Best Practice holiday seoIn the constantly shifting local search landscape, where it can feel like the targets are forever on the move, marketers are scrambling to measure the ROI or their efforts. For local SEO, marketers utilizing best SEO practices are critical to driving maximum impact before and during the upcoming holiday season.

This was the topic of this month’s webinar with DMD, featuring Rio SEO’s VP of local search solutions, Bill Connard, and Kippie Friedkin, Online Marketing Manager at Lane Bryant. To that end, these digital marketing experts shared perspectives on how to make sure your local search strategy has best practice SEO and user experience in place. Moreover, we highlighted some of those best practices below – you can also watch the full presentation for more local SEO insight.

So we kicked off the webinar with the results of a client survey we recently facilitated at Rio SEO of the top retailers (those with high traffic volumes) and their search traffic metrics right after the Pigeon update. What we then found was that those with optimized local landing pages in place saw a 10% – 20% increase in traffic to those pages from organic search and an average increase of 20% across local positions on SERPs (ie.: local map positions, etc.) by submitting their local business data to maps and online directories.

To be sure, you don’t often hear these stories right after an algorithm update. For example, typically, doom and gloom stories of the biggest losers plaster the web. In every algorithm update, though, those who have prepared and followed best practices rise above when the biggest losers fall.

5 Essential Elements For Ensuring a Great User Experience

  1. First, optimized environments for desktop, tablet & mobile functionality
  2. Next, name, address, phone number and click-to-call on all pages
  3. Then, driving directions and links to maps included for quick access
  4. Local business content relevant to nearby searchers
  5. Finally, direct link from search map results to optimized local pages

10 On-page Local SEO Best Practices to Follow

  1. Localized code-level meta tags
  2. Schema markup for all local content
  3. Optimized SEO elements, such as H1 tags
  4. Customized local content with relevant information
  5. Image naming with localized alt and title text
  6. Localized anchor text for links
  7. URL structure with keywords and location
  8. Domain authority links to location finder and pages
  9. External links from relevant directory pages
  10. Webmaster local SEO tools and web analytics integration

Local Reporting and KPIs that you should be measuring

Essential local search metrics

  • Website analytics
    • Organic search traffic to local pages
    • Mobile traffic to mobile optimized pages
  • Call tracking
    • Click-to-call activities
  • Click activities
    • Driving directions
    • Click-to-call
    • Social sharing
    • Coupons, promotions, ads
  • Conversion measurement
    • Form fills
    • Promotion or coupon redemptions
    • Calls to local stores
  • Local ranking reporting
    • Ranking by city, state, or zip
    • Granular and national view of network rankings in markets
  • Brand consistency on local citations
    • Name, Address, Phone Number consistency
    • Links to local landing pages

Create segmented reports

  • Define location set
    • Individual locations
    • By city, state, national
    • Select store types and filters
  • Combine data sources
    • Cross-channel reporting
    • Trending side-by-side
    • Drill down to specific sources
  • Create roll-up reports
    • Compare multiple segments
    • Overall local network reporting
    • Trends over time

Final Takeaways

  1. Clients using best practice local SEO saw an average of 13% increase in organic traffic post Penguin.
  2. Optimize your local efforts for user experience across devices and online directories.
  3. Utilize top 10 practices for local SEO now to gain the most impact from local search.
  4. Implement local search roll-up reporting to measure success from cross-channel efforts.

In summary, skipping the best practice basics of SEO will only leave your site’s foundation in disarray and prevent you from fully maximizing revenue opportunities. It’s easy to overlook the basics of local search engine optimization when formulating ways to stand out from the competition, but those that follow best practices will provide a quality online customer engagement that attracts and engages for the holidays!

Author Bio:

Karisa Macias has extensive expertise in local search, digital marketing, and technology.