Local SEO Rank Math Review [Use Cases Included]

Local SEO Rank Math Review [Use Cases Included]

This guide is for you if you have a business that services customers in certain geographic areas. This practical guide will help you understand the process of optimizing your website with local SEO and dive into how local search works. We’ll also show you how to create and execute a local search strategy that helps grow your business.

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This guide will help you, regardless of whether your business is able to benefit from SEO localization or you are helping local website owners. Google My Business (GMB) offers a Google-sponsored opportunity for local business owners to jump the line and gain entry to the Map Pack and other SERP features

This guide will teach you about local SEO.

Local SEO

What is Local SEO? An Introduction

Local SEO is a subset search engine optimization. It refers to optimizing your online presence to help your customers – who are already searching for similar businesses – when they do relevant local searches on Google and other search engines.

Local SEO, in short, is about increasing your website’s visibility in local search results for businesses that service customers in person. This applies to both brick-and mortar businesses and those that are physically located where customers can be served (i.e. There are many service-area businesses that serve customers in a specific geographic area, such as coffee shops and restaurants. Electricians or cleaning services.

This includes everything, including reviews, on-site optimization and content. Digital PR also helps to earn press in local media. Although local SEO is often associated with brick-and mortar businesses, online businesses can use it to increase their visibility and drive local leads through local searches. This article is for those who run an in-person business that serves customers – such as cafes, restaurants and retail stores.

Why is Local SEO Important?

Data is important to all aspects of business, especially marketing and SEO. We love data. It’s easy to communicate the importance of local SEO using just 2 simple statistics. These are the results:

This means that 46% of all Google searches are specific to local information and businesses. 88% of local business searches (using mobile devices) lead to a call or visit within 24 hour.

Local SEO is like all SEO. You want to grab someone’s attention when they are actually interested. Instead of other marketing methods that rely on putting things out there and hoping it sticks, SEO is about knowing the intent. Even better, local SEO allows you to be there for that intent within 24 hours.

How often do you open your phone to search Google for a nearby restaurant or coffee shop when you travel to a new place?

Ask yourself the following question: How many customers does Brewshot get compared with Cafe Layette, or any other coffee shop that doesn’t make it on the list?

This is what ranking high on Google can make a difference – you can be the best solution or the most popular service in your locality, but you may struggle to earn customers consistently (since you need to spend time acquiring customers).

Here’s a huge Advanced Web Ranking study into search results and click through rates that shows the first business to appear in local searches receives 54.16%, compared with just 6.88% for #2.

This staggering stat really shows how crucial local SEO is to businesses that want to be more successful than their competitors.

Keyword Research & Content Strategy

Failure to plan can lead you to failure in SEO. You won’t get the results that you want if you don’t do the research and develop a great strategy before you invest the time or money.

Let’s suppose you own a Mexican restaurant in your area. Don Julio…

Bottom of the Funnel Keywords “Service + Location”

Local businesses find it easy to identify the primary keywords (i.e. It is usually easy and straightforward to identify the most relevant and important keywords for local businesses. Assuming you own a Mexican restaurant in London, what keywords would you search to find it?

  • “Mexican restaurants London”
  • “Best Mexican restaurants in my area”

Are you seeing a trend? Customers are increasingly searching for local businesses that offer the same services as they do.

NoteTo make it more interesting and to change up the examples, we will create a new business that is based in London. It will be a dog grooming company.

This Bulk keyword generator from High Visibility can be used to automate or speed up this process. It will generate a list with local keywords that you can target. We know the following search terms are a good starting point for a London dog grooming business:

  • London dog grooming
  • Dog grooming near me
  • Dog groomers + location
  • Dog salon + location
  • London dog groomers
  • Dog boutique London

These are just a few of the many searches people will make for “dog grooming”, which can be done without any location. While you might think it is better to concentrate on queries that involve locations, Google has become quite smart over time. If someone searches for a service they will automatically include their location in the results.

Google Autocomplete and Related Question

Even though we have a good base of keywords, it is always worth looking for more. Google’s powerful autocomplete tool and the “also asked questions” that appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) are two ways to accomplish this.

Google allows us to type in some of our keywords and get even more ideas

  • London dog grooming prices
  • London dog grooming supplies
  • Mobile dog groomers London
  • London mobile dog grooming
  • London luxury dog grooming
  • Does a dog groomer need a license?
  • How much should dog grooming costs cost?

These methods produced some great results. This is especially true when it highlights the terms “luxury”, “mobile”, and “mobile-related” that could be integrated into our strategy. Now that we have a growing number of keywords, let’s take it one step further. Let’s take a look at the top ranking keywords for our largest competitors.

Check out the Keywords Competitors rank for (Ahrefs/SEMrush).

You’ll need to invest in tools like Ahrefs and Semrush if you want to really improve your SEO game. These tools allow us to collect key information about keywords, competitors, performance trends and more.

We have identified these top competitors in dog grooming London based on previous searches:

  • Love My Human
  • London Dog Grooming Co.
  • Purplebone Shop & Dog Grooming

This information will allow us to go into Ahrefs Site Explorer, and then enter each website. After it loads, click on the “Organic Search” tab at top. Scroll down to the bottom. Or, navigate to “Organic Keywords” on the left-hand to see a list with the most popular keywords.

The screenshot below shows that there are many search terms we don’t know about, which makes it easier to find them.

These are the most notable in this instance:

  • Grooming pets (rather than just dogs)
  • Grooming services
  • Parlors for dog grooming
  • Pet spa London

We don’t find much other than London Dog Grooming Co. and Love My Human. Our search results for keywords related to dog toys, supplies and supplements may not yield any results.

Understanding your business strategy and plans is key. If you plan to sell toys, supplies, and supplements at some point, then targeting them now may put you in a great position for when those products are actually offered & sold.

We’ve now delved into keyword research and content strategy. You’ve probably been reading this article and doing the research for your business. You can go back to this section to create a list of keywords that you want for your business.

Local SEO – On Page SEO Setup

There are many tools that can speed up your WordPress website’s optimization. You only need one plugin to implement Local Business Schema Markup or set up pages for each business’s location.

Rank Math is the plugin that we will be using. It’s not just because we created it but also because it is the best SEO plugin available, trusted by some of the most respected SEOs in the world. Rank Math’s ability to manage all aspects of local SEO from a single dashboard is what makes it so powerful for businesses.

If you don’t have Rank Math – , learn more and get started. It’s easy to migrate from an old SEO plugin and it takes only a few moments.

Local SEO is still subject to most of the best SEO practices and conventions.

  • Keywords in H1s
  • Keywords in title tags
  • Keyword in permalink
  • URLs that are short and easy to remember

However, there are some unique and specific factors that you need to rank well for local searches. These include using Schema Markup in your favor and displaying your business location information. You can also use Rank Math to manage structured data implementation on your WordPress website.

However, if WordPress is not your current platform (and you are unable to use the Rank Math WordPress SEOPlugin), Schema Markup can still be used with this Schema Markup generator.

Optimize your Homepage for Local Search

The best way to optimize your website for local searches is to concentrate on the primary area your business serves. A London-based photographer would optimize their homepage to search terms such as “London portrait photographer”, even though they may serve other parts of the UK.

They could still rank for UK-centric search terms, such as “portrait photographer” or “portrait artist”. While this would not prevent them from ranking for other UK-centric search terms (i.e., ones that aren’t London), it is a bad idea to remove any references to any locations from your homepage. It makes it much more difficult to rank for the generic “portrait photographer” search term.

Rank Math automatically adds the Schema Markup to your homepage when you have entered your business information during the setup process. We’ll be covering this topic in detail next.

You can also customize your business type.

We also recommend:

  • Add your name, address and phone number to your homepage. This is for potential customers as well as citations.
  • Showcasing testimonials/reviews/etc…

A homepage that is focused on helping users find the right section of the website for larger, international companies that have locations around the globe is the best option. Europcar is a good example. They don’t limit their service to certain areas and can safely use messaging such as “Looking for an automobile?” Then, let people know that you’re at the right place …”.

How to Create Multiple Locations (with Schema), Using Rank Math

You’ll need to create local landing page as your business expands and you begin to serve more cities/locations. This will allow you to rank in each location.

This is possible with Rank Math.

Note: To use Rank Math’s Multiple Places functionality, read more here and ensure that the Local SEO module has been activated.

We’ll use Europcar again, as it is relevant for even smaller businesses. Their site architecture is excellent and they rank highly for keywords such as:

  • Car hire France
  • Car hire Italy
  • Car hire London

And so on.

This is possible with the help Rank Math’s local SEO module.

It can be tempting to simply change the title tags and some headings of pages to set up local landing pages. Then, you could end up reusing content from dozens of other pages. This is not ideal, and it is strongly recommended that you create unique content for these pages. If your business is located in New York or California, you will need to create different content for each page (even though the core service/information that you wish to present is nearly identical).

This allows you to create landing pages with unique content for specific locations even if you aren’t physically located there.

A plumber who is based in Brighton may also want to service the surrounding areas. He would be able set up local landing pages to rank for each area he serves and then generate leads. Although you cannot set up a Google My Business listing to represent your business in the surrounding area, you can still rank for local search results for all the keywords we mentioned earlier.

Helpful Plumbing is an example of a plumbing service that has pages optimized for Birmingham as well as Redditch (locations within the United Kingdom).

They rank in the local SERPs for their target keywords, even though they aren’t physically located in either of these locations.

Schema Markup for Local SEO

Next is Schema Markup. Local businesses are the focus of an entire category.

Rank Math’s Schema Markup module allows you to easily add structured data to your website. The information you provide when setting up the Local Search Engine Optimization module under Rank Math > Titles and Meta > Local SEO automates the process.

Please note:All data entered in this section must match your official information. Each phone number, every address format, every opening hour, email address, social link, and every address must match.

Rank Mathematics PRO allows you to add additional landing pages to your business in a separate custom type. This makes managing dozens of locations very simple.

Add A Google Map To Your About/Location Pages

Google loves regularity, as you may have seen. Google Maps requires data to be properly formatted. Headings must be structured correctly, as well. The API key is a string of numbers that the search engine uses to quickly link your business with a Google profile. It pulls information automatically.

You can now move to the next step if you have followed the steps linked above to obtain your API key. If you don’t have your credentials, just open the link and click the blue button ” ” to access the Credentials Page. Follow the instructions.

Once you have the Google Maps API Key, go back to the Rank Math Dashboard, navigate to the Local SEO Tab, and you will see a section where you can enter the key.

Once you have done that, you can embed an interactive map in your footer or on your about page. This will make it easier for Google and visitors to locate you.

You can also use a page builder such as Elementor, Oxygen or Divi, as well as single-use plugins like WP Google Maps and Maps Widget.

Local SEO Title Tag Optimization

Local business websites can use the same title tag optimization principles. However, it is important that you note that local search results are more sensitive to specific match keywords in titles tags and descriptions. The insights make optimizing your meta title and description, as well as your content, much easier by setting a focus keyword within Rank Math.

Title Each page of your website should have a title. It should be distinctive, engaging, and targeted at the search intent of your ideal client.

HeadingsHeadings are based on a hierarchical structure which determines the importance and relevance of each section. There may be one H1, several H2’s and perhaps some H3’s below the second-level headings. Although H4’s are also possible, they are less common.

Meta description A short description of the page that will appear in Google search results. It should make people click through to find out more.

Each of these is used by Google to determine what your website is about. While it might be tempting to add keywords for every page, this is probably the most dangerous thing you can do. Local SEO meta tag optimization applies to all pages on your website. We highly recommend setting focus keywords using Rank Math for pages with search intent. This will allow you to keep track of which pages need improvement.

Google My Business, Bing Places and Apple Map Listings: 5

Now that you have mastered the basics and optimized your local SEO website, it is time to learn the most important lesson: how actuallyrank at the top of Google. Also, how to appear as a recommended company on the map .

This is an example of what we mean when we refer to a map pack for local search “pizza close me”, but there are many more listings.

We’ll first cover all you need to know about creating the map pack. Once the map pack is set up, you will learn how to get reviews and track your rankings. You’ll also learn how to manage SEO when there are multiple locations.

Introduction to Google’s Local Maps Pack

Although we have already provided examples of Local Packs throughout the article, we have avoided using that term. The Google Maps Pack, which is basically a rich search result, shows top businesses on a map with key information.

While it is important for your business to be at the top, optimizing your website and installing plugins won’t guarantee your place at the top. Google considers a variety of factors when deciding which businesses are featured.

  • Google My Business
  • NAP – Name and Address. Phone Number.
  • Review quality and quantity
  • Social media presence
  • Google Analytics shows how many people have accessed your business via Google. Book calls, make reservations, and click on your services
  • Optimization on-page
  • Backlinks and local citations
  • High quality content

If you are new to local SEO, it will take a lot of effort. If you start from scratch and build a solid foundation, it’s possible to get ahead of your competition.

How to Optimize and Setup Your Local Pack

Optimizing and setting up your Google My Business profile are crucial to the performance of your website in local search results.

This is because, although you can rank organically in local searches, many local searchers will see a map pack at top of SERPs for high intent local searches. This is the perfect time to optimize and claim your Google My Business profile.

  1. Claim your Google My Business Listing, .
  2. Completing your profile is important.

You can add photos, opening hours and categories, as well as links. In addition, you can also set up instant messaging through Google. Don’t leave anything out, as they are more likely rank higher in search results.

People often overlook the most important thing because they are unable to make a decision: their business’s type. It is vital to identify your business category in order to take full advantage of the benefits your category offers.

Restaurants can include links for online reservations. Hotels can list amenities. Service-based businesses can link directly with their packages.

You can be very specific about the category you choose. For example, instead of listing it as “restaurant”, you might list it as “Mexican buffet restaurant”. Secondary categories allow you to refine it further.

  1. As Google stated, triple-check everything including your name, logo and phone number.
  2. Keep your listing updated with new photos and videos, as well as adding any news or useful information.
  3. You can take advantage of all new features as they become available such as WiFi availability, payment types, wheelchair accessibility, and WiFi availability.

Google will rank your listing higher if it is complete and appealing to potential customers. They want people to find the best businesses.

Setting up Apple Maps and Bing Places

While Google is undoubtedly the leader in SEO, there’s no doubt that many businesses overlook Apple and Bing. Millions of people use both platforms every day. You should still make every effort to get more customers.

These steps are similar to setting up Google My Business. Just follow these links to get started.

Similar principles apply to Google My Business.

You should ensure that your business information is accurate and consistent. Take great photos and include as much detail as possible. These guides will help you set up Bing and Apple.

Local SEO without a Physical Address

Local SEO is not a requirement. This means that you can use the address of a physical location where you provide customer service if that is what you want.

However, if your virtual office is not operational, don’t use this address. This is unless the address can be considered “staffed during business hours”. Otherwise, this would violate Google My Business guidelines.

Because a single local service provider may offer their services remotely to multiple locations, you can also communicate Google My Business listings. Here are some ways you can do this:

When asked if your business has a physical location that customers can visit (such as an office or store), choose no if you don’t. Next, you can enter all locations that you are able to service customers at in the next step.

This detailed Moz guide explains how to approach local SEO for businesses with no physical location.

Essential SEO Tools to Local Search

Software like Ahrefs and Rank Math will always be at the top of any reputed list of SEO software. However, there is a subset of SEO software that is highly focused on local SEO. This software covers everything from local listing tracking and ranking in organic search, to review management and conversion tracking.

These are the tools industry leaders trust and rely upon:


Whitespark offers three main tools, all designed to assist you.

  • Create citations
  • Earn reviews
  • Monitor your local search rankings

This tool is extremely useful as traditional rank trackers are not suitable for local businesses. They lack the ability to track Google and Bing rankings in any city.

Find out more about Whitespark.


Yext is very similar to Whitespark – it has 6 core products.

  • Answers
  • Listings
  • Knowledge graph
  • Pages
  • Review
  • Analytics

These are all part of their Search Experience Cloud that’s trusted and used by many well-known brands like Taco Bell, T-Mobile, Tesco, Superdry & others…

Find out more about Yext.


ReviewTrackers is, as the name implies, a software solution that focuses on the review management aspect of things. They are an award-winning software company that provides review management software. This allows you to get more reviews, respond better to customers and gain insights into the customer experience.

Find out more about ReviewTrackers.

Moz Local

Moz, a well-known alternative to Semrush or Ahrefs in the SEO industry, has a product called Moz Local that helps local businesses increase their online visibility.

Moz Local handles everything, from listing management to profile optimization to review management and reporting on performance.

Learn more about Moz Local.


Synup is very similar to Whitespark & Yext – also having 6 core products as part of their solution.

  • Presence
  • Content
  • Reputation
  • Insights
  • Voice Search Optimization
  • Feed

These are all designed to work for you, whether your business is an SMB or an SEO agency.

Find out more about Synup.


BrightLocal is known for being the all in one platform for local search success. We recommend that you get demos of all the software solutions in this list before making a decision. This will allow you to consider all factors relevant to your business, which in most cases will include price.

BrightLocal’s pricing is very affordable. They list their pricing publicly on the website. Many other local search solutions are priced on request.

Find out more about BrightLocal.

AdviceLocal (BrightLocal Option)

Last but not least is AdviceLocal, which offers a real-time listing management system similar to BrightLocal. Pricing is available only after requesting a demo. The core products include:

  • Listing Management
  • Voice apps for SMBs
  • Agency-specific Enhanced GMB Management
  • Voice Search Readiness Test
  • Vertical Directory Submissions

Get more information about Advice Local.

7 Local Business Citations and Link Building

Search engines will be able to determine how relevant your business is by citing NAP (Name Address and Phone Number). These citations are widely considered to be a crucial local SEO ranking factor. They influence the companies Google displays in searches for local intent search terms.

  • Get relevant inbound links relevant to your area
  • As a service provider, get involved in your community

There are many places where you can get local citations depending on the location of your local business and the service area it serves.

Local business directories, search engines, and apps all offer specific structures for building out listings. Nearly any type of local business can be listed on a core group of quality platforms. These would be:

  • Acxiom
  • Apple Maps
  • Bing
  • CityGrid
  • Facebook
  • Factual
  • Foursquare
  • Infogroup/ExpressUpdate
  • Localeze
  • Superpages
  • Yahoo!
  • YP
  • Yelp

These are the essential ones that businesses need from the beginning. It’s also important to pay attention to industry-specific directories, which are often ranked for large numbers of local searches around your industry’s services (of course there are also some that focus on specific geographic areas).

Find out how and where to start earning local citations.

8 Local Search Ranking Factors (2021 – Updated)

Many SEO professionals spend too much time worrying about search engine rankings and not enough on running great businesses. Understanding local search ranking factors through studies by companies such as Moz can help you understand which areas are worth your budget because they have a positive impact on your business (and help sites rank). Let’s take a quick look at the top ranking factors in local search.

Your Google My Business account

It was 2018 – Moz’s local search rankings factors study. The #1 ranking factor in local search is your Google My Business account. This has been widely accepted and it’s become even more so over the years.

Consistency Name, address, and phone number

Google looks at all information about your business, including your name, address and phone number, to confirm that it is legitimate and worthy of ranking. Google will see more NAP information than citations , which gives them more confidence that your address and phone number are correct (i.e. You are reachable and can be reached if you claim to be there.

Online Reviews

Reviews play an important role. This is true from both an SEO and customer perspective. What are the chances that someone will find your website and trust it enough to make a purchase?

Social Signs

Although data and studies show that social media can help improve your website’s ranking, Google says it is not a ranking factor. Although social sharing and being active on social media as a business may not directly or officially affect the rank of your site in search results, your brand’s social profile may be one of the top results in search result results. This is because loyal customers are more likely to leave reviews or return to your site.

Name, Phone Number, and Address Citations

Local NAP citations refer to the mentions of any or all of your business’s address, name, and telephone number information. These citations can be found on business directories, social media, and other websites. These can be helpful to potential customers and influence search engine rankings (i.e. Consistent data and citations across Google Maps, Apple Maps Connect and Bing Places. We recommend that you use one of the Local SEO Tools we have covered to manage all your local business listings as you grow.

9 Local SEO Audits That Are Actionable and Effective

It took time to understand the competition and what was done to get started on new sites. This section will cover the most important areas to assess in technical SEO, citations as well as content and business.

Technical SEO Checklist

  1. Your Google My Business profile must include a contact page with a name, address and phone number.
  2. Local Business Schema Markup is a way to add accurate location data to your website (as discussed earlier).
  3. Your phone number should always be easy to find on your website, and mobile devices should allow you to click on it.
  4. Your name, address and phone number (NAP), are consistent wherever they can be found on your site.
  5. All of your location-specific landing page links can be linked from your website’s top-level navigation.
  6. Although a street address may not be necessary for service-area business, it is recommended that you provide a phone number that can be reached during these hours.

Citation Checklist

  1. Earn citations for all your local business’s physical offices. Make sure that the name, address, phone number and URL of your website are correct for all relevant citations.
  2. It is important that you note the differences in abbreviations, as they can vary from platform-to-platform (e.g. st. vs. street or #.
  3. Spend your time only building citations for physical locations (not virtual offices or P.O boxes, as this is not acceptable).
  4. If you have multiple locations, make sure to use the location-specific landing pages when creating citations. All citations that are created for Colorado should point at the Colorado landing page.
  5. While there are many platforms and directories that you can list your business on, they are not the best place to start. However, it is possible to create citations that are specific to your geographic location (e.g. Chamber of Commerce, Contractor’s Association, or Local News Sources.
  6. If you are a service-area company (i.e. If you don’t have an office address, you can still build citations. However, you will need to focus your efforts on platforms that support and not show address information.

Content & Business Review List

  1. Do an organic link and penalty analysis. Have you been subject to any manual link penalties? Where have your links come from?
  2. Customer review platforms such as Google My Business, TrustPilot, Bark and others. You can manage and respond to negative and positive reviews. Google My Business, TrustPilot and Bark are all places where your business is listed.
  3. Do a competitive analysis to determine the market landscape for similar services in your local area. Then, create a strategy around content, social and exceptional customer service that revolves about serving your customers.

Moz’s local SEO checklist can help you find out more about how to audit the state of your website.

10 Questions about Local SEO

Can I use local SEO if I don’t have an address in person?

You don’t need to have an in-person address to benefit from local SEO. Although some benefits are only available to businesses with in-person addresses only, businesses that don’t serve customers in certain areas (also known service-area businesses), like plumbers and electricians, can still benefit from local SEO.

Is Google’s Map Pack guaranteed placement if you add Local Business Schema?

It is extremely important to add your name, address, and phone number to your Schema Markup implementation using Rank Math. This sends Google and other search engines higher-quality signals about the relevancy and authority of your business location (and general information). There are many other steps that can influence the ranking of businesses in Google’s Map Pack for local searches. This article will discuss them.

What are the top local search ranking factors?

My Google My Business Signals considers the most important local search ranking factors (i.e. Keyword in the business title, category, proximity, and keywords are all important factors. Next, you will find link/citation signals (inbound text, domain authority, etc.). Then, Review Signals (review quantity and review velocity) are followed.

If I optimize for local searches, will I still rank globally?

You can still rank your website and content anywhere else. However, setting up your website for local search success in these areas will have a greater impact on your actual business’s bottom line since you are focusing on the specific area you serve. This article does not cover all of the details. Schema Markup can limit your website’s global ranking. However, you shouldn’t expect a landing page that is specific to a particular location for a UK business to rank in a US local search.

What about paid advertising?

Yes, you can. Take advantage of Local SEO Ads from Google. These are great opportunities for new businesses to attract customers who are looking for them. Are you thinking of opening a restaurant, or opening a second location? This is a great way to reach customers in your local area who are searching for your competitor.

Find out more about Google’s local search ads here

What is the cost of Local SEO?

Depending on whether you work alongside larger agencies or consultants and your business’s particular needs, the competitive markets, your location, your current size, and other factors, the industry average for local SEO work ranges between $300-$2,000 USD per month. If you follow this guide, you can do a lot of the work that a Local SEO consultant does.

Conclusion – Take advantage of local SEO to grow your business

That’s all! This is a big guide, but if you use the local SEO process and put your site in the rank to rank, your position will be better than most of your competitors.

You’re now ready to drive traffic to your local business website. We recommend setting Google Analytics tracking to monitor and keep an eye on how your efforts are performing. Without this, it will be impossible to know if your local SEO efforts are producing real results and additional revenue.

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