A Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO

Nicole Kavetski

Did you know that nearly half of all Google searches have “local intent” — meaning they’re using local keywords to target their search? In order to reach local customers in your service area, you have to localize your SEO strategy. It can be overwhelming. Where should you even begin? If you want to improve your local SEO, we can help. At Padula Media, we can improve your local SEO in Philadelphia and beyond to grow your business, increase your visibility and drive more leads.
To really understand the value of investing in local SEO, it’s important to understand how it can benefit your business and where you can make some simple changes initially to drive results.

Benefits of Localizing your SEO

While not all businesses will benefit from a localized SEO approach, if you’re serving a specific geographic region or looking to grow your business in a key area, you should consider increasing your local SEO for the Philadelphia area.
Here are some key benefits we see when clients implement a local SEO strategy:

  • Increases website rankings on Google – When consumers in your area search for businesses nearby, your website will appear at the top of their search results. The first rank position on a Google search receives nearly 50% of the traffic for that search. It drops to 11% for the second-ranking position, emphasizing the importance of that top spot.
  • Increases your brand’s local visibility – When consumers in your area search for businesses nearby, your website will appear at the top of their search results. The first rank position on a Google search receives nearly 50% of the traffic for that search. It drops to 11% for the second-ranking position, emphasizing the importance of that top spot.
  • Local SEO drives the highest conversion rates in local advertising – Investing in local SEO in Philadelphia is a smart and efficient use of your marketing budget that will result in more leads and a higher conversion rate.
  • Ensures your business is cross-promoted on Google maps – If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, utilizing local SEO will ensure your business is cross-promoted on other navigation platforms.

Where to start?

If the thought of tackling local SEO in Philadelphia gets your heart racing — don’t worry. You’ll start seeing results quickly with the right strategy and proper help. Here are some beginner steps we recommend taking with our clients when we begin working on their local SEO in Philadelphia.

Create, maintain and optimize your Google My Business Page

The first step for any business – whether they’re really focusing on SEO or not – is claiming their Google My Business page. This free tool gives local businesses many benefits but mainly legitimizes your business and establishes your presence on Google.
Once you claim your Google My Business page, you’ll be able to keep critical information about your business updates, like phone number, hours of operation, location, website, and more. You will also be able to set three to five categories highlighting the services you provide.

Strategically plan your keywords

The foundation of an SEO strategy involves picking the right keywords for your business. Finding the best keywords takes a bit of research, but luckily Google offers its Google Keyword Planner as a free software tool to get started. You can begin to research which keywords are most searched for, how they rank amongst competitors, and where you can incorporate them into your own strategy.
Our team at Padula Media can help guide you through this research phase. We’ll examine your business, your current website, and the SEO keywords and provide a recommendation and plan to put you front and center of these search results.

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when building your website is neglecting the mobile version of your site. Google will rank more mobile-friendly websites higher in search rankings, so ensuring your site is easily viewable and useable by consumers on their phones is key to growing your local SEO presence. Make sure your website is fast, viewable on phones, and provides a good user experience. 50% of mobile users will leave a website if it doesn’t load in 10 seconds or less!

Publish localized content

Once your website’s infrastructure is set up and you’ve accomplished the basics, you can start creating and generating great content that improves your SEO rankings. Creating great content will not only increase your visibility, but it will drive traffic to your site and increase conversions as a result.
When thinking about your content, it’s important to go deeper than just an “About Us” page. You should be creating valuable, keyword-rich content that your customers will resonate with. Whether it’s a blog or several keyword-specific pages, make sure you include relevant links and write copy that is authentic to your business.
Writing great content takes a lot of time – that’s where we can help. At Padula Media, our team will work to provide the content you need to grow your local SEO in Philadelphia and beyond. You don’t have to spend time writing — We’ll do it for you.

Increase and promote your customer reviews

While customer reviews are great for your brand’s local credibility, they also help increase your SEO presence. Google shows businesses with good reviews higher than those without, so it’s worth investing in a strategy to drive more reviews. As you build out your marketing plan, think about how you can encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google business page. This will signal to search engines and local consumers that your business is legitimate.
As a local business owner, making sure you are at the top of the Google results page is crucial to building your business. While your website might look pretty and function great, you’re leaving potential business behind if it’s not optimized for search engines. Focusing on local SEO helps you increase traffic in your local area and will ultimately help you grow your business.
Unsure where to start? Our team of professionals at Padula Media can help you rank higher and get more sales and leads. We’ll work to understand your business and your goals and develop a custom plan to help you succeed. Schedule time with a local SEO expert today.