How to do local SEO marketing

Local SEO - the complete guide. All information, all backgrounds

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO stands foraddress-related search engine optimization (Local Search Engine Optimization). Local search engine optimization should generate additional sales for companies. This type of SEO is about businesses that receive customers at physical addresses and sell them services and products.

Local SEO includes linguistic and technical optimizations on websites; This marketing discipline also includes networks and portals that link to the website of a business (on-page SEO and off-page SEO).

An important part of local SEO is the management of customer recommendations. Local SEO includes the address or addresses of your shops and the citations with citation building.

What is local SEO content?

Address, opening times, offers, directions, virtual Google tour, invitation to the opening after the business renovation or to the summer party. In other words: content marketing with a local reference is logically inseparable from a location. It is unmistakable and therefore cannot be transferred to other locations. Clarity is the central requirement here. Google wants to give its users the best possible result.

The answer to the question about the next barber shop, which is currently open and receives customers without an appointment, can therefore only be claimed by a provider. Unless you're standing on a street in the exact middle between two shops with identical offers.

Create content for local SEO

You write on topics related to your city, your street and the customers you want to invite into your business with Local SEO.

If you are a florist, write about love. If you are a dentist, write about beauty. If you are a psychiatrist, write about resilience, about a life in balance.

Be clear. Clearly worldwide.

Local SEO - video tutorial

This detailed video was provided by Martin Brosy. This video really tells you everything that local SEO is all about.

What is NAP?

NAP stands for Name - Address - Phone.

Quite simply, do you tell yourself? So you sit down and decide: I'll just write my phone number on the web. And the street, the zip code and the place where I have my business. Easy.

  • 04 .... / 12345
  • Blumenstrasse 27
  • 12345 model town

Two days later a friend calls you and tells you about a new portal. You have to have it, he says.

So quickly entered the address there as well. You know your address, you think, so you type it in quickly:

  • +49 -4 .... / 12345
  • Blumenstrasse 27
  • D-12345 model town

Still your address Compare times with the first entry. Hardly any difference for a human being. For the machine (algorithm) an almost unsolvable problem. Because with the complex procedures around text recognition (text mining, sentence tokenization and word tokenization) it is already a challenge for the search engine to define the end of a sentence in a text. And you know: the easier you make it for the search engine, the better it is for everyone.

Therefore it is important for the clarity that you help the search engine and store your business card (NAP) identically everywhere. The NAP is possibly the only piece of DC (duplicate content) that the machine needs to work.

Should NAP be identical everywhere?

What if I move? Change manually everywhere?

Let's assume you've spent a day logging into all portals and entering your details there.

Let's also assume that after three months you want to add a new opening time. You are open longer on Saturdays.

Do this work again? So a lot of work # 2?

With SEMrush Listing Management Tool you don't have to do this work. You write your NAP on your website. In your entry on Google MyBusiness. Always identical. This is important for SEO. You enter your NAP online in all portals and registers.

A lot of work?

Yes, that would be a lot of work if you really count all over 60 portals in Germany alone. However, there is a new tool from SEMrush with which you can automatically enter and update your NAP in all portals you use.

You read that right: automated. But more on that later, at the end of the article is a first overview of the new listing management tool from SEMrush. Between us: it's like two to three days extra vacation a year because you save a lot of time.

The SEMrush Listing Management Tool - Local SEO just got easier

Relevance - Prominence - Distance

Whether or not a GMB entry is shown depends on three factors:


Is this business (hairdresser) relevant to my search query (haircut)? That may look trivial at first glance, but at the latest when asked aboutHair extension oropen in the evening the entry that is best maintained makes the race.


How clearly is it in the GMB profile that I belong to my category? Here is a list of the Google My Business categories


How far is the store from my location?

Going to the hairdresser in Frankfurt - how do I find the nearest hairdresser?

Use of local SEO

Who benefits from local SEO? A triple win situation.

  1. The person who seeks your performance and finds you on the go has an advantage. Because she books with you or buys in your shop.
  2. Search engines benefit from this. Because they measure and analyze exactly how someone comes to you. If you get the best result, internet searchers will be happy that the search engine recommended your site to them. They know it can be worth it, e.g. B. to advertise on Google or Bing: because people trust the search engine. So the search engine operator benefits from doing good local search engine optimization. Logical.
  3. Of course you benefit from it. Because it's about your business.

The benefits of local SEO in three sentences:

  1. Local search engine marketing (Local SEO is part of it) is supposed to bring floor traffic and sales in pubs, shops, supermarkets, doctor's offices, cinemas, workshops.
  2. Local SEO also serves service and craft businesses as well as delivery services that win customers within their radius of action.
  3. Local SEO is as good as free online marketing (if you keep the maintenance of the entries as simple as possible)

Optimizing an entry on Google for the visitor

It all starts with a location listing on Google. A large part of the sales that shops, doctors' offices, hairdressers, etc. generate from online searches come from searching on Google.

The algorithm can only assign a physical business address to a website with at least one location entry. If you have several businesses, use a strategy for local SEO for several locations. This means that the store has to prove that it is not one of the many mailbox locations.

Shop operators have to accommodate the search engine!

Search engine operators want to deliver the best results to search engine users. That is why they pay attention to the trust factors of completeness and timeliness.

Many stores are now automatically recorded by Google - but incompletely. Anyone who runs a business only needs to claim an entry in the global map network of the search giant. From the moment he finds the Google postcard in his mailbox and identifies himself as the legal owner of the property with the confirmation code, the business owner can edit and use the location entry. While there are other verification methods other than postcard, the Google postcard is still a common way of verifying the local listing.

Market services free of charge in one place and in its vicinity.

In contrast to the paid entries in the Yellow Pages, the standard entries are free. The only costs arise indirectly from setting up and maintaining the entries.

The customer says to himself: stop by first - online, anonymously.

The trust-building aspects in a location entry are pictures and tours. The search engine users get used to it, e.g. For example, take a close look at a specific practice online before going there for the first time. How does it look there? Does the doctor have a modern facility?

Those who show their best sides online can look forward to new visitors, customers and patients.

Local SEO and user behavior

Now we come to a crucial point: user behavior. Many customers use Google. Others prefer portals where they read recommendations and reviews. A search engine alone cannot claim all ratings.

Therefore, Google is also dependent on data diversity, more precisely: source diversity. When calculating ranking factors, a realistic value (trust score) from all citations available online plays a role.

But there are also other causes of ranking problems. If you solve these, you can improve your rankings.

An unimaginable number of industry directories worldwide would theoretically be suitable for an industry entry; Of course, only those portals that have a reasonable geographical relation to your business make sense.

That means: Providing Google with information - and everyone else too.

Frequent search terms in local SEO

Searching for restaurants etc. is one of the top terms in local SEO. Hunger and appetite are obviously the main drivers when people on the street ask their devices about options:

  • restaurant nearby
  • pizzeria nearby

Typical industries in local SEO

What kind of business is Local SEO good for? The answer is simple: Any company with regular customers or walk-in customers in a specific location.

  • Corporate branches - e. B. Insurance offices
  • lawyers
  • doctors
  • Super Market
  • Lawyers
  • Gyms

and much more.

All companies that have a shop, practice or office space and want to receive clients, visitors or customers there, need local SEO. If you want to boost your business online.

Only with the interaction of several ranking factors in local SEO can local good positioning in the local search result lists be achieved.

Local SEO and Google MyBusiness

Google MyBusiness (GMB) is the storefront through which search engine users look into a business before they visit it. In GMB, customers can find the opening times of the store, they can read reviews from customers.

If the operator of the shop is also busy here, then read articles on GMB such as: B. on seasonal offers, on topics such as health, prevention, vaccinations, new deliveries, etc.

Google My Business - what is allowed? What is not working?

Google sets clear conditions for an entry. Here is a selection of the house rules

Select company category

Categories are one of many factors that influence ranking in local search results on Google. If a primary category is called “real estate agency”, customers will find this entry e.g. B. to search terms such as "rented apartment", "furnished room" or "rent office space". Categories should therefore be chosen as clearly as possible. Google provides information on how to choose categories on its own website.

Who shouldn't use local SEO?

Providers who offer their services worldwide. In other words: who as a global consignor z. B. only specifies mailbox locations of electronic components, of course, cannot receive customers there. The consequence can be that the business owner receives bad reviews: because nobody is there to serve customers. So local SEO does not make sense here, it can even be counterproductive if customers mark the mailbox locations accordingly in their reviews.

Mobile SEO is important for local SEO

The mobile optimization of a website is possibly one of the main drivers of ranking factors in local SEO.

Anyone who searches the Internet on the move is often on the go: to the dentist, to the train, to the airport, to the restaurant. Man is looking for something for the here and now. Here means: in the vicinity (locally) and now means: Is this currently open? Do i get a table? Is there an appointment?

Search engine operators are reading this note more and more often - in a somewhat bumpy German translation:

Your website has been converted to Mobile First indexing

The majority of Google's crawl requests for your website are made with a mobile crawler.

Relevant for Local SEO: The website has been converted to Mobile First indexing

For the operators of the website, this means that their site is accessed more frequently on mobile devices (smart phones, tablets, iWatch, iPhone, iPad, etc.).

Anyone who goes online with these devices sits e.g. B. in the kitchen, on the train, on the sofa, on the park bench.

Anyone looking for a hairdresser, ATM, locksmith, fitness studio, hiking or swimming pool on these devices is looking at the world from the street perspective. This can be assumed in most cases. Google also assumes that the user intention is short-term and spatially concentrated on a certain environment.

Sales revenues are location-dependent

Increasing sales is a marketing discipline that deals a lot with the competitive landscape.

People's consumption behavior is difficult to predict

  • One drives 8 km to refuel because the fuel price is 2 cents lower
  • The other buys in the pedestrian zone: where it is far more expensive than 1 km around

For people standing in the pedestrian zone, the price of a product or a pizza is less relevant than its availability. Shops, restaurants and service providers have a home game here. If you've done your local SEO well.

Ranking factors in local SEO

You should definitely consider these ranking factors in local search engine optimization. The corresponding entries and data in the profile of GMB (Google MyBusiness) must be maintained with care.

It pays to use all the labeling options on Google:

  • opening hours
  • Call number can be selected with a click (Link: tel: + ……)
  • Notation of the central data
  • Exact business description
  • Citations (reviews)

See all other award options too!

Awards for the relevant data of a retail store can of course also be implemented on the website itself ( / structured data). We should make it as easy as possible for the search engine to identify a business as existing and relevant.

Isn't local search engine optimization a lot of work?

Local SEO takes a lot of time in the conventional, i.e. manual way.

SEMrush will help you: with the central editorial department for all relevant local SEO portals

To the overview of the new SEMrush Listing Management Tool.

Do you want visitors to your shop? These come from visitors to your website or your GMB entry (Google MyBusiness).

We counted around 60 portals where entries are definitely worthwhile.

Examples of local SEO

A competence center for medicine and consulting Frankfurt Stadtmitte, represented by specialists, acupuncture and consultants:

Three companies / practices have the same address. Three offers on three floors. This is a special use case of local SEO. Because here algorithmic differentiation has to be made.

Specialist Center International

Schillerstrasse 31,

Entrance Taubenstrasse 1

60313 Frankfurt am Main

Center for systemic advice and supervision

Schillerstraße 31, entrance Taubenstraße 1

60313 Frankfurt am Main

Acupuncture Center Frankfurt

Schillerstraße 31, entrance Taubenstraße 1

60313 Frankfurt am Main

Overview of ranking factors in the local search

Of course, this overview always includes a little crystal ball prediction. After all, Google is constantly adapting its algorithms. Nevertheless, we can assume that the following points play a certain role. Only Google knows how strong the weighting of the factors actually is.

Organic Ranking Factors for Local SEO

  • So personalized NAP (Name - Address - Phone Number)
  • Link signals such as authority of domains from which links are received, anchor text, etc.
  • Signals from the website itself, i.e. domain authority, relevant terms and keywords in the titles
  • User signals such as the click-through rate, clicks on phone links (rel: tel…), making appointments via the website
  • Signal from Google My Business (business category, proximity to geographic location for mobile use, keywords in the business name)
  • Citation signals including Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), consistency of NAP, frequency of mentions, etc.
  • Reviews and their plausibility, i.e. quantity, frequency and consistency or diversity
  • Social Signals - Posts on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc.

Ranking factors in the Local Pack

  • Signal from Google My Business (business category, proximity to geographic location for mobile use, keywords in the business name)
  • Link signals such as authority of domains from which links are received, anchor text, etc.
  • Reviews and their plausibility (review signals): number of reviews, frequency and author diversity of reviews, etc.)
  • On-page signals: If the labeling options for NAP (name, address, phone number) are used, the main keyword and the secondary keywords are available in the title tags, domain authority
  • Citation signals including Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), consistency of NAP, frequency of mentions, etc.
  • User signals such as the click-through rate, clicks on phone links (rel: tel…), making appointments via the website
  • Personalized, i.e. NAP (Name - Address - Phone Number)
  • Social Signals - Posts on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram etc.

Keep your own entries up to date on over 60 websites

Let's say you want to update your opening times. Not only on your website, but wherever your site comes from in the local SEO business. You could very well spend a few hours doing the following:

  • Find access data (email, user name, password)
  • Log in
  • Enter data (copy & paste)
  • Check data
  • Save entry
  • Entry again from the outside (check customer perspective)
  • If everything fits, cross it off the list

So far, many entries in Local SEO are out of date and send wrong and therefore very negative signals.

The good news: SEMrush now also offers a useful automation solution for listing.

The SEMrush Listing Management Tool - this is what the new tool for local SEO looks like

The local SEO listing management tool from SEMrush

With this new tool, SEMrush offers you another top-class service. You can manage data in Google My Business in real time and much more.

Listing management tools include numerous functions that make local SEO both more convenient and more effective. It is crucial that - similar to a social wall - you have perfect monitoring of all activities and tasks.

  • Management of a brand's online presence on over 60 global platforms for local search, including social networks, review and recommendation sites, directories, maps and GPS systems.
  • In Germany, up to 24 locations can be added per company
  • API integration with Google - manage data in Google My Business in real time
  • Add new location pages and store locators to Facebook pages
  • Overview of duplicate listings - If the tool reports possible duplicates, you can suppress them or, after checking, indicate that the listing in question is not a duplicate.
  • User Suggestions Management - Change suggestions from other users can be edited.
  • Monitor reviews - read directly in the tool and then go to the directory in which the review is located.
  • Optimizing and cleaning up location data as top priority.