Five ways to use local SEO even when you don’t have a physical premise


How can a business stand out in local SEO with no physical premise? Is it even possible?

Local search is very competitive and it becomes even more of a challenge to compete with other businesses when yours has no physical premise.

Sam Nemzer from Distilled shared with us some useful tips at MozTalk on how to use local SEO for a business with no local pack.

Here are the five tactics that Sam Nemzer suggests:

1) Put user-focused content on category pages

A category page should focus on content and the more you add, the better for the SERPs. In order to add content, you can:

  • Pull in third party data to immediately gain access to useful and relevant content (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Wikipedia, Google Maps, Ticketmaster, TripAdvisor, etc)
  • Use proprietary data that may be helpful for your business (this also makes it easier to obtain featured snippets)
  • Find questions to answer. Sam Nemzer suggested the tool “Answer the Public”, a free visual keyword research that allows you to find the right questions for the specific keywords you want to use.

answer the public

By the time you’ve found the answers from the particular keywords, it’s time to answer different questions on your own:

“How can you use this content on your site?”

“Is this still relevant to your business?”

“Have I relied too much on auto-generated content?

Remember, Google is not keen on pages that focus on automatically generated content, so make sure you don’t overuse it.

2) Get the level of granularity right

It’s important to start by researching your analytics data, to understand what gets traffic and how you can increase the content on your site.

Have a closer look at the keywords and see what people search in your industry.

Not every site needs the same details and the example below shows how property listings differentiate from job sites.MozTalk - local SEO

Finally, it may be useful to analyse your keyword data and ask yourself: “Do you need location pages at all?”

How can your business benefit from them? By the time you’re able to answer this question, you’re ready to continue to more practical tips.

3) Sidestep local packs by targeting high in the funnel

In order to avoid the high competition, it may be useful to avoid focusing on the most popular local packs and find the right content gaps to exploit.

How about aiming for different targeting where there’s less competition and more opportunities to stand out?

Retargeting may be useful to reduce CPC, but this also means that the conversion may not be immediate, although this also means that you can build recognition and serve as a knowledge provider in your industry.

4) Use structured data to stand out

Structured data refers to the type of data that provides information through a database and structured data markup may associate a description with its property.

Whether it’s a recipe, an article, a video, or an event, markup helps search engines crawl the content to display it appropriately to the users.

structured dataThis may massively improve the ranking in SERPs and you can test your structured data with Google’s Data Structure Testing Tool.

5) Make the most of Intelligent Personal Assistants

If local packs don’t seem to be effective for your business, there’s the option of having people come straight to your app and personal assistants can be really useful in this case.

Siri, Cortana and Google Now are changing the way people search  through their mobile devices and this may be the right time to focus on this field in order to beat the competition in the most relevant context.

For example, Google Now allows any app to be integrated and Apple also announced that it will follow this direction, which brings an exciting opportunity for a business looking to be displayed in the right search results.

Key tips

Sam Nemzer sums up his talk with the following useful tips:

  1. Find API data to pull into category pages
  2. Find out how people are searching by location
  3. Find content gaps to exploit
  4. Add structured data
  5. Integrate your app (or start the process of building one)


This was a useful reminder on how local SEO can help any business and most importantly, how a business can go beyond local SEO and think outside the box in order to reach the right audience.

Keep these tips handy next time you’re ready to analyse your audiences and seek for the best ways to reach higher on the SERPs to promote your business.

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