Whether it's researching a product, searching for a phone number, or finding out hours of operation, consumers are performing billions of local searches each month. So imagine then as a small business, how vital it is to have a well-thought out Local SEO strategy is in order to get in front of all those people looking for exactly what you have to offer.
Frankly, as mobile adoption and dependence continues to increase exponentially, being found in local search results will become a distinguishing factor between a business that's thriving and one that's hardly able to make ends meet.
However, knowing the importance of having a Local SEO strategy is one thing, being able to execute on it and make it work is a whole other thing. Which is why, we've been creating educational resources around tactical components that include learning the basics, building citations, leveraging online reviews, and doing on-site optimization.
But we also thought it would helpful to highlight other incredible resources out there on the web for learning more about Local SEO and really diving deep into the subject. To help you cut through the clutter, I've put together this curated list of online resources to speed up your learning curve and make it easier to ramp up on the topic.
The Local SEO Checklist by Synap
This handy one-page checklist not only gives a high-level overview of all the items you should be checking off on your quest for Local SEO domination, but provides helpful links to additional resources in case you get stuck or need to learn more about a given item.
This content hub is arguably one of the most in-depth and practical Local SEO educational resources available on the web today, a testament to Moz's commitment to producing the highest quality content. It covers everything from how Local SEO should fit into your online marketing strategy to getting starting with citations, understanding reviews, website best practices, integrating social media into the mix, a glossary for related terms, and a list of trusted 3rd party agencies commitment to helping small businesses succeed.
Powered By Search's "The Marketer's Guide to Local SEO"
Powered by Search is an SEO agency and this guide has to be one of the best beginner's guide for Local SEO that you'll find. In the guide, you'll find 24 pages that will introduce and walk you through everything from "what is a citation" to "monitoring reviews and recommendations" and all the nuts and bolts that fall in between.
Mike Blumenthal's Blog: Understanding Google Places & Local Search
As one of the most respected authorities in the field, Mike Blumenthal's blog is a go-to place on the web for anyone looking to keep up with the latest developments in local search and Google Places. Here's just a few of his latest posts to give you an idea of just how insightful his posts can be:
- Google Dropping Review Shadow Box in Serp and Going Directly to Plus?
- Google My Business Now Allows Deleted Plus Pages to Be Recovered
- Google Test Search Results - 11 Ads, 1 Directory, and 3 Stinkers
Search Engine Land's Local Search Column
As a leading daily publication covering every aspect of the search marketing industry, Search Engine Land's local search column provides the latest goods on everything local search marketing (including breaking news regarding Google's rumoured upcoming update to its local search algorithm, Pigeon.) In addition, the column not only provides tips for listing with directory providers, but cover everything from geo-targeting to how the top local search engines use map data and how best to increase your rankings within them.
OptiLocal is an agency that specializes in local SEO for small and mid-size businesses in any industry vertical. Having consulted with clients from over 14 countries in 50 difference niches, the company shares its expertise and unique perspective through its blog. From publishing infographics to Q&As with real small business owners and their concerns, the content is very accessible and created for business owners looking to get down to business with their local search campaigns.
"Google My Business" is a platform to help local and small businesses manage their online presence and reputation across Google. Their dashboard enables the ability to maintain up-to-date citations, create and track their engagement across their Google+ page, while having quick access to relevant information from related Google Analytics and YouTube channels. Once a business with a physical location is verified, they can rest assured about having their information served up in local search results while reading and responding directly to customer reviews and seeing where they're coming from. The help center provides the ins and outs navigating the platform and how to get the most out of it.
Originally started by David Mihm in 2008 with the goal of "helping small business oweners confused by Local Search, or those strapped for time, to prioritize their marketing efforts," the results from a survey put to the top search experts puts together a comprehensive overview of how all the pieces fit together. The results dissect general ranking factors, specific ranking factors, and lastly negative ranking factors followed by lots of interesting insight and discussion by those surveyed at the bottom.
Whitespark is a company that builds software for businesses to help them with their Local SEO efforts. From tools like their Local Citation Finder, that helps businesses discover where to list their business for the best rankings to their Local Rank Tracker that helps track rankings in any city, the company is serious about helping local businesses outrank their competition. Which is why it's no surprise that they also happen to have a fantastic blog covering all the ins and outs of Local SEO that a small business owner or marketer would want to know.
Bringing together some of the top minds in the space including but not limited to David Mihm, Mike Blumenthal, and Will Scott, Local U puts together educational events, seminars, in addition to other resources including their blog and forum where they regularly post videos from the events. Though you do have to be a paying member to access the resources, it could be well worth it given the calibre of the experts that are revealing their secrets.
That's it, hope you find the time to plough through these resources and find them helpful in your quest to better understand Local SEO.
P.S. If you liked this post, you'll love 25 Retail Blogs Every Small Business Entrepreneur Should Be Reading and A Beginner's Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses.
P.P.S. Love some Local SEO blogs or resources we missed? Share them in the comments below.