Everyone and anyone who has an online presence needs to know about SEO. There are many aspects of a good SEO strategy, but the strategy isn’t exactly the same for those building local SEO.
Local SEO isn’t for everyone. For example, a consultant or an online goods supplier may not have to worry about local SEO at all, as their presence and services take place completely online. However, 96% of people turn to the internet to find legal advice, and it’s common for people to search for plumbing, contractor, and salon services online, among countless other stores and services that are commonly located in cities across the country.
If your operation is based in a brick and mortar building and you rely on local business, you absolutely have to focus on local SEO.
Use the Right Keywords
Use of the right keywords is central to any SEO strategy. When the right keywords and phrases are used throughout the content on a webpage, as well as throughout the website, it’s more likely to rank highly on Google. That’s important because most people conducting a search online will only look at and click on the results that appear on the first page.
Having a professional SEO report conducted on your website can help you uncover what’s working and what isn’t for your website, but you can still get started without this kind of in-depth information.
Picking the right keywords is as simple as leveraging common words used in your industry, as well as modifiers that further distinguish those keywords. For example, a florist might use the word “flowers”, but get more specific by using “wedding flowers” and “Mother’s Day flowers”.
Get Specific About Your Location on Pages on Your Website
Not only do you need to think about the specific keywords and phrases that you use on your website, you also have to think about your location.
This includes the obvious, like the city and state where you’re operating, but you should also get a little bit more creative about the locations you include throughout your content. For example, if you serve surrounding areas, make sure you create separate service pages for those areas so people there who are searching for your services can find you when searching online.
Do you live in a specific area of a city that has a unique name? For example, if your business is located in New York City, you may want to include “Manhattan” throughout your content. You may also include “Midtown” or “Greenwich Village”, depending on where you’re located.
Optimize for Mobile and Voice Search
Almost no one conducts searches on computers anymore. Instead, most people search on the go on a mobile device. If you haven’t spent any time developing a unique mobile site, it’s definitely something you should do sooner rather than later.
If you have a mobile site and you’re ready for the next step, optimize your site for voice search. With the increase in popularity of Alexa and Siri, you have the ability to reach more customers if you do.
Work on Your Google My Business Account
A Google My Business account is a good idea for any business, but it is an especially good idea for those who serve local customers. With a Google My Business account, you will rank higher on Google Maps, and you’re more likely to increase your visibility on local results through Google Search. You have more control over what customers see when they find your business, and you can interact with customers by posting photos and responding to reviews.
List Your Business All Over the Web
Google is the first place you should focus on listing your business, but you shouldn’t stop there! The more places you list your business online, the more likely you are to be found when people decide to conduct a local search.
It doesn’t have to cost any money either! There are plenty of free websites where you can list your business that include:
- Yelp for Business
- Bing Places for Business
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
- Yahoo Small Business
Work With Others on Backlink Opportunities
A lot of creating a local SEO strategy includes utilizing location-specific keywords and listing your business in as many places online as you can, but did you know links matter too?
It’s always a good idea to include high-quality links to other reputable sites throughout your website, as long as they open in a new tab so internet users can easily click back onto your webpage. However, you can really boost your local SEO if you work with others on backlink opportunities.
This just means you get others to link to your website from their site. You can work with other local businesses to link to them while they link to your business, infographics are popularly linked on other sites, so you might want to create one, or you could work with influencers and bloggers to create content that links back to a page on your website.
Create Content on Local News Stories
Creating content with great local SEO is hard work, but it doesn’t stop just because you’ve used keywords throughout your content, you’ve listed your business all over the web, and you’ve managed to procure plenty of backlinks.
Take the time to create and post content with a local point of view. For example, create an article addressing something in the local news, or create content that addresses a problem residents in the area often face. It gives you the chance to use more local keywords on your website, and more specific content increases the chances that someone searching the internet will find your products or services relevant.
Building SEO on your website is important, but make sure you focus on local SEO if your business relies on in-person customers. With the right strategies in place, you can ensure your business pops up in Google’s search results again and again, increasing the business that comes through your door, and increasing your income.