Local Search Optimization: A Colibri Digital Marketing Case Study

With the rise of mobile, local search optimization is an important part of every local business owner’s marketing mix, but not all local business owners are aware of what local search optimization is and why it is important.

This case study, crafted from data culled from a recent Colibri Digital Marketing project, demonstrates that sometimes small changes can have a big impact. Keep reading to find out what our client was trying to accomplish and the results we obtained for this local business.

Client Business Goals

Our client (who is not identified to keep confidentiality) enjoyed number one rankings in his business category for the city of San Francisco, and was looking to increase the number of leads coming to his website for cities and areas outside of San Francisco, including Marin County, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Silicon Valley.

Benchmarking Client Website and SEO

Colibri Digital Marketing always conducts a mini-audit as part of the sales process to let a potential client know the status of his or her website and where quick wins can be had.

Here are some pre-intervention details:

  • HTML errors — 6 errors, 2 warnings (home page)

This audit revealed many changes and SEO quick wins we could deliver to our client. In addition to fixing errors on the site and updating the code, we made three major SEO moves: We created a new, mobile responsive design for the website, updated the SEO title tags and meta descriptions and, most importantly for local search, created web pages for each of the geographic areas for which our client wanted to rank.

Using GeoRanker, a proprietary SEO tool created by GoRanker, and the proposed keywords from the client, we could see how the client’s keywords were ranking and what the average search volume was for these words each month.

Initial Client Rankings For Selected Keywords

“-” indicates client is not in the top 100.

Average monthly search volume for selected keywords (this shows that in some cities, there are very few searches for a given keyword):

Average Monthly Search Volume — Selected Keywords

Local Search Optimization Intervention

After conducting the keyword analysis we selected the most relevant keywords:

  • corporate relocation services

Then, in addition to optimizing the site for mobile and updated important SEO factors like title tags and meta descriptions, we created individual pages for the regions listed in the chart, below.

You can see that, with few exceptions, we made exciting progress for relevant keywords in specific cities and regions of the Bay Area.

As you can see, the best results are shown in red.

Our Best Cities

Below you will find graphs representing the progress we made in selected cities.

Oakland Results

Palo Alto Results

San Mateo Results

Santa Clara Results

Silicon Valley Results

Other SEO Improvements

Below you will find improvements we made in website traffic, bounce rate, and more.

Organic Search: Organic search traffic comes from people searching for information, people, products, and services on desktop computers and mobile devices.

Some of the search queries we measured were: relocating to San Francisco, relocation consultant San Francisco Bay Area, relocating to San Francisco, and relocation agencies San Francisco CA.

Below please find our results compared to the year before our intervention. You can also see the improvements made from project start to project finish.

Organic Search Comparison: Jan 1, 2016 — May 21, 2016 compared to Aug 18, 2015 — Dec 31, 2015

For organic search the number of sessions increased 47.33% — from 300 to 442. Also, the bounce rate decreased 53.38% — from 71.59% to 33.38%. This means that the users viewed more pages. Overall performance of organic searches increased mainly because of the number of new users that visited the website.


Our client’s rapid progress was the result of doing a keyword plan, optimizing the website, and, most significantly, creating location pages on the website. Significant Search Engine Optimization results often come after 6 to 12 months of constant effort; with a good strategy a single intervention can make a big difference.

If you want help figuring out how to get some quick local search optimization wins, set up a complimentary digital strategy with Anna Colibri (that’s me!).

Click Here to Schedule

This article was originally published at colibridigitalmarketing.com and republished here with permission from Anna Colibri.

I work to make the web a more beautiful, accessible, and functional place. I use dreams as a form of planning. And I play because it’s fun.

I work to make the web a more beautiful, accessible, and functional place. I use dreams as a form of planning. And I play because it’s fun.