Search engine optimization, or SEO, happens on numerous levels, including local. While many aspects of local SEO are similar to other types of SEO, there are some notable differences.
Being aware of these differences and doing what you can to enhance your SEO on the local level, will generate more inbound lead generation, improve search engine rank and generally increase your visibility.
Before you dive deep into local SEO methodologies, however, it’s important for your website to have the following basic elements:
- The site is built using a platform that is search engine friendly. If your site is archaic, Google won’t be happy, and all SEO attempts, including local SEO, will falter.
- The site has great, relevant content that’s consistently updated. No updates for months upon months? You’re allowing your competitors to overtake you.
- The site uses white hat SEO techniques. Not sure that your site is totally white hat, as opposed to black hat? Spend a little and have a pro examine it. You’ll save money in the future on all your SEO efforts.
Tips for Effective Local SEO
Once you’re sure your website is where it should be in terms of quality and content, it’s time to tackle its SEO presence. Here are four of the top tips for effective local SEO:
Local SEO Tip #1:
Create Landing Pages for Every Major City, Neighborhood or Community Near You
Let’s say your geographic territory is Atlanta, Georgia. While it’s fine to have pages and items devoted to mentioning your sales area, you’ll probably want to add the surrounding communities and/or neighborhoods like East Point, Greenbriar, East Point, College Park, Druid Hills, Buckhead, etc., to the mix.
The simplest way to do this is through landing pages that are geo-specific. For instance, you can have a unique landing page for each of the major markets in your area. Every landing page should boast pertinent content, images and internal links. This will help improve your local SEO for those markets.
Local SEO Tip #2:
Make Sure You’re Easy to Find on the Top Local User Review Sites
We live in a society where people regularly head to local user review sites to gauge whether businesses are truly worth our hard-earned dollars. Is your company listed on the local user review sites? If it is, are you actively communicating with reviewers, including those who give you less-than-stellar reviews?
By having a strong presence on the top local and national review sites, you’re going to improve your odds of snagging new business through online channels.
Local SEO Tip #3:
Actively Utilize Your Social Media Channels
It takes more than just having a Facebook or Twitter account to drive business back to your website. You have to be actively engaged in social media. This means making it a priority, whether you do it yourself or hire a firm to tackle the responsibility.
Be sure to follow others within your geo-targeted community and participate in discussions, shares, retweets, and more on your social media profiles. Although you won’t get the SEO benefits directly, you will improve the natural inbound links that send people to your site. Search engines like to see this kind of organic foot traffic and may rate your site higher than a competitor’s that doesn’t use social media channels.
Local SEO Tip #4:
Get Ranked for the Hottest Keywords in Your Category
While you’re adding content or revitalizing your current content, remember that you should be ranking every page for several of the hottest keywords in your industry. This assists people in finding out about you organically, and it it helps promote your business online.
If you’re having trouble coming up with local keywords, start by setting up a free Google Adwords campaign and seeing the recommended keywords. You can also go to your largest competitors to see which keywords they’re using to rank highly. Finally, you may want to talk with a web specialist with experience in uncovering keywords.
Local SEO is essential to the survival of your company, whether you sell products, services or both. Be sure it’s not overlooked in your marketing strategy.