12 Ways to Do Local SEO for Online Businesses With No Physical Location
To help businesses without physical locations improve their local SEO, we asked 12 experts, including co-founders, marketing strategists, and vice presidents of marketing, for their best advice. From encouraging online reviews to building local links, discover the top strategies these professionals recommend for optimizing your online presence in the local market.
- Encourage Online Reviews
- Use Google My Business
- Develop Location-Specific Content
- Increase Website Visibility
- Work With Landing Pages and Social Media
- Optimize for Location-Based Keywords
- Make the Most of Directories and Review Sites
- Engage on Local Forums
- Focus On Location-Based Content
- Leverage Service Area and Geolocation Schema
- Enhance Profiles for Local Results
- Build Local Links
Encourage Online Reviews
If a business does not have a physical location, it can still benefit from local SEO strategies. One effective way to do this is by encouraging online reviews. Online reviews are important for local SEO because they can increase a business’s visibility in search engine results pages and help it stand out among competitors.
So try to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business and other online listings.
Use Google My Business
A great way to tackle local SEO for businesses without physical locations is by using Google My Business (GMB). Simply set up a service-area listing in GMB, highlighting the areas you serve without revealing a specific address. This nifty trick helps your business pop up in local searches, connecting you with potential customers in your target areas and boosting leads for your offerings.
Develop Location-Specific Content
This can include writing blog articles or other types of material targeted to specific towns or regions, as well as using keywords and phrases typically used in those locations. You can also develop social media accounts for those places and interact with local followers to build relationships and enhance visibility.
You can also put your company in local directories and review sites relevant to your sector or niche, and encourage clients to give reviews or feedback. You may boost your visibility and reach in specific places even if you don’t have a physical presence, developing location-specific content and connecting with local audiences.
Increase Website Visibility
Optimizing their online presence is one way to do local SEO for businesses without physical locations. This could include increasing the visibility and authority of websites, emphasizing local content, targeting local keywords, and building local citations. For example, setting up profiles on directories that list companies in specific geographical areas can help drive more organic search traffic from those areas.
Creating targeted searches focusing on specific interests or demographic groups within your target area can also be beneficial. As an example, blog posts are a great way to reach a larger audience who may not have been aware of your company or services.
Social media offers many opportunities for businesses to engage with people in their target market, such as sharing interesting events in the area or commenting on relevant trends, further improving the company’s reputation.
Work With Landing Pages and Social Media
Location-specific landing pages can include information about the business’s products or services, customer reviews, and contact information. The landing page should be optimized with local keywords, such as the name of the city or neighborhood the business is targeting.
Another important factor for local SEO is to ensure that the business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online directories and listings. This includes popular directories such as Google My Business, Yelp, and Yellow Pages.
The business can also leverage social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, to engage with potential customers in the targeted geographic area. For example, the business can join local Facebook groups, post relevant content, and interact with followers to build brand awareness and increase engagement.
Optimize for Location-Based Keywords
With businesses that are local but don’t have a physical location, I’ve seen one common mistake that can easily be fixed. Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer in Seattle and you don’t have a physical office—don’t forget to add specific keywords that refer to the location you’re in.
Instead of optimizing your website for only “wedding photographer”, you can add keywords that apply to your city and state—”wedding photographer in Seattle”, “wedding photographer in Washington”, and other nearby locations you may shoot in.
Make the Most of Directories and Review Sites
One way to do local SEO for businesses without physical locations is to use online directories and review sites.
By creating or claiming listings on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, businesses can list their contact information and website links prominently in local search results.
Encouraging customers to post reviews and ratings about their experiences on these sites will help to increase the visibility of the business and its products or services.
Engage on Local Forums
Using forums to do local SEO for businesses without physical locations can be an excellent strategy. However, what you need to understand is that their main purpose is to create a community.
You should start by engaging with potential customers, building relationships, and establishing your brand’s authority in your niche.
This can positively affect your local SEO efforts. However, if you’re using forums to spam or manipulate search engine rankings, it can negatively affect your online reputation and lead to penalties.
Focus On Location-Based Content
This can include creating blog posts, videos, or other content that focuses on topics related to the area where your business operates. For example, if you are a digital marketing agency based in New York City, you could create content that focuses on marketing trends and strategies specific to the NYC market.
You can also optimize your website for local search by including keywords and phrases that apply to your target audience and location. This can include using location-specific terms in your meta descriptions, page titles, and content, as well as creating location-based landing pages or directories.
In addition, it’s helpful to leverage local listings and directories, such as Yelp or Google My Business, to increase your online visibility and improve your local search rankings. By claiming and optimizing your business profile on these platforms, you can improve your chances of showing up in local search results and reaching potential customers in your area.
Leverage Service Area and Geolocation Schema
Many companies offer services in a geographic location without having a physical office, including plumbers, housekeeping services, and even digital marketers.
I have found the best way to explain to potential clients, and search engines, is to use great content that explains your service area and the services that you offer, and add geolocation schema to the back end.
This will explain to your potential clients and the search engines where you work and what the services are that you are offering in this area.
Enhance Profiles for Local Results
Focusing on building a solid online presence through local directories and listings is one strategy for performing local SEO for companies without physical locations.
This entails making your website and online profiles optimized to show up in local search results when locals look up relevant terms.
You can start by setting up a Google My Business profile and validating your company information to do this. By doing this, your company will show up in local search results on Google Maps.
Build Local Links
If a business doesn’t have a physical location, it can still do local SEO by targeting the geographic areas where its customers are located. One way to do it is to build local links. Reach out to local blogs, news outlets, and other relevant websites in your target geographic area to request a link to your website.
You can offer them an article or a post written by you with a link to your website attached and with content connected to your company’s activities. This can help improve your website’s authority and visibility in local search results.
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