Local SEO is a linchpin for service providers striving to improve their online presence or to connect with their target audience effectively. Optimizing a website for local search can make all the difference in attracting nearby customers or clients.
As an integral part of comprehensive search engine marketing, local SEO can be a big boost to your business as it helps capture traffic that has a laser-targeted search intent when searchers query with keywords like their city name or “near me.”
In this guide, we’re going to talk about a few local SEO strategies that can skyrocket your website or business to new heights. Note that all of the strategies mentioned here depend largely on the niche you’re in. Some niches are more difficult to crack owing to higher levels of competition.
Mastering the Art of Keyword Localization
Good local SEO typically begins with a proper understanding of the keywords that you want to rank for. Instead of focusing solely on general industry keywords, dive into location-based keywords that highlight your services and geographical area.
- Think about what potential customers or clients might type when they are looking for services like yours in the vicinity. Thinking from your customer’s point of view is going to give you some good ideas.
- Once you have these queries in mind, do a search for them yourself and note down the related searches and “People Also Ask” questions that Google provides.
- Make a complete list of all these phrases and queries and compare them using an SEO tool that tells you about their search volume and ranking difficulty. Some browser extensions can be used for this.
- This will allow you to weed out low-value keywords or save them for later. Take all your high-priority ones and organically mix them into your website’s content, meta descriptions, and even image alt tags.
It’s perfectly okay if you don’t have access to premium keyword research tools. To begin, you can start with the free tier or a free trial of services like Ahrefs, Semrush, Moz, or Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest. Well-known SEO agencies can accomplish a lot more because they have the necessary expertise but also access to premium tools, unlocking more capabilities.
In fact, it’s actually quite cost-effective to hire an agency and not pull all the weight yourself.
Harnessing the Power of Google My Business (GMB)
Different types of businesses need different approaches when it comes to local SEO. Being present on Google My Business, however, is common across all types and sizes of brands and websites. For example, everything from brand SEO to franchise SEO services includes some level of work on local SEO to propel the product, its values, or the brand itself to new heights.
GMB is pretty much like the digital storefront of an online business. There’s not much you can do here except complete your profile with updated and accurate information, however.
- Add as many pictures as possible. Behind the scenes, your employees and coworkers, your work process, client interactions, etc. can all be displayed on your GMB profile to increase its effectiveness.
- Regularly post about updates and promotions, treating your GMB feed like a social media network.
- Ask for reviews on your profile. More and better reviews are the best way to improve your GMB presence.
Using Local Citations
Local citations are mentions of your business on various online platforms, including business directories, review sites, and social media platforms. These citations can help your business be seen in a positive light while improving the overall SEO of your website.
Consistency is key when it comes to local citations, as search engines use these mentions to verify the legitimacy and credibility of your business.
A prerequisite for local citations is that NAP information (business name, address, and phone number) should be readily available. Detailed about and contact pages or a team page are also important.
Once you have a good website loaded with all this information, you’re ready to start getting local citations. This process isn’t 100% under your control but you can speed it up considerably by seeking out relevant local directories and industry-specific platforms or groups to build a strong foundation.
Tailoring Content & Landing Pages to Local Audiences
Create blog posts, articles, and landing pages that address local topics, events, and interests. Ideally, you should use local keywords naturally across pages while providing useful information to address specific needs.
It goes without saying that if you serve multiple areas, you have to create location-specific landing pages, articles, guides, tutorials, FAQs, etc. separately for all those areas. Also, you can’t just self-plagiarize and copy-paste chunks of content from other pages. Each area should have its own unique and fresh content that uses keywords naturally and aims to help a visitor from that area in particular.
Regularly publishing location-specific useful content that solves problems or answers queries is a great way to climb higher on search engine results. This is where you might need something like monthly SEO packages that manage the technical and on-page aspects while also adding content through a blog section or other types of articles and guides focused on location-specific keywords.
For service providers, local SEO isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the compass guiding them to potential clients right in their neighborhood. With these strategies, you too can embrace local SEO to seize control of your online presence and earn a prominent spot in local search results.