The Ultimate Guide To Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t just a small branch of organic SEO, it is its very own tree.

Local SEO is the process of increasing a website’s position in Google’s search results for terms and phrases that include a location. They appear in Google with the business’s name, website domain, star rating, google+ link, reviews, address, contact info and a map marker. Here’s an example:



Building a business’s rankings in the local search results is an important part of optimizing a business’s digital presence – especially if your clientele is primarily local. It is an excellent way to drive traffic to a business’s website, it provides direct access to (hopefully positive) reviews, and it makes your business findable on Google Maps. In this article we’ve included our full step-by-step process to setting up and maintaining a successful local SEO campaign for your business.

So, how does Local SEO work?

Before we jump into the meat and potatoes, it’s important to understand a bit more about how Google and other search engines work.

The first concept to understand is that Google is very data sensitive. It is on a constant lookout for signals about businesses such as a business’s name, address, and contact information. I like to think of Google as a man with a pair of headphones, listening in for the blips and beeps of a morse code message. The stronger and more consistent the signals he receives the clearer and more accurate the message. In the same fashion, the stronger and more consistent the signals you send to Google, the higher your business will rank in Google’s local search results.

But enough theory, let’s jump in!

How to use this document:

  • Take notes: As we guide you through the steps of researching, developing, and implementing your local SEO strategy, we’ll ask you to consider your business. We think that if you take good notes along the way, you’ll end with an agency-quality report full of robust data and clear objectives.
  • Use resources: Without our trusty tools running a local SEO campaign would be an insurmountable task. Luckily, we’ll provide recommendations for tools and services to make your job easier. These are tried and true resources that we use ourselves to develop professional reports and to build strategies for our  clients. In addition, we will point you to additional free resources that our team has developed to assist small businesses engaging in DIY internet marketing.
  • Read the glossary: Since we’re all coming to this project from different levels of expertise, we’re going to get right to the point and explain definitions in a glossary that you can find at the end of this article. If you’re new to local SEO, you may want to first familiarize yourself with these terms.

Our intention was to make this article both accessible to entrepreneurs, marketers and business owners new to digital marketing but also comprehensive. Unfortunately that involves some lingo but don’t worry it will all be worth it in the end!

If you get stuck be sure to reach out to me on Twitter @calindaniel.

Happy learning!

Chapter 1: Research & Analysis