The proliferation of mobile devices has made people more dependent on the internet for local searches. According to Google, more than 76% of people who perform local searches on their phones end up visiting a physical store within 24 hours.
If your business has a local presence, it’s important you apply local SEO best practices to do well on local searches. Here are some tips to try:
1. Hunt for local keywords
People use keywords to look for what they need online and they localize! That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) exists in the first place. Your content needs to be optimized with relevant keywords so it can rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). The same principle works for local SEO. To rank high on local SERPs, your content needs to be optimized with relevant keywords for the location you want to target. Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner is a good tool to use to look for high-volume keywords within a given niche and location. Example: “Eye Doctor Lancaster PA” is a localized search term that is common for users to enter in a search engine.
2. Produce local content for your site
After identifying the keywords to use for your local SEO, the next step is creating location-specific content. For a smarter strategy, don’t just insert the keywords in an otherwise generic article. Instead, customize it according to location. For example, let’s say you’re running an HVAC company, and you want to write about ways to save energy during the winter for a location. The best approach you can take is to write the suggestions to fit the kind of winter that location gets. After all, winters in Los Angeles are different from winters in Boulder.
3. Write for local websites
Guest posting has always been a proven way to improve SEO. But since you’re focusing on a location, publish content on local websites. The backlinks you get will improve your business’ standing on local SERPs. At the same time, if you produce high-quality content, you’ll quickly establish yourself as a local expert, which will give a boost to your brand. Of course, finding sites that will accept guest posts can be challenging. A good rule is to search for them using keywords like write for us + location or guest post + location.
4. Engage with local audiences
You can use social media to reach local audiences, especially now that most of them offer geotagging. This means you can assign a location to a post so that only people in that location can see it. The great thing about geotagging is you can share the same post multiple times. Geotag each post to a different location. Customize the accompanying text for each post, so one post can say “Heya, Atlanta” while the other can say “Howdy Dallas!”
5. Get involved in local activities
When you join a local activity – whether as a participant or a sponsor – get a backlink to your site from the organization facilitating the event. This improves your local SEO, especially if the organization’s site has a higher authority than your own. Also, taking part in local activities gives you writing material for content that appeals to the people in the location you want to target. You’re giving back to the community when you take an active role, and that earns trust and respect among its members.
These tips, when taken together, are guaranteed to be effective. But remember, whether you’re going for global or local SEO, quality content is still the most important element of content marketing. There’s no shortcut for that.