Local SEO is misunderstood many times and treated as a separate domain from regular SEO which is in-fact not correct. As search engines are evolving, their ability to know the intent of the search terms are also improving and they are now pretty accurate on turning out contextual search results with the objective of satisfying the purpose for which search is made. With the advents of mobile, not only the long tail searches, bit even generic searches are falling in the gambit of local search and hence it is quite necessary for businesses of all scale to give a different treatment to local SEO.
Competitor intelligence :Your local search engine optimization effort should start with a comprehensive competitor intelligence to unearth what are the business you are competing with, get a list of business keywords that you need to rank and most important, set up a list of 4-5 businesses which are valuable for benchmarking to track your business.
Here is a list of activities that you should take for local search
1. NAP: which stands for Name, address and phone number. This should be the interal part of your pages. These details give signals to Google that your business operates in and around a particular address and they are valuable for proximity search. In Schema or microformats you can also implement mark-ups for all the three criteria.
2. Google business listing: Get listed in Google business listing with as much details as possible. Start within Specific Title, Broad description of your product or services, mention relevant keywords/services you offer and chose the relevant category you work in. Be very specific with Google business listing and put same address that is mentioned on your site. If your business have many addresses, you can have as many business listing also. One area on which you should focus is adding and tagging good business images in the profile page.
3. Reviews from actual Customers: Reviews carry great weight in local business ranking and if the reviews are coming from people who are your actual customers they go a long way in ranking your business for local search.
4. On Page Factors: There are quite a few local identifiers you must use on your pages and content
A. Local City name in URL
B. Location in H1 Tags
C. Some mentions of location in Content
D. Use of locations in ALT tags
5. Local Link Building , Local Citations and Backlink : Start building relevant backlinks from local Sites
A. Local Business listing
B. Local Citations
C. Link From Local People business profiles/Local Business pages/Local Social Media Profiles
6. Social Signals: Getting citations and visits from Social Media cites are also relevant if the visit s attributed to local social media profiles.