In a previous post, we talked about the search engine results page (SERPS) for a local search and the different ways your business can be listed on the first page of Google for search terms relevant to your business.

So we presume that you have followed our previous post and you have claimed your Google My Business page. If you didn’t read that post, check you have claimed your GMB and if you haven’t, do that first.

We mentioned that while you don’t have to have a website to rank in Google Maps, it will be a huge advantage if you do. Google will base a lot of authority on the quality of SEO your website has.

Another important factor and task if it isn’t already so are to make sure that your website and it’s key pages are mobile-friendly. It’s also a good idea to test your page speeds for your main pages.

When it comes to ranking in Google Maps you also want to list down are variations of your business name and this is especially true if your business was previously named something else.

Next, we move onto compiling a list of the keywords that you would like to be visible for. These keywords are often referred to as “KIL” which stands for “Keywords In Location”. So “Law firm in London” would be an example. A great way to expand your keyword list is to come up with your root keyword. So in our example, that could be “law firm London”. Then take that keyword and then use the power of Google suggest to expand that list. Simply enter your keyword in Google’s search box and Google will immediately give you some suggests. Make a list of these initial suggestions.

We want to build and further expand on Google’s help. The next stage is to cycle through the alphabet and as you do Google will give you further suggestions based on the letter you typed.

So let’s recap on where we are. We’ve ensured we have a Google My Business listing and we have optimised our GMB to the best of our ability. We’ve also built an extensive keyword list of the terms we’d like to be found for.

So now we move on to the main key element of local SEO and that is the concept of citations.

What are the citations? Citations are websites external to you that mention your business in a NAP format. NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone number.

Ideally, you want your NAP information to be consistent across all websites that mention your business. If you have a lot of inconsistencies you may what to look at cleaning this up. You can either do this manually or there are other companies such as Whitespark, BrightLocal and others that will do this for you for a fee.