Turning local content + expertise into local rankings | Linkflow

Background & The Before Local Baseline

When we met Collette she had built up a loyal community of satisfied clientele via referrals. With 10+ years of experience in the skin health and beauty industry, Collette wanted her expertise to serve a larger customer base. So, she turned to us for local SEO help – to optimize her website, outline and produce authoritative content and improve her Google Business Profile, all so her brand would show up to more potential local clients

Collette started with a basic digital presence: a website that operated as a digital business card, driving almost no traffic from any channels; and a claimed GBP (Google Business Profile, formerly GMB) for her brand with a handful of reviews. Collette’s headquarters were not in the ideal location for her target market – several miles from the center of the metro area she served. Her digital footprint set a good foundation, but she didn’t have any of the key components needed for strong local rankings and traffic.

Our Strategy

Work was iterative and informed via calls with Collette to review accurate keyword research and topical accuracy of content. Content research, creation and publication was developed into a steady cadence and quickly started earning rankings and traffic.

Our strategy covered more than a dozen initiatives including:

Auditing and implementing proper tracking tags and reporting
Launching a campaign to find, claim and improve local citations
Performing a local technical SEO audit and providing critical fixes to the design team
Keyword research
Content audit, rewriting and new content strategy and creation w/ AI support
Linking strategy
GBP (formerly GMB) optimization

The Results

After starting work in May, results grew steadily each month through an impressive 50% click-through increase, 92% increase in impressions, and 173% organic click increase by September, just five months after starting work.

Initial SEO traffic was driven entirely by branded searches from word of mouth/referrals. Thanks to our work together featuring Collette’s experience and expertise, new rankings and traffic grew exponentially. The growth came from non-branded searches, especially around specific services Collette offered and important, high search volume questions from potential clients.

Steady publication of keyword-research focused authoritative content and tight tuning of Collette’s website and local citations/GBP caused the steady increases in Google trust and then local SEO rankings. The growth in search rankings and traffic are the key to increasing client calls, appointments and revenue.

The Takeaways

No project is ever perfect, so in the interest of transparency and growth, here’s what we learned while working on Collette’s local SEO and now apply going forward to improve results and working relationships:

  1.  Start with a tighter baseline audit of domain and reporting ownership. Five months into the campaign, the website went down due to a domain issue. An entire month was spent diagnosing and resolving domain renewal and registration issues. While this doesn’t fall within the scope of what we normally do, we were glad to finally get the site back on its feet. It also flagged an important detail for us to keep an eye on with current and future clients – who owns and controls keeping the site live, domain renewed and hosted properly?
  2. Always Lean on Expertise. We’ve developed years of local SEO expertise – at an almost unhealthy, nerdy level. We’re confident our work with Google and websites can drive local traffic and revenue increases for any local business. That said, our clients are the experts in their field. Some of our biggest wins come from listening to the client about their industry and their customers. Collette taught us along the way about specific pain points her customers faced when choosing skincare services. Those pain points didn’t come up in standard keyword research, and helped us develop a closer client workflow when studying topics, products and services. We now work even closer with our clients when picking keywords to drive content – so the right, revenue-generating topics are the ones brands see increased rankings and traffic for.
  3.  Content is Crucial. Collette’s site was initially pretty thin on content. Rank and traffic growth momentum increased exponentially as we ramped up content production. What may seem a secondary effort actually defines a brand, locally, to Google as an expert in its niche. We saw real world results, confirming that a comprehensive local SEO strategy should include content initiatives alongside the foundational citation optimization, review development and GMB/GBP tuning.

Google continues to localize more and more search results, even when searchers don’t specify a city or neighborhood. The businesses and brands that establish and defend local ranking positions in Google Maps will only continue to see growth in calls and traffic from high-intent, purchase-minded customers.

Find out how we can improve your domain authority, traffic, and conversions steadily and safely.

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