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Ultimate Guide to Local SEO for Your Business

Written by:
Mohammed Wasim Akram
First Published on:
September 14, 2018
Last Updated on:
June 17, 2021
✼ Disclaimer: SyncWin is user-supported therefore this page may contain our affiliate links and if you purchase something using those links, we may get some commission without any additional cost to you. Click to Learn More.

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Are you are looking for a local SEO guide, where you can learn all the important SEO tips to rank your local business on the top of Google 3 local map pack?

Then you have landed in the right place because I'm going to share my own experience of ranking my digital agency listing on the top of Google local search in my locality.

In this blog post, you are going to learn the most important and actionable strategies about the local SEO, and specifically how to get your business on Google fast.

Not only that, if you follow the instructions and implement these strategies properly, then you also will be able to rank your local business on the Google 3 pack.

Before sharing the 9 steps to rank on the Google 3 pack you need to understand the fundamentals of local SEO.

But if you are already aware of the local SEO fundamentals then you are free to skip the things that you already know and directly jump into the 9 Steps To Rank on the Google section, which is right after the User Experience section.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the part of organic SEO or Search Engine Optimization, which helps any local businesses to get a higher ranking on the Google search results for some of the phrases in a particular area where the business is located.

For example; If you are looking for a dentist in your area, then probably you would type "dentist near me" on the Google search box.

Therefore you would be able to find the nearest dentist's chamber on the Google search as a result, as you can find in the below screenshot. And this is possible with the help of local SEO optimization.

What Is Local SEO - Nixupken -Local Results On Google Near You
Local Results On Google Near You

It simply means that if the business owners put some effort and money to the local SEO optimization for their business, then eventually they will start ranking on the Google search results and end up getting more leads and sales.

Importance And Benefits Of Local SEO

If you are curious to know the importance and benefits of local SEO, then let me tell you that local SEO has a lot of benefits that you can find on the internet.

But here I'm sharing with you the main benefits of local SEO.

A. Get Free Traffic From Search Engines

If you have a website and your local SEO is properly done all over the place, then there is a high chance that your business would rank on the first page of Google.

When your business is on the first page of Google, guess what can happen?
You will end up getting a lot of free traffic from the people on your website, who are searching for the products or services that you provide.

If you have doubts about getting traffic from Google then let me tell you that Google processes almost 40,000 search queries every second, which means 3.5 billion searches happen on Google worldwide just in one single day.

Now assume that, even if a very small percentage of searches from that figure happens for your business category in your locality, then how much traffic you can get from Google alone?

Please calculate yourself 🙂

B. Get More Leads From Online

Every local business wants more channels for lead generation and invests a lot of money as well as effort to generate more leads.

Local SEO is one of the best strategies to get more leads from Google and other search engines, as I already told you that you will get a significant amount of traffic if your website ranks top on Google.

So the calculation is very simple, suppose if you get 100 daily traffics on your website then there is a high chance that you would get at least 3 leads per day.

That is great because here you don't have to invest a lot of money for local SEO as compared to online ad campaigns.

C. Local Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a crucial thing when you have a local business.

Local SEO plays a big role to create awareness for your business or even for your brick and mortar store.

Think like this, suppose you are foody and always search for good restaurants on Google search, now if a restaurant in your city often comes up on the search result, how it will impact you?

Let me tell you, you will get to know about that restaurant and also want to go there to taste their foods because Google has the power to make you believe that whatever comes first in the search results that are the best option for you.

In this way, it helps businesses to create brand awareness with the help of search engines like Google.

D. More Repeat Customers

Once a customer visits your brick and mortar business there is no surety that they will come back to you again.

But if your business ranks on local search in your locality, therefore whenever that same customer again searches for the products or services in your space, they will end up landing in your website or listing.

And this time they will come happily to your place if you have provided good customer service in the last time, which would eventually make that person your patent customer.

As I said Google has the power to influence our decision, and this is the reason it is the best search engine in the world.

E. Easy Interaction With Customers

If your business is properly optimized for local SEO, eventually it will rank up on the search result, and if your potential customer has any queries they can easily contact you using your mobile number or other contact option such as contact form or chat.

In this way, your potential customers would know more about your business directly from you, which is a great opportunity to create a good brand reputation.

F. People Can Find You Easily

This is one of the most important factors for any business success because if people cannot find you easily, they will end up finding your competitors.

But, it won't happen to you if your business is well optimized for local SEO.

Now, not only people can find your business on the internet but also they will come to your location easily following the local map provided by Google as a blessing for brick and mortar businesses.

What Is Google 3 Pack?

Google 3 pack is a dedicated spot in the first page of the Google search result for the local area businesses, where only 3 businesses get featured along with their name, physical location address, a direction in the map, how far from your current location (in KM), direct call option, reviews, website, opening, and closing time.

Please check the below screenshot to make the concept more clear about the Google 3 pack.

What Is Local SEO - Google 3 Pack 00- Nixupken
Various Options On The Google Listing Page

Benefits Of Google 3 Pack

All the benefits of local SEO are also applicable to Google 3 Pack but still, I'm sharing the main benefits of Google 3 Pack in brief.

If your business got featured in this Google 3 local map pack, that simply means you have already beaten almost all of your competitors.

And I'm telling this because most of the people will take action from this section only and they are not going to check the other businesses that are buried in the below list, even if someone is on the 5th or 6th position.

So in this case, your business will get more traffic, leads, and eventually more sales because your potential customers would able to check most of your information in that single place alone, even before clicking anything as I mentioned earlier.

Local SEO Google Ranking Factors

If you are wondering that what are the main Google ranking factors of a local business, then read carefully because I'm going to share the most important main ranking factors that I have tested myself to rank my own business on Google 3 packs within 30 days.

A. Proof That Your Business Is Legit

According to my opinion, this is one of the main local Google ranking factors for any business because Google would never want to show a business in their search results that are fake and not legit.

To prove that your business is legit, there are so many ways that you can do which I will be covering below.

But one of the best things you can do that make your business a brand, as Google's first preference is to show brands as their top search result.

And I'm not saying this, the marketing expert Neil Patel is telling this in his below video, so please have a look.

B. Having A Business Website

If you want to rank on Google's local search or even internationally, you would need to have your own business website in the first place.

Without a website, you cannot rank on Google or any other search engines because if you don't have a website in the first place then where you would drive traffic and what even Google would rank for you?

There are a number of proven benefits of having a website for your business and I have dedicated an in-depth blog post entirely on this topic if you want to read then just click on the hyperlink within this paragraph.

Definitely, you can list your business on Google and Bing even if you do not have a website, but chances are very low that it would rank.

So you should create a website for your business either yourself or let us make a professional website for your brand.

C. Consistency Everywhere

There is one most popular evergreen saying and that is;

Consistency is key to success.

To rank on Google or any other search engine you have to maintain consistency everywhere over the internet, such as on social media profiles, on citations, and even on your website.

If your details and information are consistent all over the place then your business seems to be a legit business in the eyes of Google and even for humans.

Please check this article by one of the most famous SEO blogs Search Engine Land to understand how consistency can affect your rankings.

D. User Experience

Now pay attention!

Whatever I said are the very important ranking factors, but the user experience is the main ranking factor and above everything.

User experience is one of the main priorities of Google today and they are really very concerned about this.

So whatever you do for SEO, one thing always you should keep in mind that it should not create a bad user experience because even if your website ranks on the Google on the top but users are not happy with your content then Google is going to drop your ranking really quickly.

So always ask your self a question, that is my website or web page is satisfying for my customers, and is it achieving its purpose?

As Google has stated in their rater guidelines:

"The goal of the Page Quality rating is to evaluate how well the page achieves its purpose."

Nine Proven Steps To Rank On The Google 3 Pack Listing

Hopefully, you have learned all the above sections, so now you have a strong basic idea about the local SEO and ranking factors.

So now I'm going to share my own strategies that helped my business to rank on the Google 3 pack of the local search result in my area within 30 days, and you can check this out in the below screenshot.

Local SEO - Google 3 000 Pack - Nixupken is ranking on the top
I Have Able To Rank Nixupken On The Top Of The Google 3 Pack

I do not guarantee that if you follow these steps then you will also get the same result because there are many other factors are involved such as competition in your niche on Google, type of your business as per the Google guidelines etc.

But still, if you are compliant with all the other factors then it is not that hard to get a sweet spot on the Google 3 local map pack fast.

So follow the below strategies and implement all of them for your business and you are ready to go.

1. Add A Business To Google

The very first step is to claim a listing on Google My Business (GMB) where the local SEO gets to begin.

I'm not going to teach you how to do this step by step because my purpose is here to share the strategies with you that worked for me, but you can find one of Hubspot's article helpful that will teach you how to create an account on GMB.

Listing your business on GMB allows Google to create a complete profile for your business on their platform.

And there is a number of benefits of having a GMB business listing for local SEO.

Sometimes Google automatically detects and list your business in the GMB if you have a brick and mortar store, so you should claim your existing business listing asap otherwise Google can provide wrong info, or anyone can claim that and harm your business reputation easily.

2. Add A Business To Bing

After you listed your local business on Google now it's time to list your business on Bing, which is one of the largest search engines in the world and powered by tech giant Microsoft.

The main reason to add your business on Bing is that it sends a trust signal to Google that your business is legit which would eventually boost your ranking on Google, and also there are so many benefits of having a bing listing.

If you are wondering how to create a bing listing then you will find this resource helpful by the famous SEO blog Search Engine Watch.

3. NAP (Name, Address, And Phone Number)

NAP is the acronym of Name, Address, And Phone Number, which is really the 3 most important parts of any local business.

If you own a local business then most of the time you must need these 3 things as the supportive elements of your business.

Name

A business name is crucial for any kind of business because it creates an identity for your business and also helps you to stand out from the crowd of businesses.

A business would never become a brand without having a good name.

So, for Google, Bing, or any other listing, or even if you going to make a website you will need to have a business name and that should be the same all over the places.

If your business has a name that represents the products or services that you offer then it plays a big role in search engine ranking, but even if your name doesn't represent your business nature still you can get high rankings on Google.

Because my own brand name NIXUPKEN doesn't represent my business nature, still it is ranking on the Google 3 pack and there are many other brands that are dominating the world with unique names, one of the examples is Google itself.

Address

To operate a local business most of the time you would require a physical office so that your customers can visit your place to get your products or services whatever you sell.

But I do not consider a physical address as a ranking factor in Google 3 pack because while claiming your listing Google provides an option to select if you want to hide your address as you have a service-based business.

So if it was a ranking factor then Google had never provided such an option to hide your physical address on the GMB listing.

Even if your business doesn't have a physical office and address, it still can rank on the top of Google Local Map 3 Pack.

I am so confident about this because I myself don't have a physical office till now as I provide digital services remotely to everywhere in the world sitting at my home and still I'm able to rank my business on local 3 map pack of Google on top 1 which you can see in the below screenshot.

Local SEO - Google 3 Pack - Nixupken is ranking on the top without any address0
Nixupken Is Ranking On The Top Even It Doesn't Have Any Address

You must be excited after knowing this important fact, so if you also have a service-based business like me, and you want to get local area leads for your business through local SEO, then you also can rank your business on the local 3 pack.

Phone Number

A phone number is really important when you own a local business.

Having a phone number in the Google listing can help your customers to contact you just with a single click.

If you notice any 3 packs of Google you can find that one thing is common on all the listings of GMB, which is a phone number, each and every listing has a phone number for sure.

So having a business phone number and adding it to your Google and Bing listing will help you in the long run and it also influence the ranking of your business on the 3 pack.

4. Focus Keywords

If you remember what I said regarding the name above then this section will make that concept stronger.

I told you that, you can use a unique brand name for your business and still can rank higher in the search engines, even if it doesn't represent your business nature.

So now I'm again telling you in a loud voice "YES THIS IS 100% POSSIBLE".

But there are a few things you should keep in mind to make it possible;

  • On-Site SEO
  • Better User Experience
  • Keyword Optimization

Regarding the on-site SEO, I'll be covering in the below section and I already discussed the user experience, so now one thing is left; keyword Optimization.

Best way to do this is to find a few main keywords for your business that are highly relevant to your business category and represents the nature of your business clearly.

For example: Suppose that you are in the mobile phone industry, then your main target keywords should be like, smartphone, Android smartphone, best Android smartphone, cheap smartphone etc.

To find these kinds of keywords you can use tools like Ubersuggest, which is absolutely free and it also shows you the few important details of those keywords such as search volume, cost per click and competition.

So now that you get your keywords, it's time to use those keywords within your websites and listings in a way that it gets blended into your descriptions and contents in a way that no one can understand that you are stuffing the keywords for the sake of ranking.

Throw your keywords in a natural way keeping your customers in your mind because the real people will come to your sites and listings, so if they like your site then eventually Google would end up ranking your site on the search results.

5. Business Listings On Directories

This can be a time taking work for you because in this case, you have to find some reputed business directories that are popular, as well as these, should be covering your business industry.

I live here in India so I have listed my business on some of the famous directories here which I'm going to share with you first, then I'll share the directories that are worldwide famous.

Top 7 Indian Business Listing Directories

  1. IndiaMart
  2. Justdial
  3. Sulekha
  4. Yellow Pages
  5. Ask Laila
  6. Quikr
  7. Grotal

I have listed my business in all of these business directories, and now I am going to share some global business directories where you can list your business (if those directories support your country) to boost your rankings.

Top International Directories

  1. Better Business Bureau
  2. Yelp
  3. Yellow Pages
  4. Foursquare
  5. Hotfrog
  6. Manta
  7. Local
  8. Spoke

I have shared a few but top international directory names, still if you want to know more then please click here to find more directories.

Also, let me tell you that different countries have different popular directories so please do some research on Google that what are the top business directories in my "your country name".

Important note: One thing to keep in mind that, never create any duplicate listings or different listings with different NAP details because this can confuse Google and other search engines.

I already told you before in this article that consistency is the key, so be consistent everywhere on the web.

One more thing, if you already have some business listings then either edit and update with your actual details or clean up those listings before you create new ones.

6. Social Media Accounts

According to many sources over the web, social media profiles are not a direct ranking factor for Google, but I believe that social media can really help you boost your ranking in some way.

Same like the business directory listings, social media profiles also can contain your NAP business details which help people to find you even from the social networks.

And Google is tracking each and everything, whatever is happening on the web, so they better understand that your business is legit as it has several social media accounts as well as directory listings with the same NAP and other details.

I suggest you create social media business pages as a first priority, but if they don't have page option then must go for a profile for your business.

Consider These Social Networks For Your Business

  1. Facebook Page
  2. Twitter Profile
  3. Google Plus Brand Page
  4. Tumblr Profile
  5. Pinterest Business Account
  6. Linkedin Company Page
  7. YouTube Channel

In this way, your local business would get some extra boost to rank on Google 3 map pack if you do everything properly as I taught you throughout this article.

7. Consistent SEO Optimization

In this section, I'm going to share the most important strategies that are the direct ranking factors; such as on-site and technical SEO optimization and many more.

The On-Site SEO Optimization

On-site SEO or On-page SEO is a technique to optimize all the important elements on a website for the search engines, these elements are titles, meta tags, contents, images, and the entire site structure.

If your site structure is properly optimized with SEO then it will help you rank fast on the search engines if all the other things are fine.

I can talk a lot regarding the on-site SEO but this is not the right place to talk in detail because the length of the post will increase exponentially.

But for you, I'm sharing a good resource to learn the on-site SEO in detail.

The Technical SEO Optimization

Technical SEO is a technique of server and website optimization that helps the search engine's spiders and crawlers to crawl and index the content of that site with the help of webmaster tools to show that content as search results to the real people.

Few Things You Need To Do As A Part of Technical SEO
  1. Create webmaster accounts and connect with your website
  2. Create a Google Analytics account and add your site to it
  3. Connect Google Analytics with Google search console
  4. Create XML sitemaps and submit them to the webmaster tools
  5. Add SSL certificate to your site
  6. Make your site mobile friendly (consider using Google AMP project)
  7. Improve the site speed
  8. Fix broken links and 404 Errors
  9. Add Schema structure data to your site

To learn more in detail about Technical SEO please click here.

8. Website Linking Everywhere

You must be thinking that what is website linking, is it the same as building backlinks (the most popular off-page SEO strategy)?

Then let me clear you that website linking is not the same as building backlinks.

According to me, website linking means, linking your website to all the business listing accounts as well as social media accounts that you have created for your business.

And it plays a big role in search engine ranking because when your website is included in all of your business listing and social media profiles then it sends a strong signal to the search engines like Google and Bing that the website belongs to that particular brand.

It will definitely help your business to rank on Google 3 pack as my brand is the living example for that of this.

9. Regular Tracking And Maintaining

Now that you have done everything as I taught you throughout this entire article, as the last step you need to keep maintaining your website, Google and Bing listing as well as all of the business listing and social media profiles.

You should be promoting your brand on all the social networks, and also should interact with your customers all over the place including on your listings, social profiles as well as on your website.

To keep track of your ranking you need to check your website rankings on the Google search console account, where you can check if any of your web pages are ranking for some specific keywords or not.

For example; see the below screenshot from my Google webmaster account.

What Is Local SEO - Nixupken - Track Ranking On The Google Webmaster0
Screenshot From My Google Search Console Account

Also, you can find technical issues of your website on the Google search console account, as well as the instruction to solve those problems with your site.

How Long Will It Take To Rank Your Business On Google 3 Pack?

Although I have able to rank my business on Google 3 pack within 30 days, still it is not guaranteed that your site will also rank within the same period of time.

It can take a long or also can take a shorter time than me, and the worst thing can happen that your website would not rank on this Google 3 pack because you or I have no control over Google.

But chances are very low that even after following all these strategies your site would not rank.

If you have been following and implementing all the strategies that I have explained in this article then there is a very high chance that you will get a sweet spot on Google 3 pack.

But suppose in the worst-case scenario if your business does not rank on the 3 pack, still, your other contents will definitely rank somewhere on Google or Bing or other search engines.

You know how?

Because you have done very hard work to optimize your site, and that hard work will definitely pay you in some way in the form of traffic to your website.

Conclusion

If you have read the entire article, then now you know everything regarding the local SEO and Google 3 pack.

I have covered almost everything that you should know about the local SEO.

But still, if you face any difficulties implementing these strategies in your business, then you can leave a comment below and I will definitely help you with your concern.

And if you want to get your business online to generate more business then we can help you with that by creating a dedicated business website for you, if you are interested to explore more details then please click the hyperlink in this paragraph.

Please share if you like this article, and leave your feedback in the below comment box if you want to add on some more points to compliment this article.

Thanks a lot for your precious time 🙂

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