Local SEO in the USA: A Complete Guide 2021

Local SEO in the USA

It’s a tough challenge – being a small regional business in the U.S. The competition in the marketplace is fierce. Many regional companies find it difficult to choose the right marketing or advertising channels to invest in.

About 80% of consumers search for goods and services through search engines. But being heard of on the Internet is not good enough.

Companies set up their first website and wait for potential customers. But with no luck. If the website is on the second page of results, users will hardly ever get to it.

The sequence of actions for regional SEO in the U.S.

How to get your website into the first search results?

You need to structure the process of website promotion in the United States in the right way. Each stage should be based on data obtained in the previous stage.

The logic behind work structure and sequence of actions:

  • Competitor analysis
  • Optimization of site pages
  • Technical optimization
  • Working with Google My Business
  • Getting links
  • Search for additional traffic growth points, content marketing

Competitor analysis

Optimization and promotion always start with a search and analysis of competitors in the niche by basic keywords, without any connection with the region.

This helps you understand the business itself, its structure, and values, as well as discover competitors’ strong and weak points, which will help you make a plan for search engine promotion.

Remember! You will not be able to compose a quality promotion strategy unless you completely understand the essence of the local niche business.

At this stage, you analyze the search queries by looking for possible synonyms of the basic query; evaluate the internal optimization of the website, the backlink mass, and usability of the pages promoted.

Analysis of competitors’ traffic pages

This is when you understand which pages bring your competitor’s search traffic, and what you should first focus on when optimizing your site. Also, you can use google index checker.

We recommend using Ahrefs to analyze your competitors’ sites.

With this tool, you can unload the entire list of pages visible in the search engine.

Building a semantic core for the site

Building a semantic core for the site

It is best to collect the semantic core using either of two services: Ahrefs or Serpstat.

Using the Ahrefs service

The semantic core is compiled individually: both by the basic keywords and by URLs of competitors’ pages.

Google Search Console

We advise using Google tools if your website already has a history and visibility in search engines.

The Google Search Console/Efficiency tool is of interest to us in this case.

This way, you can discover the queries that make our website visible in Google and then put up the promising queries to higher positions in the results.

Then comes the On-page optimization, behavioral signals, personalization, and Google My Business signals.

Let’s focus on On-page optimization first.

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On-Page SEO optimization

Web page optimization is crucial for ranking based on the keywords your target audience is looking for.

There are a few important things you absolutely must do to get your site to rank in local search.

1. Create a clear website structure

If you serve more than one city, you can create landing pages for each one. It’s often a roundabout way for a business that has only one location or has no office but serves the entire area.

For instance, you can set up your website so that there are multiple landing pages for each area you serve:

  1. yourwebsite.com/suburb-1/
  2. yourwebsite.com/suburb-2/
  3. yourwebsite.com/suburb-3/

Doing so will allow you to rank in organic searches for cities where you don’t have an office.

2. Optimize headers and metadata

The metadata of the page should contain the basic keys and regions of promotion. We also advise adding business features and a call to action.

Add to your metadata any information that makes you stand out from your competitors.

3. Display your NAP (name, address, and phone number) as a chart on your website

Make sure that your website reflects your name, address, and phone number, preferably in the form of a chart.

And make sure the NAP matches your company’s data.

P.S. Don’t forget to indicate your working hours!

4. Google Map

Integrate a Google map into your contact page so that users can easily find you. The map indicates that the business has a physical address and also helps guide users.

5. Add clear calls to action

After all, you want people to first visit your site and then become your customers.

Check if your phone number is well displayed, making it easy for customers to get in touch with you. Use CTA blocks to increase the conversion rate of your site.

6. Include feedback and recommendations

The presence of feedback improves your business credibility and, ultimately, the conversion rate of your website.

7. Consider using a mobile version of the site

Google has a strong focus on adaptive websites. Use Google’s adaptability test to ensure that your website is displayed properly on mobile devices.

If your website fails the test, you should consider redesigning it or updating it completely.

Homepage optimization

The home page is the most important one.

Keep in mind that the website’s homepage should grab the user’s attention and, with the help of the required information blocks, lead him/her to order.

Remember! When drawing up recommendations for optimization, you need to understand that the website’s homepage deals with business tasks first, and only then SEO.

The homepage optimization is usually divided into 2 parts:

  • Optimization of existing page content.
  • Adding the necessary informative blocks.

Content optimization should be understood as:

  • drawing up TOR for the metadata of the page with basic key content and the region of promotion;
  • optimization and editing of the subheading structuring logic;
  • adding primary and supplemental keyword phrases to the page content.

Total for internal optimization:

Build an intuitive site structure so that customers can easily find the information they need on your site, and search engines understand what information is posted on the pages, as well as what cities and regions you serve.

Optimize metadata to rank for the right queries for your business.

Display your contact details as a chart so that customers can easily contact you and Google bots can read the information they need.

Add a Google Maps map so potential customers can easily find you.

Incorporate feedback and recommendations to increase your site’s conversion rate.

Keep working on the mobile version of your site. 52 % of potential customers are already looking for your service from their mobile devices, and that number is only growing by the year.

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Promotion of regional business in Google Maps

Even if you are on the 3-4 position in organic search, potential customers may not find your website because they click on paid ads or the results of Google Maps. That’s why it’s so important to promote your business on Google Maps.

Even when searching without a geomodifier, you can get local results.

Users more often search for services, online stores, grocery stores, restaurants, and other businesses near them.

It is up to you how your Google My Business profile will appear in Google Maps and the Knowledge Graph.

And if you still don’t have a Google My Business profile, consider creating one and optimizing it.

Some important details about Google My Business registration

Enter the same NAP* data that appears on your site, and check out the category section at the bottom.

*NAP – Name/Address/Phone Sometimes NAPU (Name, Address, Phone Number, and URL) or NAPW (Name, Address, Phone Number, Website) may also be used.

For your business to appear in the right search results, you need to choose the right category to let customers (and Google bots) know precisely what your business does. Google permits using multiple categories, so use as many categories as are relevant to your business. Just be as specific as possible.

If you have offices in different cities, you can register several listings (profiles). 

Due to high-quality profile design, potential customers can see the following information right in the search results:

  • Working hours. Visitors should know exactly the hours of admission and make their plans.
  • Phone number. Having a phone number allows you to make an appointment in two steps: enter the name of the clinic in a Google search and click on the phone number.
  • Address (location). Google Maps will display your address down to the building you are in.
  • Feedback. A high number of positive reviews, which influence the decision of customers.
  • Company profile. A brief overview of the company and the services it provides.
  • Photo or virtual tour. A block of photos attracts user interest and brings them closer to making a conversion.
  • Accounts in social networks. Users can go straight from Google search to the company’s profile on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Once a company is added to Google My Business, users will be able to find the organization on Google Maps.

Remember! These results depend on the user’s location. He/she will be offered places that are closer to him/her.

Then we move on to another crucial step – local backlink promotion.

Local backlink promotion

Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors for Google.

Among the most important requirements for links are quality and relevance.

Another interesting tip: begin the promotion, based on an analysis of the link profile of your competitors.

Analysis of competitors’ link profile

For full information about backlinks leading to the website, we suggest using the Ahrefs.com tool along with Linkbox.

This way, you start link analysis from the most reputable and thematic resources and check their availability in one simple step.

Main types of external links

Business directories (Niche directories)

Almost every niche has thematic directories now. They can be either paid or free. You can register in each of them, add information and post a link to your site.

Below you can find the query combinations that can be used to search business listings and directories:

  • [location] business listings
  • [location] business directory
  • [location] directory
  • [business type keyword] business listings [location]
  • [business type keyword] business directory [location]
  • [business type keyword] directory [location]

For commercial organizations:

  • [location] [business type keyword] alliance
  • [location] [business type keyword] association
  • [location] [business type keyword] council
  • [location] [business type keyword] society
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Links from local sites

The strategy involves getting mentions and links from local blogs, newspaper sites, and other local businesses. Links received from local sites serve as a signal for Google to increase the position of the site in the local search.

Remember! Links to the promoted site should be locally relevant, i.e., placed on the sites of the same city or region.

Crowd marketing (forums)

Another option for obtaining links is to use links from thematic forums, where the target audience of the site could chat.

When using such links, you should help the person asking the question on the forum, give him/her an expert answer, and then leave a link to your site. Otherwise, your link will be considered spam and will give no positive effect.

Video hosting services (Youtube, Vimeo)

Create organization channels on the most popular video hostings. Use videos to talk about the company, show the office, its facilities, and staff. You can make instructional videos, product reviews, or record work/service delivery.

You can place a link both in the channel profile and under each video. This will be especially useful if the video becomes popular. People will start sharing the video and the link to your resource with it.

You should keep in mind that videos that have been optimized correctly can take high positions in the organic results of Google. And this will have a positive impact on site traffic.

Guest posting

Placing guest articles on other resources is a common method of attracting links to your site. An important condition: for links to have a positive impact on the positions of the site being promoted, they must be placed on reputable trust sites. Or else, you run the risk of paying for the placement, and not getting any effect.

Press releases

Press releases are short texts that inform the public or the media about an event, an occasion, an Internet resource, etc. They are placed on appropriate platforms with link(s) to a full website publication or any other website page that is relevant to the text.

Placing press releases is reasonable if they create important newsworthy events that you can describe in them. Otherwise, the chances of the text getting noticed are minimal.

Adding links to your website is by far one of the best ways to increase the visibility of your web resource in search engine results.

But! Always remember about these links and ensure that the information you post is accurate.

Importance of NAP

Inconsistent link promotion and citations can lead to ranking problems.

The company’s address, phone number, or website may sometimes change. In fact, you need to do an audit to make sure that all of your data is consistent.

Why is this so important?

A link is any online mention with your NAP. Google views such mentions as a local signal to gauge the site’s credibility.

Having inaccurate NAP mentions can negatively affect your regional promotion.

Miles Anderson, a Search Engine Land columnist, says that link mismatches are actually the No. 1 problem that affects local site rankings.

If you have too many NAP options spread across the Internet, and especially if some or many of them are out of date, it reduces your customers’ trust and, of course, Google’s trust in your information.

If Google deems your data unreliable – your position in local search declines.


Another major ranking factor is online reviews of your company. Read on to learn how to get more feedback on your business 

Why do you need to get feedback on your business?

It’s high time to improve the reputation of your business. And get more positive feedback!

Which restaurant would you prefer to go to? A 3-star burger place that gets a lot of bad reviews from customers, or a 4.7-star Italian restaurant downtown with dozens of thrilling reviews?

If you don’t want to take a chance on getting a good meal, you will most likely choose the safest option, a restaurant that you can find online and that you read verified reviews about.

According to a recent consumer survey, about 87% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

But the magic doesn’t end there – online reviews can boost your site’s ranking in Google!

In addition, a marketing study econsultancy has shown that the presence of reviews on the landing pages can increase conversions by 18%.