Implementing local search engine optimization (SEO) can boost your business. Regardless of the kind of business you run, be it retail, wholesale, or something totally different, establishing yourself in your local enclave is the perfect first step to getting started with local SEO.
So how do you intend to launch and get your business in its deserved place? Implement these 18 proven strategies to help increase your site’s page ranking. You don't need an SEO agency to work on this - you can do it yourself. It’s not as hard as you might think!
Here is your chance to take your business a giant step ahead of your competitors, by claiming local authority and growing targeted traffic for a better website ranking.
1. Be Mindful of NAP Data
NAP is an acronym for “name, address and phone number”. These are arguably the most important aspects of any business, and should be presented consistently on your website.
For SEO purposes, crawlable HTML code is an appropriate way to place them. The footer section is ideal for this, but not in images - they’re a negative signal to search bots.
You can make this data more effective for SEO by providing the information in a standardized form, using schema.com.
If you are still in doubt about the effectiveness of NAP as an onsite local SEO tool, recent studies should assuage any doubts. According to a study by SEO experts Moz, 21% of ranking issues are associated with NAP. A key issue to keep in mind is to ensure your NAP data aligns with what is visible on your Google My Business page.
These key issues are worth noting for your NAP implementation:
It is advisable to have your own public email on your business domain.
If possible, only publish telephone numbers with an area code for the region.
Choose a category for your business that describes the business, and not what the business does.
Ensure all information provided across platforms is 100% consistent.
2. Create Sections on Your Website for Different Geographical Locations
Creating different sections of your website with information for local branches can help your site’s optimization for local SEO. Create content that is tailored to meet the needs of each location.
Information such as address, contact info, operation hours, embedded map and location-oriented keywords for the city are helpful SEO-wise.
3. Enlist Your Website on Recommendation Platforms
Aside from Google, My Business, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Whitepages and local.com are other listings to have your website on.
Local links and citations from these sources will boost your website authority and local rankings immensely. If you’ve already created location-specific sections on your website, these links can be directed to those individual pages.
4. Create a Social Media Profile for the Various Branches
You are better off with separate accounts for each branch than going with an overall profile for the business. It saves time, and lets you maintain the consistency of the information supplied.
Facebook provides “parent” and “child” profiles. This ensures your customers can interact with your business better on a local level. To manage your social media accounts effectively, you might consider using software such as Buffer for your post organization.
5. Craft Content Specific to Each Local Branch
Getting all the off-site optimization sorted is great for a website’s visibility, but a lack of quality content to welcome and retain prospective customers is worst-case for image building. Content is key to achieving a higher ranking in multiple locations.
Convince your visitors to stay with these local content boosters:
Videos and pictures from local events.
Information and updates about events in your local community.
Local guides, and inclusion of reviews from websites in the area.
Trending topics in the community.
6. Optimize Your Website for the Local Area
Optimizing your website for a particular area is the best way to capture the attention of the locals. This is essentially about the design and style of the website. Present what they are familiar with. Various guides are available that point out key areas to focus on. Usability and intuitiveness are major considerations.
7. Start Linking Externally
Raising your website’s online visibility and traffic requires building quality links from authority and related sites. Boost your campaign with these simple tips:
Incorporate a blog on your website, and write useful content on your niche area.
Invite guest posts.
Reach out to bloggers in your area, and get some reviews on your products.
Make comments on other related blogs.
Head to relevant forums and start a discussion about what your company does.
Sign up for a YouTube channel to advertise your products and services, and make video posts regularly.
Create a strong social media presence.
8. Create Suitable Local Content
You want your content to have an impact, don't you? For this, it must be intuitive, 100% unique and search engine-friendly. Here’s how you do it:
Customers testimonials on landing pages makes content more unique. Take advantage of it.
Use visual content; videos, images and infographics are proven to be more effective.
Create special offers to create a difference from other branches.
Include personal details of the staff in various locations to give customers an insight into the kind of people they’re engaging with.
Post helpful tips and solutions that customers will find useful.
9. Request Additional Online Reviews from Other Sites
You get more rankings with reviews. Conversion rates are also better with reviews. Credibility is a factor strongly associated with reviews, because they’re written by real people who have used your products before.
Make these checks to ensure you’re on track:
Make sure you have your business listed on key review platforms like Google My Business and Yelp.
Familiarize yourself with the guidelines of the platforms before encouraging your clients to leave reviews on them.
Inspire your customers to leave reviews on those sites.
Be cautious about your review rate, and try not to get on the wrong side of bots.
Work on your customer service - make sure it’s prompt and effective.
If getting customers to leave reviews is more difficult than you hoped - which is usually the case - include links to leave reviews in newsletters, emails and on social media. Offer incentives to those who leave reviews, though be mindful of the rules for each site as to whether this is allowed or not.
10. Include Photos on Your Google My Business Profile
Including vital photos is a good way to improve your site local rankings. According to “The 2017 Quantitative Local Ranking Factor Study”, adding photos to a page is a crucial factor to boost your page’s performance.
Consider adding photos such as a cover photo, logo and profile pictures. This will depend largely on your type of business.
11. Make Your Website Mobile-Optimized
To make sure your website works well for the millions of internet users browsing via mobile devices every day, you simply cannot overlook optimization. A mobile-friendly website gives you a far greater chance of getting better local rankings than your competitors, as shown by recent studies. If you don't already know if your site is optimized, check on Google's Mobile Test tool. Just input your website address - that’s all there is to it!
12. Verify Your Website Listings
It’s not just about throwing a listing up and forgetting about it; check through your local searches to see if you are really visible. It helps keep tabs on your performance. Make sure all the information on display is accurate, complete and consistent. This is vital to your corporate image. You can check your listings using Moz Local, Dex Media and Yext.
Moz Local gives you the most options, like updating listings, resolving incomplete listings, helping to find and correct inconsistencies in NAP and moving your listings to relevant data aggregators.
13. Use Targeted Paid Ads
If you’re happy to spend some money, you can use ads for targeted locations to drive in some traffic. If getting more sales is the interest at a specific time of the season, harnessing the speed of paid ads for more leads and sales is recommended for local SEO.
Depending on the social media platform you use, it is best to use Facebook Ads if you have your page there, and Twitter Ads if you promote via Twitter.
14. Consider Global Prospect
Targeting a local community is usually a means to an end, and not the end itself. Going global should be your next target after having a strong footing locally, with adequate local SEO implemented. Many of today’s biggest business names started off like this. Keep in mind that your main page or parent page still exists above the local branches.
15. Press Release is Powerful
Press releases are a powerful tool for local SEO implementation. They give a website some special attention. People want to know what’s included in your new package. When promoting a product or special news release, make sure to include keywords that are geo-specific for better traffic from the locality you are targeting.
16. Use Location-directed Keywords
Targeting an audience by region is more effective when a post is optimized for the area. For instance, when offering a cleaning service in New York, it is more effective for your local SEO if you have keywords such as “cleaning services in New York” as opposed to a universal “cleaning service” keyword.
There are tools you can use to suggest relevant keywords if you can do some research on the behaviors of the people searching.
17. Use City-based URL
Finding a URL with a city name in it can get some attraction from searches. Selling a product to a specific area tends to create a sense of belonging for customers, when they see their city in the web address.
It may not be SEO-related as such, but there are certainly positive connotations for a customer when a city name is included among several similar URLs. For instance, someone residing in Australia who wants to buy a bag would be more comfortable with a website such as “buybagaustralia.com”, knowing the delivery will come far more speedily than from elsewhere.
18. Use Promotions and Events
People love freebies. This is a potent tool to use for creating a buzz about your product in your targeted area.
Organizing annual events and promotions definitely has a strong effect on local SEO. Give out items like stickers and banners displaying your product, and your web presence will not go unnoticed by the very people you hope to add to your customer base.
You can make a customized shirt bearing the company’s logo and brand color to give out to attendees of the events.
Local SEO is absolutely the right starting point for any website that hopes to extend its services globally. Strategy makes all the difference between those who achieve, and those who fail. Start implementing the above strategies carefully to drive some well-targeted traffic through your website.
Got some local SEO tips to share? Leave us a comment in the section below, and if you’d like to ask us a question we will be more than happy to answer!