Every small-to-medium-sized business, or the agency working on behalf of a small business, has one central goal with local business SEO: to get more leads.
Ranking in Google Maps and local organic search is an important part of getting those leads.
You can have great technical and on-site SEO, but if your reviews are non-existent or are below a 3.0 average, you have other issues that need to be dealt with first.
So, how do you rank in the local pack and local organic results?
In this guide, I’m going to walk you through the most important success factors for both Google Maps (the local map pack) and local organic search.
I’m also going to be touching on some “tactics” that don’t help you rank at all, and I’ll finish up by providing a priorities list based on you or your client’s current positioning.
Two Different Opportunities for SMBs
I’ve said this before, but it’s worth mentioning again: local business SEO is not just the map pack/local pack. Below those three map pack results are regular organic results.
The algorithms in play for Google Maps are different from the algorithms used in localized organic results. With that in mind, I’ll be covering the different strategies to optimize for both of these types of results.
Before we get into specific success factors, I have to reiterate the importance of keyword research. Instead of covering it again, check out the two posts I’ve done on local keyword…