5 Top Local SEO Challenges & How to Solve Them
Local Power SEO
Local SEO provides particular issues for enterprise firms. Find out the top five issues that local SEO challenges, as well as the answers to those challenges.
When it comes to enterprise brands, local search engine optimization (SEO) can be difficult because it requires knowledge of “national” SEO, the Google Business Profile, and then an understanding of how Google deals with your priority search queries in different markets.
This indicates that there is an unlimited number of obstacles to overcome for enterprise search marketers in local SEO. So, what exactly are the most typical difficulties encountered in corporate local SEO? Let’s find out.
1. Knowing When to Prior
Prioritize Local vs. National SEO
One of the major challenges organizations face is deciding when to focus on a “local” SEO plan instead of a “national” SEO approach and vice versa.
This is understandable as it’s not always immediately evident if your priorities are better served by one or the other. It can be tough to identify if your target top keywords have local intent.
But, it’s crucial to success with your overall strategy because it will substantially challenge how well your activities satisfy your business goals.
Understanding which terms Google sees as local can help you establish your keyword strategy and choose how to approach and support your SEO investment.
Your website’s design or keyword approach may be causing you to lose a significant amount of visitors.
Understanding the Intent of Local Searches
So, exactly what do we mean when we talk about local search intent?
If you understand the objective of the search, you may anticipate what kinds of features will be included in the search results and which pieces of content should take precedence.
In the context of this conversation, we will be focusing on the following four primary categories of search intentions:
Queries in the search engine with a national focus.
In-depth research using semi-national search terms.
questions aimed specifically at the local area
inquiries having a hyper-local focus in their aim.
The characteristics that are displayed on the search engine results pages (SERPs) provide clues as to the category that your target search queries belong to. For instance:
Queries to conduct a Nationwide Search
There are no “local” results in this SERP, which suggests that Google does not see any local intent for the given queries.
The SERPs will probably switch to results that feature some local results the moment a sizable number of searchers starts to rephrase this query with geographical information, such as “Pleasanton newspaper story,” which takes us to…
Searches With a Semi-National Scope
There are no state- or city-specific sites on SERPs, only a map pack (example).
There are no state or city-specific pages on SERPs, only a map pack.
Google search for “[bank],” a screenshot taken in September 2022
Due to the equal number of local and national clicks, semi-national inquiries like [bank] may contain a map pack. This might be the case because some people are seeking a nearby bank branch, while others are trying to find the bank’s main homepage.
Searches With A Local Search Goal
A map pack and some to all state- and city-specific pages are included in SERPs (example).
A map pack and partial to complete state- and city-specific pages can be found in SERPs.
Google search for “plumber,” September 2022, screenshot
Google will display a map pack of nearby plumbers for a phrase like “plumber,” while the rest of the results on page one are location pages. Google assumes that the user wants to locate a plumber nearby.
Hyper-Local Search Intent Queries
Where the searcher’s location is most important and has a substantial impact on SERP results are hyper-local keywords (example).
Hyper-Local Search Intent Queries
Google image from [Auto insurance near me] search, September 2022
The user and company distance is the most important factor in hyper-local intent queries. As you can see, the map pack takes up the majority of the SERP space for this query. Therefore, Google probably believes that [Auto insurance near me] needs hyper-local results to be beneficial for the user.
Finding Search Intent: A Guide
Analyze current SERP results across various geographies.
Search for a map element in the SERP.
Look for pages particular to your state or city.
Examine the URLs and titles.
Determine intent based on consistency analysis.
How to Develop a National Strategy for Different Types of Search Intent
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If you’ve identified that your target keywords are in searches with little to no local intent, your main website should be where you put the majority of your SEO budget. Creating backlinks will assist you in obtaining that ranking.
- Semi-local Approach
With one additional point of concentration, semi-local keywords will need the majority of your attention while you construct the content and authority of your primary site. You must optimize your Google Business Profile listings since semi-local keywords produce a map pack.
- Local Approach
If you’ve shown that Google views your keyword as local, your site structure will become substantially more crucial. By creating a directory of state or city sites, you can boost the number of searches, and won’t face any significant challenges.
It is best to build a directory of state and city-level pages and optimize them for near-me keywords with unique location pages when your priority keywords are hyper-local.
Depending on your vertical, the layers will probably appear differently, but generally speaking, they might resemble this:
index page for a locator.
2. Providing Location Data From A Single Source Of Truth
This is no longer a challenge thanks to local listings management firms like Yext and Uberall.
However, we continue to encounter companies with several locations that lack a “single source of truth” for all of their location-related data.
Put this in place if it isn’t already.
3. Improving Store Finder Tools
Many companies hire other companies to manage their shop locators. In theory, there is nothing wrong with this, but there are a few ways that this can be a challenge as we have observed:
Only-Search Store Finder
An efficient store locator for SEO should be a straightforward connected collection of state, city, and location pages that a bot or user can browse around to get all of. However, a search box is frequently included on shop locator pages for many companies, making it easy to discover your location.
A few years back, when we compared the locators for the top 100 U.S. retailers, we discovered that the latter had linkable state > city > location architecture while the former had search-only locators that were ranked for almost 50% fewer terms.
Make sure your locator architecture is constructed in this manner, then.
Address Page Content
Brands frequently allocate money to creating a location on their website but leave little money for the content.
A straightforward location page with the company name, address, contact information, and categories of goods and services is quite acceptable. However, a location page with distinctive content that has been enhanced and is pertinent to the area and the subjects you are seeking to rank for might enhance SEO performance.
Your location managers will be helpful in this situation. Successful companies frequently use location managers’ surveys to gather original local information.
Other sources can include consumer reviews from the area, syndicated local point-of-interest data, and top sellers in the niche.
Categories of Priority
Nowadays, the majority of e-commerce queries place local results close to the top of the SERPs.
Brands that succeed in Local Packs frequently connect from their location pages to their important categories.
Consider it as telling Google that the locations you’ve chosen are appropriate for these categories.
4. Google Business Profile Optimization And Management
Even though Google Business Profile (GBP) is simply a set of yellow pages listings for your locations, there is a myriad of ways for businesses to make it go wrong.
Here are a few GBP-related difficulties and opportunities.
Watch Out For Double Listings
It’s amazing that GBP still allows duplicate listings, but I just spoke with a service area company that was having issues ranking. The fact that they had multiple GBP listings was rather obvious.
Their results for the main keyword they were aiming for rose by 15 positions the moment they removed the duplicate listings. So, pay attention to those.
Watch your listings in GBP
Your GBP listings are always changing. Reviews and photographs are being added by users.
If Google believes data from a third party to be more reliable than your own, it may replace your information.
GBP is not something you can “set and forget.” Make a method to regularly check for updates to your GBP pages.
The GBP Dashboard will show you a lot of changes, but not all of them. This is one of the reasons we created this open-source, free application to track GBP image modifications.
Scale Posts in GBP
You can add brief announcements known as GBP Posts to your GBP. These could be a cheap strategy to attract visitors who would convert well to your website. Posts may contain text, images, or video.
Businesses are frequently not set up to develop content for each region, which is a challenge we frequently see. Implement a method for producing GBP-ready marketing materials for fresh promotions if you wish to do GBP Posts for many locations.
As part of each new promotion, this frequently entails developing a GBP-sized version (400 x 300) of approved marketing graphics and copy.
5. Creating A Local Search Presence For Marketplaces And SABs
Not all local business brands have physical locations.
Numerous service area companies (SABs) like plumbers and roofers as well as local marketplace brands like Yelp, DoorDash, and Zillow target local search inquiries yet are not permitted to show in Local Packs. This is a result of the absence of any physical presence in their target markets, and can be a touch challenge.
And by doing so, they are losing out on a lot of possible clicks and earnings.
The creation of a “shop within a store” at the location of a partner brand is a terrific strategy to increase local pack visibility, but it won’t work for every company.
There are an unlimited amount of local SEO strategies that enterprise firms can use, as I mentioned at the beginning.
Make sure to test, measure, and iterate as you implement new strategies, just like you would with any other marketing channel.