SEO for Beginners: Getting Started

One of the first questions a lot of companies ask about local SEO is: Do I really need it?

And I got it. You are busy – your time, budget and energy are precious resources.

Do you really need something else to keep up with?

If you want to drive in-store traffic, online or phone orders, appointment reservations, clinic visits, or other business from local consumers, the answer is YES!

Who Benefits from Local SEO and Why?

All types of businesses that interact with and serve customers in a particular region can benefit from local SEO.

This includes retail stores, service companies, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, banks, construction companies, and more.

Here are some examples.

Lawyers and Lawyers Companies

One of the biggest local SEO benefits for these customers is that Google displays the connect button directly in local search results on mobile phones.

So when a potential customer pulls out their phone and looks for it [(type of) attorney]they will see the targeted results for their specific location.

When done correctly, local SEO will push the attorney to the top of the search results for that site, and the dominant call to action will be the “Contact Us” button.

The reason for this huge advantage is that anyone who has been in an accident or has another problem will be on the phone trying to find attorneys who offer free advice.

This route provides a way to reach these consumers exactly when they need an attorney.

Physicians and medical practices

When someone is looking for a medical professional, they often look for a file [doctor nearby] or a [doctor near me].

Most people don’t want to go out of their way or travel several hours to see a doctor. They want a doctor nearby who can see them regularly.

If you refer to the screenshot below, using the search [doctors near me]There are many benefits as a result of this great domestic package.

A screenshot of the search for [doctors near me]Google, August 2018

This local result provides the doctor’s name up front, along with an instant “Directions link” that the Maps app displays on the user’s phone.

When it comes to doctors, people are more comfortable calling to set up an appointment, and they’re more likely to find an easy way to look up directions to a doctor’s offices.


When someone has a plumbing emergency, does they go straight to the store?

No, they usually go to Google to search for it [plumber near me].

Google search results provide an easy way for someone to call a plumber directly, read reviews, and reach out to local plumbers right away if they have such an emergency.

Who wouldn’t benefit from local SEO?

While we would like to see everyone take advantage of local SEO and sell these services to more clients as SEO professionals, the truth is that some companies don’t fit well with their local SEO efforts.

Businesses like online-only e-commerce stores, businesses that don’t want to share their local information, and private online sellers who want to keep their information private are probably not great candidates for local SEO services.

Local search still needs organic SEO

Local search rankings appear in the form of the Map Pack on Google, but your site’s organic ranking is also an important factor. This helps Google understand your site’s overall popularity, which is one of the three main categories of local ranking signals.

SEO tricks and tactics are long gone, and search has evolved significantly.

Nowadays, the game is governed by user experience signals, dining, high-quality content, high-quality links, and high-quality user experience.

But make no mistake: there are still native SEO factors you need to correct, including:

  • Find the right keywords and topics to target as part of your campaign.
  • Ensure that your technical SEO is top notch.
  • Ensure the highest possible quality of content.
  • Earn links to make your website stand out enough in the eyes of Google.
  • Double checking and performing NAP information (name, address, and phone number) is accurate across many link sites.
  • Improved local ranking signals.

With a local focus, many of the standard organic SEO methods may change slightly compared to the traditional methods used for ranking.

Local search can also be voice search

Now that people have greater access to devices like smartphones, Amazon Echo, and Google Home, voice search has become the preferred way for many to find local information.

It’s easier to say “find a doctor near me” or “find a plumber near me” to most people than it is to say it.

Thus, it is not surprising to see an increase in local queries based on conversational voice search.

If your industry is service-oriented, try keyword variations that include questions.

Semrush’s topic search tool,, and AnswerThePublic all provide ways to see what questions people are searching for, as well as their search volume.

This is an excellent way to target keywords that have a local intent.

If your industry is a local service-related business, such as a restaurant, attorney, or attorney, try different variations of keywords with a conversational tone and focus.

You might be surprised at the amount of search you can achieve when you do keyword research in this way.

Local search is mobile search

We know that a large portion of local searches happen on local devices, and mobile compatibility is a Google ranking factor.

What do these facts and mobile first index mean for your local SEO strategy?

Google has improved Map Pack listings for mobile searchers. But it’s up to you to create that comfortable and easy-to-use experience on your website – and to ensure that Google understands this with good technical SEO.

Roger Monti of Search Engine Journal shares an overview of what this entails in “7 Ways a Mobile-First Index Impacts SEO,” part of SEJ’s free advanced technical SEO guide.

Domestic SEO needs a customized strategy

But that doesn’t mean it should take up a lot of your time.

In the next chapter, you’ll find a nine-step checklist to guide your new or improved local SEO strategy.

Next, we’ll look at the different aspects of it and you’ll find expert tips and tools for putting it together.

Download the complete guide for free here.

Featured image: Paulo Bobetta/Search Engine Magazine

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