There’s no denying the world of business and online market places are more saturated than ever before, which means it’s harder than ever before to stand out from the crowd. You’ve probably read countless articles and watched countless more videos on how to improve your SEO ranking, but perhaps one thing you haven’t considered is how well you’re ranking in your local area.
After all, so many businesses invest so much money and so much time in trying to make sure they rank high for specific highly competitive keywords, these are competitive for a reason, and unless something goes terribly wrong for the people at the top, that’s practically where they’re going to remain.
So what is local SEO and how can it help you and your business?
It should then go without saying you need to refine your target market done from trying to connect with everyone, to identifying, and ultimately mastering, a specific niche, and what better market is there to target than the one you know best?
Today, we’re going to explore the eight key ways, tips, and methods you need to know when it comes to optimizing your local SEO strategy to improve your ranking for your store or websites landing pages, helping you rank to number one and maximize your sales and revenue potential!
Let’s get straight into our local SEO guide!
1 – Include Your Location Name
Perhaps the easiest way to start ranking in your local area is simply to include the name of the place you’re trying to target. This way, Google will index your pages and start to rank you in those areas. If people are searching for your specific keywords from those areas, you’re more likely to rank here.
You can do this in multiple ways. You can firstly try including the name in the content of your website. Perhaps on your About Us page, you want to say where you’re from, or you could add it in a CTA at the end of a blog post or list of services.
You can also include your address on your contact page, as well as placing yourself on a map widget. All of these techniques are designed to help you rank in the area you’re listing.
If you’re a global business, it may even pay to think about having dedicated websites of the same business with domains that are specifically for the locations you’re operating in. When you start including translated content, or multi-lingual versions of your website, you’ll begin to improve your rank even more because you’re localizing yourself.
2 – Optimise Your User Experience
Before we continue any further, it’s important to make sure we’re talking about user experience. Google ranks pages based on the experience you give them. The better the experience, the higher you’ll rank.
This is determined by how long you spend on a web page, the bounce rate of your website, and how you interact with the website. If you click on a website and click off straight away, this will dramatically lower your website ranking.
While you may be trying lots of different things to optimize your website, it’s important to make sure the user experience you’re offering is a top priority at all times and should be your number one consideration.
Of course, all the basic SEO practices should also be implemented here. This includes making sure your website is fully optimized to work with mobile devices and tablets, regardless of the device they’re using, and all your pages ideally load up within 2-3 seconds.
3 – Claim Ownership of Google My Business
Check out this image of the search page of a local business located in New York. The box on the right-hand side is the Google My Business entry for this business. This is a great way to boost the ranking of your page because you’ll connect all the information about your business, including your website, into one central place.
This basically helps Google to realize you’re legitimate.
As we mentioned above, the better the experience you’ll give your users, the higher you’ll rank, and as you can see from the Google My Business box, there’s a ton of information here for your users to learn about everything they could possibly need to know.
All you need to do is claim your businesses box, fill out the information and confirm that you are, in fact, the owner, and your website will be there. Of course, since there’s an address, you’ll naturally be boosting the SEO ranking of your business within the area in which you list your business.
4 – Publish Content About Your Local Area
“Perhaps the most obvious way of improving your local landing page ranking is to create and publish content that relates to your local area. If there’s an event going on, or a trending topic of news, make sure you’re talking about it, and posting this information to your blog and social media pages.”
This way, more traffic from your local area will be interested in what you have to say, and you’ll be boosting your page ranking in that area. If you link to your landing pages within this content and you’re posting in such a way that you have a high clickthrough rate, you’ll naturally be boosting the SEO ranking of these landing pages.
5 – Use Local Data in your META Data
The META data refers to that little description and bit of text underneath your URL that adds a bit more information to the users about what they can expect from the link you’re offering them. However, to rank higher in local searches, you’ll want to take advantage of this area and add some localized content.
For example, you can include location name information, place names, and even some high-volume keywords to help you stand out. For instance, if you’re a plumber, you can say ‘one of the highest rated plumbers in New York,’ plumbers in New York being your optimized keyword to help you rank.
6 – Create High-Quality Content
There’s no denying that creating high-quality content is going to be one of the best ways to rank highly, regardless of whether you’re ranking in local or global searches. Put yourself in the position of a user.
Say you come to your own website and you read some of the content. Are there spelling mistakes? Are there typos? Is everything organized in a formatted and readable way, or are there numerous problems? If so, how long are you going to stick around?
The chances are not very long, which is precisely what most internet users are going to do. However, even if you’re not a professional writer, there are still plenty of tools out there that can help you generate and maintain a professional level of content.
Here’s a selection of these online tools to get you started:
1 Day 2 write – Follow the professional SEO copywriting guides found on this website to create high-ranking content that reads well for your users.
Next Coursework – Use this nline editing tool to structure and format your content into its most readable and high-ranking format.
7 – Implement Social Proof
As you gain customers, it’s important to make sure you’re collecting reviews from these customers to help sell your product in the future. If you go and shop on somewhere like Amazon, how often to do you buy a one-star product? The chances are probably never.
This is the power of social proof. With poor reviews or none whatsoever, you’re damaging the credibility of your business because people are looking for companies they can trust. However, while this may sound like basic business 101, this can help with your local SEO tactics and overall boosting ranking.
As we’ve spoken about above, if people are leaving reviews from a certain area, whether these are reviews posted on your website, or other trust or product websites, especially if they’re reviewing your business on Google itself, the location of these people will affect your local SEO ranking.
The more people and customers you have reviewing your products from a specific area, the higher you’ll rank. Of course, this works oppositely, and if you’re getting a ton of negative reviews in a certain area, or in general, you’ll start to be ranked down.
8 – Implement Internal Linking Strategies
One of the only ways we haven’t discussed how you can optimize your SEO ranking is through backlinking, and when you’re ranking in your local area, backlinking is an essential practice.
When you’re applying this technique to your landing pages, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it right. Perhaps the best and simplest way would be to link all possible locations from a certain place in your city to your business, or more information that can help with directions.
For example, if you’re a restaurant, you can have a dedicated page for each key attraction in the city, and then directions on how to get to you from there.
This way, you’re optimizing your user experience by helping them get to your business (which is excellent for minimizing bounce rate and the maximizing the amount of time they’re spending on your website, again boosting your ranking), and also giving yourself the opportunity to link lots of different places in your local area to help you increase your regional ranking.
In this example, you could even link to the attraction websites or blog posts, as well as local travel blogs to help give people ideas on what to do when visiting your city, creating a while complex yet active network of links that all come together to put you on top in your local area.
As you can see, when it comes to putting yourself out there and maximizing your business’s potential by boosting your search engine ranking in your local area, there are lots of different and unique approaches you can take.
Make sure you’re being proactive in specific techniques and being thorough enough by choosing the approaches that will work best for you and your business. Remember, SEO is also a continuous game where things are constantly changing, so make sure you’re always checking back now and then to ensure you’re doing things right.