Top 10 Local SEO Strategies

Top Ten Strategies for Local Rankings

1.      Profiles

Establish Profile Authority

Follow Google’s Best Practices Guide here.

  • Verify and Claim your Listings at http://www.getlisted.org
    • Claim at least Google, Bing, Yahoo and Superpages
  • Complete all info thoroughly, including clear, long, excellent description (Basic and Enhanced Information)
  • Establish NAP format
  • Use email matching domain to register account
  • Establish photo shoots with Google when possible.  Always upload at least 5 pictures
  • Use images and video, (walk-through, testimonials)
  • Establish Service area
  • Utilize QR Codes when possible
  • Real Address, No UPS or PO Boxes
  • Consider implications of Walk-in versus Service Based

Stay Away from:

  • Violating Google’s Suggestions
  • Using 800 Numbers
  • Using Phone Number Tracking
  • P.O. / UPS Boxes
  • Multiple Place Pages / location
  • Duplicate Phone on Multiple Place Pages

2.      Reviews

Implement a Review Acquisition System

  • Professional Service offices should create a ‘Thank You’ post card when a thank you mentioned in the office, including instructions to leave a review on Zagat.
  • Properly train employees to have a lending ear for positive feedback from customers, patients and clients.
  • Encourage positive customers to leave a review online.
  • Use the hReview HTML Rich Snippet Markup on Website for reviews.
    • Link Reviewers’ name to their online social profile, preferably LinkedIn.
    • Do not solicit reviews.  Only ask to leave a digital review if a verbal unsolicited testimonial is provided.

3.      Social Media

Create and participate in social media channels

  1. Create a Business Page or Fan Page
    • Facebook (Get Vanity URL after 25 likes)
    • Google+ Local
    • LinkedIn
  1. Follow Best Practices
    • Photos
    • Descriptions
    • Links
    • Product / Services
    • SEO Optimization
  1.  Engage with Audience


4.      Citations

Acquire citations from at least the following sources.

Public Sources

  • Annual Reports, SEC Information
  • Federal, State and City Gov’ts
  • Business Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Postal Service Information

Data Providers & Review Sites

  • Superpages
  • infoUSA
  • Theme Sites
  • Yelp
  • Citysearch
  • InsiderPages
  • Google
  • Yahoo Local
  • Angie’s List
  • Judy’s Book

Outside the Box

  • ATM or Kiosk at your location?  List in directories
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Free Wifi Directories
  • RedBox Directory
  • Sponsorships / Charity Events
  • Speaking Engagements

Host a Weather Station

5.      Video

Local Businesses can create and distribute four types of video

I.         Office / Warehouse Walkthrough

II.         Testimonial Videos

III.         Operational (for product / service)

IV.         Commercial (advertisement for product / service)


  • Distribution to YouTube is critical.  Optimize video title and description similar to this video.
  • Promote through Social Channels once distributed and optimized.

6.      Local PR

Create and distribute an effective press release.  Hire a local writer from the local news paper.  Distribute the local press release to at least ten local publications, including:

  • Local Newspaper
  • Regional Newspaper
  • Local FREE Publications (pick one up a Chiropractor’s office)
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Local College – Approach business admin

7.      Website On-The-Page SEO

This is only a partial list of the factors and represents the most important items to complete.

  1. Validate your HTML code so it is “spider” compliant.  http://validator.w3.org/
  2. Text link navigation at the bottom of the page.  Use your keywords as anchor text.
  3. The Title Tag should be compelling and focused.
  4. Your description tag needs to work hand-in-hand with the Title to get the searcher to “click” on the listing.
  5. Every page should have a unique (60% of the words completely original) Title & Description.
  6. H1 tag should be used and should be very compelling
  7. Add ALT tags to your main graphics and do not attempt to fool the Search Engines here.
  8. Place your keyword phrase in the following areas:

                                     i.     Title Tag

                                   ii.     Meta Description

                                 iii.     H1 tag to begin the content

                                   iv.     First paragraph of content

                                     v.     Appearing in Bold or Italic in the first three paragraphs of content (if possible, not that big of a deal)

                                   vi.     Appearing in the filename (or directory name)

vii.     Used in anchor text to either an internal page or relevant external site.

  1. Fix bad links and create XML Sitemap and submit to Google.

8.      Company Blog

This is a critical piece for any Internet Marketing Strategy for a business.  Almost every piece of marketing communication can be hosted on a blog including all types of media.

  • Use WordPress Self Hosted
  • Use SEO Plugins (All-in-One-SEO)
  • Blog Weekly
  • Internal Links to Business Website
  • Opt-in Conversion Optimization (Welcome Gate / PopUp / Scipt)
  • Create compelling content prospects can relate to


9.      External Links

Link Building is critical for Organic SEO Rankings in the SERPs.  Find sources to link to the following pages, including your root domain.

Location Based Pages

  • Local newspaper (PR Campaigns)
  • Chamber or Networking Groups
  • J.V’s
  • Local Directories / Phonebooks

Theme Related Pages

  • Directories / Data Providers
  • Social Networking Groups and Sites
  • High Authority Exposure

10.  Systems for Measurement and Correction

It is said that everything that is measured improves.  Create the systems for measurement in your business, and measure at least the following items for your online marketing campaign.

I.         Claimed Listings

II.         KW Rankings

III.         KW Strategy

IV.         Competitive Research

V.         Citation Acquisition Strategy


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1 ping

  1. Andre says:

    Thanks for the email about this posting. These are some great tips that are easily digesting and understood. I couldn’t find a twitter button, so I just copied the from the email.

    1. Scott Gallagher says:

      Thanks Andre! Shame on me for not having a Twitter button :( Will get the team on that one, thanks!

  2. Cliff says:


    As usual great advice on the Local SEO front. I continue to use the stuff you taught in your original MLBO course and despite all the Google updates client’s still winning!

    BTW: Facebook no longer requires 25 likes to use vanity URL you can get one as you create your listing.


  3. Mike says:


    Can you explain what you mean by each of these…

    Using 800 Numbers
    P.O. / UPS Boxes
    Multiple Place Pages / location
    Duplicate Phone on Multiple Place Pages


    1. Scott Gallagher says:

      These are what you should avoid.
      800 numbers – Google wants to see local numbers. local area codes are perceived as a local business – 800#s are perceived by consumers to be heardquatered anywhere

      PO Boxes – not physical address. Google says no and testing shows is hurts rankings. Consider marketing implications to this.

      Multiple Places Pages – Google says NO. It’s confusing to consumers

      Dup Phone – Google Says NO. Same reason as tracking numbers. Confusing to consumers.

  4. Brian says:

    Hi Scott,

    I would like to ask you…as far as not recommending a tracking number on a Google+ Business page: How as a marketer do you show proof of how many calls are coming from the Google+ business page to your customers? And…is it against the rules of Google + Business Page or is it just that it is potentially confusing? Thanks for the clarification. I think your stuff is great.


    1. Scott Gallagher says:


      Demonstrate exact call count is difficult without some efforts…however for smaller firms simply asking does the job. However, at the end of the day, it’s not calls we’re after, it’s sales…new patients, new business, more profitable business. We help our customer implement and use CRM software, tracking sales and leads. We demonstrate a baseline, and show improvements in the business with metrics that help the bank account, not the ego.

  5. Mick McCrory says:

    As always Scott you give us the golden nuggets that help us stay above the rest of the pack in the local internet marketing world.

    Thanks a bunch for the 10 strategies. I also noticed that facebook fan pages allow us to claim the vanity url when creating a fan page.

    Scott do you have any advice for helping a client who has negative google reviews for her business? Her competition is definitely behind those reviews trying to hurt her business.

    No matter how hard we try we can’t get her customers to leave a review, it’s like no one will go through the motions. I told her to ask for reviews straight up once she finishes the transaction, but no one is leaving a review so far.

    1. Scott Gallagher says:

      Here’s something I wrote on Online Reputation Management. http://www.localmarketingsource.com/blog/online-reputation-management-for-local/

      Good luck, it’s not fun! Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it!

  6. best writing service says:

    l internet marketing world.

    Thanks a bunch for the 10 strategies. I also noticed that facebook fan pages allow us to claim the vanity url when creating a f

    1. Richard Santos says:

      Yes. You don’t need to have 25 likes to get your own vanity url for your fan page.

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