If you know how to sell a house, then you know the rules of effective local search engine optimization.
Or if you’re like me and you’ve never sold a house by yourself, but you’ve watched a lot of Million Dollar Listing, then you have a good idea how local SEO works.
In this article I’ll explore the key similarities and reveal what you need to do to make sure your business ranks high in the local search engine results.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s quickly answer a question you may be asking…
What Is “Local” SEO?
You’re probably already familiar with traditional search engine optimization (SEO), which is the process of getting your website to rank high in search engines like Google.
But what is “local” SEO?
With local SEO, Google is not displaying websites in the search results. Instead, Google displays a big map with Google My Business profiles. Search for “dentist near me” or “sushi” and you’ll see the map, along with local business information.
Since Google is not ranking websites, the rules of local SEO are slightly different than traditional SEO. As mentioned above, they are a lot like the rules of real estate.
As every real estate broker knows, the first 3 rules of real estate are…
Location, Location, & Location
That’s right, location is the biggest factor in both real estate and local SEO.
In other words, if your business is located near the physical location of the person searching, then your business is more likely to rank high in the search results. The reverse is also true…
If your business is far away from the person searching, then you’re less likely to rank high.
Of course, you don’t control where people are searching so how can you possibly improve your ranking for this critical factor?
The answer is to make sure you set up and verify a Google My Business profile for every office or store location. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many businesses are missing out on this opportunity simply because they don’t have a Google My Business profile set up for all of their locations.
Alright, let’s move on to another key factor in real estate and your local SEO rankings…
In Million Dollar Listing, all of the top real estate brokers know how to get the most exposure for their listings. They throw extravagant parties, advertise, send emails, and call other brokers to ensure the listing is well known by all the key players in real estate.
With local SEO, exposure is also critical to your success. However, you don’t need to throw any parties…
Instead, you need citations. A citation is a mention of your business name, address, and phone number (aka your NAP) on other websites. For example, if your business is listed in Yelp.com, then that counts as a citation because Yelp displays your business name, address, and phone number.
Google scours the internet looking for citations and the businesses with the most “exposure” are ranked higher in the local search engine results.
Now that we’re on the topic of exposure I bet you can guess the next key factor. What does a lot of exposure lead to?
Word of Mouth
In real estate, the difference between selling at or even above listing price or not selling at all is often word of mouth and “buzz”. When listings have a lot of buzz and people are talking about them, then that tends to drive up demand.
In local SEO, word of mouth comes in the form of online reviews. Google gives preference in the search results to businesses that have more “buzz”, or more reviews.
The bad news here is that it’s not easy to get your customers to leave reviews.
However, that’s also the good news. :) That means if you create a process to consistently get online reviews you’ll have a real competitive advantage that will be hard for any other business to replicate.
If you want to see step by step exactly how to get your business to rank high in the local search results, then join me September 15…
Live Training: The Local SEO Fomula
When you attend this live training, you’ll discover exactly how to get your business on the first page of Google’s local search results. Plus, we’ll have live Q&A to answer all of your questions.
This is one of our most popular courses, and we’ve updated it for September 2016 with our latest best practices and recommendations.