If you own a business that relies on foot traffic then getting discovered through local search will no doubt make a difference for your business.
In order to dominate local SEO, there are a number of steps you have to undertake to appear on top of search results.
- Invest in helpful content
- Don’t do keyword stuffing
- Improve your on-page SEO
- Target long-tail keywords
- Build a page for each of your business locations
- Complete your NAP (Name, address & phone)
- Publish timely topics in your industry
- Optimize your site for mobile searches
Publish blog posts regularly
Publishing blog posts regularly is an amazing way for Google to index new pages from your site.
The great thing about posting content consistently is that you’ll be able to target different geographic search keywords.
And for every keyword you target, there’s an opportunity to rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs). A few good ideas when it comes to geo-targeted content are customer success stories and case studies.
Don’t do keyword stuffing
If there’s one thing that Google hates—it’s keyword stuffing. This happens when you overuse your target keyword in your content and is a tactic that’s been penalized in a Google update a few years back.
Aside from the fact that it’s frowned upon, keyword stuffing isn’t reader-friendly.
It’s hard to provide helpful, valuable content if you’re always repeating your target keyword every few sentences. With Google making the user experience a priority, it’s better to be strategic when it comes to using your keyword in your content.
Optimize your on-page SEO
Improving your on-page SEO is important because Google relies on it to convey to them what a page is about.
The five on-page SEO elements you should be optimizing include your title page, URL, headers, content, meta description, and internal links.
For example, you’ve built links to your homepage but you used nondescript anchor texts such as “click here” or “this resource.” Google will then base on your page elements to determine what it’s about and if you have most of those blank then ranking that page will be a long and hard process.
Target long-tail keywords
It’s always good practice to target a keyword on every page or post but not everyone is choosing the right keywords. The right keyword should have enough search volume but isn’t too competitive that it’ll be virtually impossible to rank on the first page.
Enter long-tail keywords. Unlike your typical one or two-word keywords that are ultra-competitive, there are a lot of opportunities you can still capitalize on with long-tail ones.
Long-tail keywords are keywords that are three words and up. Most often than not, it has lower search volumes compared to shorter keywords that’s why many opt to target those instead of long-tail ones.
Build a page for each of your business locations
If your business has multiple locations, one great way to improve your local SEO profile is to create a page for each. This way, each page gets indexed by Google and will then be attributed to your site in local search results.
Complete your NAP (Name, address & phone)
One of Google’s main criteria for ranking sites is trustworthiness.
If your business is missing any of the above detail then they’re unlikely to deem your site as trustworthy.
But more than just completing your business info, make sure that your NAP is consistent across all your different web profiles to be seen as a credible business.
Post timely topics in your industry
Aside from posting content on your blog, publishing trending news and stories in your industry are good ways to win big points from Google.
After the Panda update, Google has put more stock on timely content in order to provide the latest info to their users.
In case when there are no new happenings in your industry or specific locale, you can try to post about current trends that could potentially affect your industry.
Optimize your site for mobile searches
Since 60% of web searches are now being done on mobile, it’s only right to make sure that your site is optimized for it. With local search, the percentage all the more goes up as people search for local businesses while typically on the go.
Aside from making sure that your site renders well on mobile, provide contact information and other business details that could prove helpful (e.g. menu, product list with prices).
How to Optimize Your Website for Local Search
There are numerous ways to optimize your website for local search. First, sign up for a Google My Business listing.
Complete all the details such as the description and website. This way, you’ll get found on local search results for key terms that you’ve included in your profile.
Get Links and Citations
Just like with standard SEO practice, getting links is important for local SEO as well. A good way to acquire links is to get listed in reputable and relevant business directories.
The more directories or sites you get listed on, the more opportunities you have to get found by potential customers.
If submitting your site to business directories, make sure you include your business’ complete details and are accurate across different sites you’re getting listed on.
Another way to get links is to get featured on local blogs. Ask local blogs if you can contribute a guest post and in return, write a helpful article for them that your local community will find a valuable resource.
Make Use of Social Media and Your Google Profile
Aside from the above, posting on social media and on your Google business listing are amazing ways to get your content shared by others. But most of all, posting regularly also increases your engagement rate with your prospects and customers.
Get Reviews and Respond to Them
With 77% of online users relying on reviews before making a purchasing decision, it’s always helpful to have reviews on your site.
You can achieve this by encouraging your current customers to leave you reviews.
Should there be negative ones, make sure to respond to them with grace and let them know how you’re working to resolve their concern so it doesn’t happen again.