LOCAL SEO: Do It Yourself

Local SEO – How to Do It Yourself: Part I

LOCAL SEO: Do It Yourself Part 1

Local SEO – How to Do It Yourself: Part I

Getting lots of emails and calls about your website local SEO?

Don’t know who to trust?

Have you paid for SEO but not seen any results?

Here’s how to take control of your own LOCAL SEO and generate more leads even if you can’t afford to hire professional help.

NOTE: SEO is a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself by addressing SEO optimization in a consistent systematized manner. Accomplish one priority task per day, per week or per month, depending on the amount of time you can devote. Focus on quality – doing things right – rather than of quantity – doing things fast. Don’t focus on ranking quickly, just know that if you do enough things right you’ll be rewarded. Focus on “consistency, patience and persistence”.

Tools required:

Rather than take an all inclusive approach to SEO, which can feel and indeed be overwhelming, in this post we’ll attempt to cover the basics. The truth is, if your business can execute the basics of local SEO, you’ll do well with the search engines and your site visitors.

Start with the important stuff first.

If we look at this post on moz.com, “The 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors” we can quickly see where we should place most of our effort.

So for overall ranking factors we see that we should begin with on-page items (items on your website);
“On-page Signals (20.3%)(Presence of NAP, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority, etc.)”

Presence of NAP

NAP (business Name, Address and Phone number)

Make sure that you have the correct name, address and phone number for your business on each and every page of your website.

Tip: If you use WordPress, you can do this easily by including your NAP in the footer which will show on every page. Also include it on your Contact page and preferably at the top of your Homepage.

This exact same NAP should be included on all your business social profiles:

Once you have completed the above, expand your NAP reach by getting your NAP citation listed on other popular local directories.

  • Superpages
  • Yahoo Localworks
  • Yelp
  • BBB
  • Angie’s List
  • Merchant Circle
  • YP.com

For a complete list check out The Ultimate List: 50 Online Local Business Directories

And of course don’t forget hyper-local directories like Tampa Bay Business Listings.

Keywords in Titles

 What is a keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase that someone searches for using one of the search engines like google.com, bing.com or search.yahoo.com.

What is a title tag?

A title tag is an HTML code element placed around a block of text on a web page that instructs web browsers (and search engines) that this text is the Title of the content on that page.

How many characters should be in a title tag?

Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag, or as many characters as will fit into a 512-pixel display. If you keep your titles under 55 characters, you can expect at least 95% of your titles to display properly. ~moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag

Why is the title tag important to SEO?

 The title tag is a strong indicator, along with your keywords, to the search engines as to the subject matter of your content. And when you include your keyword(s) in your title, search engines are better able to correlate your content to the user’s search query.
Also, this “title” may show as a clickable hyperlink in the search engine results for a search query, above the actual web address (url) and search description.
If you haven’t already, sign up for the free Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools). After you have added your site to the Google search console, click your site name to open it and then expand Search Appearance and then select HTML Improvements.
Once the Google bot has crawled your site, you may see recommendations in this section and if you have duplicate Title Tags for pages on your site, they will show here.

Domain Authority

 Domain authority is a score (metric) developed by moz.com that measures the predictive ranking strength (in the search engines) of a domain.

 Since DA involves a combination of ranking factors, rather than try to target domain authority directly, it’s best to work those items which you can directly affect. In particular, if you can increase your inbound links from other quality websites, you’ll consequently raise your domain authority.

To that end we’ll next focus on

Link Signals (20.0%) (Inbound anchor text, Linking domain authority, Linking domain quantity, etc.)

If you can add one good link (a link to your website on another quality website) per week, you would end the year with 52 quality inbound link s to your website. To rank locally you don’t need hundreds of inbound links from other sites. Establish a solid inbound linking profile, combine that with links from your social network and organic links from your content and you’ll set your business up for success.

Here are a few possibilities where your business can gain natural quality inbound links to your website:

Sponsor an event

Your business can sponsor an event, notify local news media about the event and if the story is picked up by larger media outlets, you have a good chance of earning a high quality link back to your site.

How to find events to sponsor:

  • reach out to local charities for opportunities
  • check with local schools, universities
  • partner with local civic organizations
  • sponsor local sports teams
  • use of sites like SponsorMyEvent, Eventbrite and Active.com
  • create your own event – you can use the sites listed above

Partner with other local companies

Since the Tampa Bay area is home to a lot small businesses, seek out other businesses that are complimentary to your own. Offer exclusive discounts to their customers. If your offer on their site contains a link to your website, both businesses will benefit.

Tip: Drive traffic to a a special page on your website (aka landing page, optin page, lead capture page) where you  where you offer the user a gift in exchange for their email address. You can then send them your newsletter, special offers, coupons or discounts.

 Get featured on an industry website

Product manufacturers generally have established authority sites within their industry. See if they allow guest posting. They may also sponsor contests, another opportunity to get your business featured.

Take advantage of general local centric websites

  • Local centric sites such as:
    • Merchant Circle
    • Citysearch
    • Insiderpages
    • Superpages
    • Hotfrog
    • Mojopages
    • Manta
    • Local.com
    • Local.yahoo.com
    • City Pages
    • Backpages
    • Judysbook
    • Kudzu


In Part II we’ll continue with your business DIY LOCAL SEO plan by focusing on your Google Business Profile, optimizing your website for mobile and creating simple lead capture landing pages.


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