects from dead pages.
  • d. Fix 404 errors.
  • e. Optimize site load speed.
  • f. Integrate sitemap.
  • g. Optimize overall SEO architecture (SEO plugins, server-side optimization, use proper CMS).
  • h. Place multiple Calls-to-Action elements (very important!). Integrate a social media bar or a reputation management section.

Besides common on-page SEO optimization, we recommend improving your on-page local optimization features like your local SEO setting. And again, be sure to optimize your Google My Business profile.

10. Be on Top, Optimize It

Constantly monitor your results (i.e., “targeted“ traffic (not ”total” traffic), bounce rate, average time on site, ranking reports, conversion rate, SEO stats, new subscribers, reviews, etc. If something doesn’t work today, it might work tomorrow, Don’t give up too fast. Learn the process and consult with us. We are local Chicago SEO professionals and an award-winning web development and digital marketing agency serving not just the Midwest, but businesses all over the globe.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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