How to Optimize Your Site for Local SEO
It may sound appealing to rank for broad business terms like ‘lawyer’ or ‘plumber’ on the search engines, but believe it or not, that may not be the best strategy. Here’s why: First of all, terms that are very broad can be extremely competitive to rank for, and second, ranking for broad terms may not drive the most relevant traffic to your website.
This is where local SEO comes in. Not only does local SEO help your site rank for more geographically relevant terms, but it also helps enhance your SEO efforts as a whole. Plus, with local SEO there’s a chance to rank in the coveted 7-pack (the 7 listings on Google next to the map). It is a competitive space vied after by many other companies in your area but can help bring very relevant and more qualified traffic to your website. Below are a few of the basics for getting there:
How to optimize your site for local SEO
1. Keyword Research – Look up the key keywords you want to go after with your city appended to the beginning or the end. (ie: SEO Agency San Diego) You can use Google’s keyword tool to get an idea of the competition and traffic for each keyword; the best combination is higher traffic keywords with low competition. Incorporate your location keywords into your website’s title tags and content, but be careful to not overuse keywords – this is considered keyword stuffing and can even get your website penalized! Keep your title tags and content natural, but utilize your keywords and location when appropriate.
2. Local Listings – Claim your local business listings if you haven’t already. It’s almost mandatory to have a Google Places listing if you want your site to rank in Google’s local map results. Sidenote: Google is currently in the process of merging Google Places and Google+ Local. If you haven’t claimed your listing with Google yet, you’ll want to make a Google+ business account first and make sure to select local place or business, then create your listing from there.
3. Review Sites – Leverage the power of review sites! Create business accounts with some of the big reviews sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Insider Pages, Angie’s List, etc. and encourage happy customers and regulars to write reviews about your business. Good reviews can go a long way with your customers and the search engines!
4. Local Directories – There are tons of online directories that help searchers find local businesses, and they can help searchers find your business too! Submit your website to local directories that apply to your industry. Just be cautious about the legitimacy and quality of the directories you submit to.
5. Social Media – Social media sites offer another possibility to come up in local search results. For all of your social media sites and blogs, make sure to fully fill out your contact information (address, phone number, etc. ) so both users and the search engines can identify your location.
Just like any SEO strategy, local SEO is by no means an easy process. It is an ongoing effort that must be maintained continuously, or your rankings will slip; but the benefits of a good local strategy are apparent, so stick with it! If you have any questions regarding local SEO, contact us!
Submitted by Erica Machin, Titan Growth