For the past few years, Google has increasingly aimed to show better local results, making the SERPs an ideal place for those searching for local businesses.
As you may know, Google has recently reduced the local 7 pack to a 3 pack.
Many people are speculating that this change was made to make way for paid search results like those being tested for locksmiths in San Francisco.
Regardless of why the change was made, it definitely increased the competitiveness of being listed in the local search results. For that reason, we are going to discuss a few great resources for improving your local SEO knowledge and skills.
1. 21 Local SEO Mistakes - Sometimes all of your hard work can be offset by a simple but costly mistake. If you think you are doing everything right, take a second to make sure you are not making one of these mistakes.
2. Getting Down and Dirty with Schema - Google loves to pull data from websites and serve up answers to searchers right in the SERPs. For example, hear is how to "fix a leaky faucet."
Schema Markup makes it easier for Google to understand the content on your website, thereby increasing the likelihood of your content being displayed directly in the SERPs. Aside from that, Schema Markup helps Google understand elements specific to local businesses as well. This includes N.A.P Data, hours of operation, and user reviews.
3. Local SEO Ranking Factors - There are a lot of people that discuss local ranking factors but one of the best places to get tested information is from the Moz study conducted every two years. Moz collaborates with other top local SEO experts and studies what factors matter to local SEO and how influential those factors are. While it is not an exact science, it is pretty accurate most of the time.
4. Local Search Forum - This forum like most has some golden nuggets hidden in the threads. When reading any forum it is a good idea to vet the tips and advice you read. That being said, you can find some great tips when you take the time to do your research. The site is ran by Linda Buquet who also has a local SEO training program. While I have not personally taken her course, I have heard many great things about it. Stop by the local search forum and see what nuggets are waiting for you.
5. Andrew Shotland Blog - Andrew has a blog loaded with actionable information about local SEO. He is a guest author on Search Engine Land and has been a part of several cool projects throughout his career. If you are looking for a detailed look at a specific local SEO task, this blog has several great posts to browse.
6. Neil Patel - This guy oozes great advice, while he has several more in depth pieces about SEO, a recent post on Search Engine Land offers some quick and actionable updates you should be making in your own local efforts.
7. Mike Blumenthal - What would a local SEO resource guide be without Mike? He is dedicated to local search and like Andrew, he has a lot of tips and resources on his site that dive deeper into a single aspect of local SEO. If you are looking to polish your skills in one area, take a look at Mike's blog.
8. The Local SEO "How-To" Guide - Sometimes when you are just getting started the overwhelming amount of information available about local SEO can make it hard to get started. This guide keeps it simple and lays out a plan to get going with your own local SEO plan. Once you master the basics, look to some of the other resources here to continue learning.
While we are not even close to having covered all of the great local SEO resources available, I hope I have given you a great start in learning and implementing local SEO for your small business or future customers.
Over to you
What is your favorite place (besides Website Magazine, of course) to learn about local SEO? Do you have a favorite local SEO trick or hack? Tell us about it below!