Best Local SEO
Local SEO is a unique beast for me. For years, I specialized in SEO for ecommerce, but with time and some change, I now find myself working specifically with small local businesses. It's a new challenge that I'm really enjoying.
Switching gears to do local SEO made me aware of a lot of things, and the tools I use on a daily basis have been such a help. Not only do they help with time and focus, but they really are valuable assets for anyone with a locally-focused site.
From small business owners to SEOs, anyone with a stake in local search can benefit from using these local search tools:
For $84/year per location, Moz Local can be a lifesaver for managing location data.
Using technology that made GetListed.org a staple for local SEO (Moz acquired GetListed.org), Moz Local takes your business location data and pushes the information out to all of the major data aggregators, including Neustar, Factual, Infogroup, and Acxiom. Additionally, it checks for duplicate listings as well as inconsistent or incomplete information about your business across the web.
For any business looking to manage their information in one place, Moz Local is a great option, but perhaps the strongest asset of the tool lies in its ability to help with listing cleanup.
The free version of the tool (accessible when you hit the Moz Local landing page) allows for you to run a quick search of your business to see which major listings are out there for your business. Each listing is assessed and you're assigned a score, based on the completeness of the listings, duplication, or inconsistencies.
If you're a DIYer, this can be helpful in at least finding out where the errors lie, but it'll be up to you to correct these listings manually. If you want a less stressful fix, a subscription to Moz Local ensures you can submit the corrections all in one dashboard.
Made by local search expert Mike Blumenthal, this tool makes it easier to match your business to the appropriate categories in Google My Business. Of course, you'll know the general terms that match what your business does, but with Google My Business allowing up to 10 categories to be added to your listing, it helps to take a second look to see if there's a category you fit in that you might be missing.
To use, simply type in your service, product, or similar keyword to generate a list of preset categories that are present in the Google My Business category taxonomy.
In addition to helping with your Google My Business listing optimization, I've also found that this tool can be helpful for exploring keyword variations while doing keyword research.
Speaking of keyword research, 5MinuteSite.com has a free tool that can help you get to know your geographic area in more specific terms and make the keyword research process easier.
What are the on-page SEO best practices for local business service areas?
If the client doesn't have unique content from all the cities, one way could be dynamically collecting related contents from other parts of the web that have contents on those cities. Twitter feeds with the cities' names in there, for example. This is a quick way to ensure each city's page has unique content.
Since this is targeted for each local community, besides getting proper local keywords linked into each of the pages separately as Robin mentioned, you'll want to ensure all the parts that can be uniquely described by the local area is covered. For example:
URL: it should have t…