Do you want to reach new customers in your area? If so, you need to understand local SEO. It’s the process of optimizing a website for local search results. Find out how to choose the right keywords and use other SEO tactics to make your business more visible!
Local SEO Basics – Understand Them First
To get started with local SEO, you need to understand the basics. This means learning about keyword research, on-page optimization, and building citations. Some SEO tactics are more relevant to local businesses than others. For example, if you’re a local business, you need to make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent across the web. You also need to build citations by creating listings on local directories and review sites.
Local SEO Ranking Factors
There are many local SEO ranking factors that can help you improve your visibility in local search results. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Keywords: Research and choose phrases that potential customers are searching for. Include these keywords throughout your website, including in titles, meta descriptions, and content.
- NAP Consistency: Make sure your business name, address, and phone number are consistent across the web. This helps local search engines understand where your business is located and how to contact you.
- Citations: Build citations by creating listings on local directories and review sites. The more citations you have, the higher your chances of ranking in local search results.
- Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews on your local listing and review sites. Positive reviews can improve your local ranking and help you attract new customers.
If you want to improve your local search ranking, start by understanding local SEO basics and ranking factors. Then, take action by optimizing your website and building citations. These local SEO tips will help you reach new customers in your area!
Find the Right Keywords
One of the most important aspects of local SEO is choosing the right keywords. These are the phrases that potential customers are searching for when they’re looking for products and services like yours. Start by thinking about what potential customers might search for and use a keyword research tool to find out which keywords are most popular.
For example, if you’re a local florist, some potential keywords might be “flower delivery,” “wedding flowers,” or “sympathy flowers.” Use a keyword research tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner (free) or Ahrefs (paid) to find out which of these keywords are most popular in your area.
Once you’ve found a few good keywords, it’s time to start using them on your website. Include them in titles, meta descriptions, and throughout your content. But don’t overdo it! Keyword stuffing will hurt your ranking instead of helping it.
Best Practices for Including Keywords
Make sure you use your chosen keywords naturally. That means using them in a way that makes sense for your customers and sounds natural to the reader. Avoid keyword stuffing, which is the practice of cramming a keyword into your content as many times as possible. This looks unnatural and will hurt your ranking.
Here are a few best practices for including keywords in your content:
- Use keyword-rich titles that accurately describe the page’s content. Only mention something in the title if you’re going to cover it in the body of the page.
- Include keywords in your meta descriptions. These are the short descriptions that appear under your page title in search results.
- Use keywords throughout your content, but don’t overdo it. Mention them where they make sense and sound natural.
- Avoid keyword cannibalization, which is when you use the same keyword too many times on different pages of your website. This confuses search engines and can hurt your ranking.
Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
Google My Business is a free listing that local businesses can create to appear in local search results. If you haven’t already claimed your listing, do it now! Then, take some time to optimize your profile.
Start by claiming and verifying your listing. Then, add as much information as possible, including your NAP, business hours, description, categories, photos, and more. You can also add links to your website and social media profiles.
If you ever move your business or change your NAP, make sure you update your listing. Outdated information will make it harder for customers to find you and could hurt your local ranking. The same goes for any other listings you create on local directories and review sites.
Build NAP Citations
NAP citations are any local listings that include your business name, address, and phone number. They can appear in directories, review sites, apps, and other places. NAP citations help local search engines understand where your business is located and how to contact you. They also help improve your local search ranking.
To build local citations, start by creating listings on business directories and review sites. Make sure to include your NAP information and link back to your website if possible. You can also add NAP to your Google My Business profile and other local listings.
There are hundreds of local directories and review sites, so it’s not possible to list them all here. But some popular ones include Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Angie’s List. Social media profiles are another great place to list your contact information. If you don’t have a Facebook page yet, create one now!
Create Local Content at Scale
One of the best local SEO strategies is to create local content at scale. This means creating a lot of content that’s specifically about your city or town. For example, if you’re a real estate agent in Los Angeles, you might write blog posts about “The Best Neighborhoods in Los Angeles” or “Los Angeles Real Estate Trends for 2022.” Other websites might share them, helping you further with local link building.
Local content is a great way to attract local customers and improve your local search ranking. But it can be time-consuming to write articles about every city or town that you want to target. What you want to do first is identify the biggest opportunities. This means finding cities or towns with the most potential customers and the least amount of local competition.
To do this, start by looking at your Google Analytics data. Identify which cities or towns generate the most traffic to your website. Then, use a tool like Ahrefs or Moz Local to find out how much local competition there is for each city or town.
Once you’ve identified the biggest opportunities, create local content at scale by writing blog posts, creating local landing pages, and more. You can also create local videos, infographics, and other types of content that will give you the best organic results.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
Reviews play a big role in local SEO. When a potential customer searches for your local keywords, Google will show them businesses that are nearest and have the best ratings first. They’ll appear in what is known as a local pack – pulled from Google Maps, separately from website results. That’s why it’s so important to encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile, local directories, and review sites.
The best way to do this is to simply ask them. You can do this in person, over the phone, or through email. You can also include links to your local listings in your email signature and on your website. This way, happy customers will know where to leave a review when they’re ready.
Another great way to encourage reviews is to offer a discount or other incentive in exchange for a review. Just make sure you don’t violate any of the review site’s terms of service.
Use Local SEO Tools
Tools like BrightLocal and Moz Local can help you track your local SEO progress and find opportunities for improvement. They can also help you build NAP citations, manage your Google My Business listing, and more. If you want to get serious about local SEO, a tool designed specifically for it is a great help – especially for a small business.
When Can You Expect Results?
Local SEO is an ongoing process, which means you won’t see results overnight. If you follow the tactics in this guide, you should start to see your local search ranking improve within a few months. And as you continue to build NAP citations, create local content, and encourage customers to leave reviews, your local SEO will only get better.
But local SEO is not a one-time thing. You need to continuously work on it if you want to maintain your local search ranking. Just like your website’s SEO, this is an ongoing process that you need to stay on top of if you want to see results.
Start Working on Your Local SEO Today
We hope you enjoyed this guide to local SEO. With these tips, you can start improving your local search ranking and attracting more local customers. But don’t wait too long to get started. The sooner you start working on your local SEO, the sooner you’ll see results.
If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below!