Local SEO is becoming increasingly essential for smaller businesses that don’t need to or can’t afford large-scale marketing campaigns. This is good news for SEO companies, who can translate their expertise into even more business opportunities.
Local SEO can bring increased traffic, rankings, and business, but you still need to know what makes it different from traditional SEO. Because of this, we’ve put together a list of top 5 tips for SEO companies who want to focus on local SEO.
The Benefits of Local SEO
Local SEO is a type of search engine optimization aimed at attracting visits to your website from people who live in the same place where your business is located.
According to research by Search Engine Land, around half of mobile users will look up local business information online, with around 78% of those searches resulting in a sale. This makes local SEO invaluable for increasing sales and creating a loyal customer base.
5 Top Local SEO Tips
It’s easy to see how important local SEO is becoming in business today, and how an SEO company focusing on local searches can leverage this into an expansive client list.
But to do this, you first have to make sure you’re offering your clients the best possible service. Below we’ll go over 5 local SEO tips that will help you brush up on the difference between local and traditional SEO and give you an idea which aspects of SEO you should focus on.
Be As Specific As Possible
As it turns out, keyword research methods for traditional and local SEO aren’t really all that different. What sets local SEO apart is that it favors more specific, long-tail keywords.
To give you an example, let’s say your company is based in Baltimore and you want to attract more local visitors. You could try doing this by using keywords like ‘SEO Baltimore’ or ‘SEO company Baltimore’, but those are just as likely to lead to your competitors as they are to you.
On the other hand, using longer keywords like ‘Professional SEO Firm Baltimore’ or ‘Best SEO Agency Baltimore’ will help you be a lot more specific and bring in potential local clients.
You can then take these keywords and place them strategically on your website to ensure you get to the top of the search results page.
Let the Clients Help
It turns out that, when it comes to local SEO, you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting. In fact, you can let the clients do a part of the work for you.
This will entail having your clients sign up for online business directories and create accounts on review websites like Yelp. Have your clients ask for reviews in person or after closing a sale, and make sure all the reviews are answered politely and professionally.
This will create a positive feedback loop, where positive reviews lead to more customers, which in turn leads to more positive reviews, and so on.
Focus on Local Content
With Google’s algorithm improving every day, and its ever-increasing focus on search intent, it’s now easier than ever to create content that’s aimed at informing an audience and answering their questions.
Although blog posts about general topics might attract a wider range of visitors, if your focus is local SEO, you should create content with local visitors in mind.
To do this, you need to become a local authority when it comes to your industry. Center your content around information about local industry news, gatherings, and networking or educational opportunities.
You should also consider basing your content around local events and news stories, especially if they are related to your business. This will both appeal to local visitors and improve your domain authority, setting you up as a local industry leader.
Be Active on Social Media
Google states that local content is ranked according to:
- Relevance: How well your content matches the users’ search intent.
- Distance: Distance between a location used in a search and potential search result.
- Prominence: How well-known a company or person posting the content is.
Of these three, prominence stands as more complex and important to determining the rank of local content.
The complexity of this factor comes from certain businesses already having a long-standing reputation. For instance, a newly opened restaurant will naturally be less famous than one that’s turned into a local landmark.
Newer or smaller businesses have to fight an uphill battle if they want to raise their prominence. Luckily, social media can give them the edge they need to come out on top.
Setting up social media accounts and regularly engaging with users will get them to talk about your business. More importantly, it will get them to link to your website, increasing your prominence.
There are, of course, other ways to do this. If you’ve been working on creating engaging local content and setting yourself up as a local industry authority, you should have no problem securing guest posts on other websites. The backlinks to your page will help further boost your prominence and authority at the same time.
Take Advantage of Google My Business Listings
Tying it all together, you need to make sure you take full advantage of options offered by Google My Business (GMB) listings. In fact, Google itself is encouraging businesses to use their GMB platform, making it more and more important for ranking over the last five years.
You can claim your business on GMB for free, which will help establish your presence and make sure your business shows up on Google Maps. More importantly, it will also make sure your business shows up in Google search results, and even in Google Ads for relevant searches.
The Bottom Line
Focusing on local SEO can be a win-win situation, bringing in more business for your SEO company and your clients. With the tips listed above, you should have no problem becoming a local industry authority and climbing to the top of the search results page.