Local search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for businesses with physical locations, or for those that serve a particular area. If you work on your local business’ SEO, you can make it more likely that you’ll reach your target audience when they search for products or services like yours online.
In this article, we’re going to outline how you can use local SEO to reach more customers in your area. Let’s get started.
Identify local keywords and incorporate them into your copy
Targeting local keywords in your website copy is very important for your local SEO. Keywords are the words and phrases that people plug into search engines in order to find content, products, or services like yours.
To find the local keywords you should be incorporating into your writing, do the right keyword research by using a tool like Google Keyword Planner. Come up with a list of words related to your business, and plug them into the tool. You can even filter your keyword results based on your location, which will tell you how people in your area are phrasing these queries. Google will then provide you with keywords that people are regularly typing into search engines based on their competitiveness—or how hard they are to rank for—and their average monthly search volumes.
There are then a lot of factors you need to consider when choosing the right keywords to target. For instance, you need to consider search intent. What is a searcher trying to find when they plug a particular phrase into Google? Are they trying to make a purchase, or are they looking for more information on a subject?
Commercial keywords are often formatted like “[product/service] in [city]”. You’ll want to target these keywords on your product or service pages so that people looking to buy from businesses like yours are directed to the right page. Informational keywords, on the other hand, often ask questions about a subject—target these keywords in your blog posts or FAQ pages.
Create a web page for each location your serve
If your business has multiple locations, you should dedicate a webpage to each. This will be an effective tactic because people searching for products or services like yours in their area can then be directed to the webpage with the most relevant information.
On your location pages, include details like the right address, phone number, and hours of operation, especially if you have multiple locations. This will ensure that website visitors get the correct information for the location they plan on stopping by. And, with different places in the United States currently still operating with various COVID restrictions, you may wish to explain what rules apply to which areas. You need to ensure that people who want to visit your business in person have the most accurate information about the store they’ll be visiting
To give you an idea of what your location pages could look like, let’s study an effective example.
Excel Builders, a construction company specializing in building custom homes, has several great location pages on their website. For instance, on their page for their Maryland location, they outline some popular home designs in the state, discuss what their team is capable of producing, and have a contact form where visitors can get in touch with employees at their nearest office. Not only is this information helpful to website visitors, but it’s a great way for Excel Builders to improve their local SEO and rank higher for location-based queries, as there’s going to be no doubt about where they’re based.
If you have several different locations, be sure to dedicate a location page to each. Additionally, provide a form that allows website visitors to contact employees at the specific store or office they will be using. If you do this, you can help Google rank you higher for searches in the locations you’re intending to target.
Publish local content related to your products or services
If you create and publish website content with a local angle, you can give search engines a better idea of where you’re based. For instance, a hotel could create a round-up of the best restaurants in the area, or a pet shop could create a listicle of the best dog parks nearby.
To come up with your own local content ideas, think about how your business works within the context of your community. Do your customers stop by other businesses in your area? Do you ever have sales or events together? Could you offer any specific recommendations to them? These are just a few of the possible routes that can provide inspiration for local content.
Let’s take a look at a few great examples of local content to give you some inspiration.
Gina Corena & Associates, a personal injury law firm based in Las Vegas, has great local content published across their website. For instance, on their car accident page, they address exactly how they are able to serve car accident victims in their city.
They note that, because Las Vegas is a busy and active city, car accidents aren’t uncommon. The article then goes on to answer several common questions about car accidents in Las Vegas, including how often they happen, how much a lawyer for this type of event would cost, and how much these claims can be worth. This is a great and informative piece of local content that can not only inform readers about what they need to do after a car accident, but also show that Gina Corena & Associates are experts in their field.
Tillamook, a dairy company, also has great local content on their blog. For instance, they have an article on their involvement with the Great Food Drive, a charity event hosted by a local radio station. The article outlines how Tillamook contributed to the event and what successes were had. Furthermore, Tillamook links to other local businesses and organizations like the radio station—this will help tell Google more about where Tillamook is located and boost their local SEO.
Consider writing articles about local events you’ve been involved with. This will give you an opportunity to showcase the good you’re doing in the community and help you add more local content as well as links to your website, which will improve your local SEO.
Dedicate web pages to each of your local products or services
If you offer different types of products or services to your customers, it’s a good idea to create a page for each, and then ensure they’re optimized for local search. This is because people don’t just search for the type of business you have—they might also be looking for a specific item. For instance, rather than searching for a “bakery near me”, someone might Google “wedding cakes nearby” or “birthday cakes in [your city]”.
Therefore, you need to create product and service pages dedicated to the specific things you sell and weave in local keywords. Let’s take a look at a business that uses this strategy well as inspiration.
Truckee-Tahoe Pet Lodge, a pet boarding facility in California, has dedicated pages to each of their local services. For instance, they have pages on dog boarding, cat boarding, and animal daycare, all of which are optimized for their North Lake Tahoe location. This strategy ensures that they draw in searchers that will need their services — in other words, people living in or visiting the area.
Be sure that, if you’re targeting people in a specific area, you optimize your SEO strategy by creating product and service pages for these locations. This will improve your local SEO and help ensure that the right people discover your business through the relevant local search results.
Devise a local link building strategy
Link building is an important part of any good SEO strategy. It is the process of acquiring authoritative and high-quality links from other websites that lead back to your own. When this happens, Google takes it as a vote of confidence in your expertise and will improve your rankings on related search engine results pages.
If you build links on other local websites, this can help search engines get a better understanding of where you’re based. So, consider reaching out to local newspapers or business websites to see if they can place a link to your content in one of their own articles. This will help boost your local SEO!
Local SEO is important for businesses with at least one physical location. In this article, we outlined how you can reach customers in your city or targeted area using keyword research, local content, and more.
Use these techniques and it shouldn’t be long before you start to see a lot more of your ideal customers coming through your doors.