In this post, we will cover local seo strategies, how to optimise your site for local seo, how to get ranks quickly for your local business, how to get more phone calls for your local business?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online business for localized searches. It’s the techniques you can apply to make sure your business is found when your target customer search for your service online (using a target keyword).
Localized SEO strategies entail a lot of optimizations which webmasters should use in order to get their focus keyword on top of SERPs.
Have a look at this optimized local search result on Google- Including results from Google Maps:
Or even this localized organic SERPs:
Or Local Paid search results:
As a fact, Google has favoured local business with a lot of search filters to better display better results for user intent. It’s everywhere and this guide will help you get your local business ranked higher in search engines with your local SEO focus keyword.
Let’s get started.
Keyword Research for Local SEO Search
As you can see from the above screenshots, the organic results are optimized for local search with local keywords:
With local keyword research, you have to target your niche (industry) as well as geo-specific terms for your business.
For example, your business is located in Washington and your niche industry is plumbing. You want to target your local customers who need your service. You may not be the only one providing this service and you’ll need to consider optimizing user search with some geo-specific keywords + “plumbing” to better make your business rank higher when a visitor key in some local keywords in Google search query.
To achieve the best keywords which users are searching in Google, consider researching using Google AdWords Keyword Tool.
For our search term “plumbing” you can add location-based terms like this screenshot depicts:
Research as many keywords as possible while taking note of the local search volume. You can also use Google for valuable local search ideas for your keyword.
SEMrush is another tool you can use to find competitor’s website (high authority site) for keywords and select those keywords that rank high for your target keyword phrase.
On-Site Optimization for Local SEO Search
Now that you’ve selected your perfect keywords for local search optimization, you’ll also need to optimize your site for local business search. On-page optimization is the best strategy you can use to achieve better results.
You’ve to let search engines understand that your site is optimized for local search with geo-targeted information, phrases or keywords placed in specific locations on your site.
Here is how to go about it:
Optimized Title and Meta Descriptions
Search engines use titles, Meta description and any other important snippet your site may have to display the user intent in their SERPs.
For example, a user search “air conditioning repair Seattle” local search term. Google returns optimized pages for search user intent: like this:
Local SEO Title tag is one of the most important elements for search results. Make sure it includes your primary keyword and your location all framed within 70 characters.
Although Google might choose a snippet of text from your page to display as Meta Description, it’s good to locally optimize your own Meta description with your target keywords and other important text. Include your business services, phone number etc. all within 165 characters.
Local Address & Phone Number
This technique is best for search engine bot and more importantly best for your visitors. Add a local street address and phone number in all of your web pages (in most cases at the footer or a dedicated place at the top of the header).
Does your business offer services for specific locations, as you can see from the above screenshot, the site has two location addresses for UK and USA. Add appropriate address for a particular region, city, state or country to make it easy for your customers to reach your business.
Embed Your Business Location Map:
Use Google Maps to get an HTML code to embed your business map to your website. – Simple.
Even more interesting, Create a Geo Sitemap for your business using Geo Sitemap Generator to makes it easy for Google to know where you are. With this tool, you can create and download an HTML (in Microformats or Schema.org), KML file and a Geo sitemap for your website where you can upload the files and place at your website’s root folder.
After the above procedure, visit Google Webmaster Tools to add your website. Add your geo sitemap’s URL under Site “Configuration > Sitemaps”.
Add your Business to Local Search Directories
This is part of off-site optimization. Local search directories give search engine understand your local business better.
Here are the top local search directories you may consider adding your business.
- Google Places listing: this is ideal if you seriously want to get your business rank on top SERPs.
Go to http://www.google.com/places/ and create your business profile by filling as much information as you can and hit submit where you’ll choose a way to verify your business. Once you’ve been verified and your business Google place profile is alive, always encourage your visitors to review your business. For all the reviews, respond to either good or bad as this is the way to demonstrate your customer service and concern to your customer needs and business reputation.
Other listings you can consider are:
- Bing and Yahoo local listing
- Merchant Circle
- Yellow pages
- Need even more? Use Whitesperk Local Citation Finder to find the best local directories for your business.
Encourage Local SEO with Reviews
Search engines love reviews as it’s what it tells about the user experience and quality of a business. It uses it to deliver best results for user search intent. Reviews are social proof and authority and help search users find accurate and helpful information about a business.
According to Search Engine Land, 72% of customers trust and read reviews about a product or a service before making a purchase decision. It acts as personal recommendations from people who have experienced your service or product.
Reviews drive high traffic through CTR and Google loves to list it in search engine results pages either in organic or paid search results.
Here is a screenshot from Quicksprout.com on how to get social local SEO search reviews for your site:
Here is a detailed post published by HubSpot that list the top 19 online consumer reviews sites which you can use to enrich your site with reviews.
Link Building for Local SEO Keywords
For all kinds of businesses, link building boosts visibility and presence of a site on the web. Since your business is optimized for local search, the best way to build links is to get local external pages (for relevance) to link to a page on your site.
Link building for your site from local sites boosts your keyword in SERPs. Here are some of the great ways to boost link building for your local business.
- Industry related local business: this strategy works best no matter if they’re your competitors or not. Check their site to see if they have some resources (like articles) that link out to other businesses to yours. Reach out to them and convince why they need to have your link listed as a valuable resource for their visitors to be aware of.
- Competitor backlinks: there are great tools that help you analyze what backlinks your local competitors have. Use a tool like Open Site Explorer and see if you can get your business listed on them as well.
- Local Bloggers: bloggers have audience their audience who share what they have with them. Since your business is focused on local customers, find local bloggers who are willing to share your business with their audience. You may consider arranging for a local guest post for them while making sure your business services and other important aspects are clearly defined to them. Don’t forget to ask them to add a review of your service on their blog.
- Local event s and charities: this is to popularize your site for your target local community. These local events may be industry conferences, shows or expos where you’ll be on the lookout to see if they would link your site to their exhibitors or sponsors. Doing so will give you a chance as an exhibitor or sponsor of the event to get your link on their site as well.
Optimize your local SEO keyword on social media
Social media is where you connect with a large community of your local audience. Facebook alone has more than 845 million monthly active users and optimizing your keyword for social media search will boost your site traffic massively.
This approach works best if you target the right audience who are interested in what your site offers. Set your Facebook page as “Local Business”
While creating your business profile, make sure to optimize it with your business details like street address, local phone number, website, business hours, and detailed description with your target keywords, business logo and more.
With any social platform that you choose, do connect with local users (either on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube etc.)
Google+ is one of the greatest platforms to rank your keyword although it doesn’t have massive numbers like Facebook. Nonetheless, it has great influence on your search results. Optimize your Google+ page as a local business and then connect with a local audience.
Here are some working tips to make sure your Google+ works best with your target audience as well as optimized for search engines:
To effectively get good traffic to your site from social media with your target keyword and audience, you’ll have to understand the following tips.
- Make your site user and mobile friendly.
- Include social share buttons on your site
- Stay active on all of your social platform profile
- Encourage sharing of your posts
- Include social links in your emails
There are tons of ways you can optimize your keyword for local search with the above local SEO tips. Using the above strategies will definitely improve your site ranking on SERPs. Do effective research with keyword research tools, produce quality and in-depth content, and perform all the on-page SEO while hunting for the local audience on social networks.