As most companies are spending 35% of their annual marketing budget on digital marketing, it's important to know that your money is going to good use. If you're new to SEO or haven't updated your SEO approach in a while, you need to be employing a fresh local SEO approach. Some local SEO tips can ensure you see the ROI you expect from marketing.
For companies new to SEO, you should get to know how search engines rank your site when customers search for products and services like yours. Search results are based on more than just keywords like they were years before. Search engines take into account brand authority, site speed, and how often you update your site.
Search engines can cater results to local searches. Follow these ten local SEO tips to ensure you build a strong customer base close to home.
1. Get On The Map
Check out where you're located when you search for your company on Google Maps. Make sure every detail is correct. Your customers need to know where to find you and how to get in touch.
Think about including an embed or screenshot from google maps on your website's contact page. It will help people visualize the area you're in and start associating you with other businesses in that area.
2. Be Authentic
When you're uploading photos of your location or your brand, make sure you're honest. If you photoshop or alter something that's online, people can call you out for it. They can alert search engines and review sites, and you can be penalized for that.
Also, don't pay for reviews or for people fake clicks. Unless you've got millions to shell out for the highest quality authentic clicks, you'll be found out by search engines. When they discover you've been fluffing your numbers, they'll mark you, and you'll see your rankings sink.
If someone gives you negative feedback, respond honestly and sincerely. Customers will respect that, no matter the negative comment, and it won't hurt you at all.
3. Have Strong Architecture
Add internal links all over your site. Even if you have links in the main menu or the footer, give people the opportunity to get the most pertinent information from your site no matter where they are.
If you have a blog, link to important pages on your site from there. This is good for SEO.
One of the most overlooked local SEO tips is to make sure you have no dead links. Run your site through a broken link checker as often as possible to make sure none of your media goes down. Broken links will harm your SEO ranking.
4. Use Local Keywords in Title Tags
To make sure you get the local SEO numbers you're looking for, make sure all of your titles have the local keywords you're relying on. If you include "garage door repair Chicago" in your tags, you'll help search engines see they should include you in Chicago search results.
Companies who fail to use this tactic rely on exact title searches, and it's rare that a new customer will know exactly what to search for to get your site.
5. Claim Business Listings
Make sure you claim and verify listings on Google My Business, Yahoo! Local, and Yelp. All of the information on those sites should be current and proofread. You should have consistency in your listings across every single directory.
Give contact information and business hours to help people get in contact with you when they need you.
6. Put Keywords in Multiple Listings
Make sure your brand is visible through a variety of listing services. Put your keywords into every listing or description. Whenever you get to add a description to any photo, add your keywords.
The more often you can use your most important keywords, the more closely your brand will be associated with those terms.
7. Get Local Media Coverage
One of the more often overlooked local SEO tips is the role of local media. If there are local publications or message boards used within your community, make sure your company has a presence.
Getting listed on a locally relevant website or buying ad space there allows you go to make yourself associated with your region, to customers and search engines.
8. Update Your Links
If you've got blog posts that are a few years old, replace the links in those posts with links that are fresher. You'll see that those old blog posts will rank higher by virtue of being associated with the more recent content.
High-quality links come from reputable news sources and websites that get a lot of traffic. If there are highly regarded sites relevant to your region, ask to trade links with one of their writers to give you both a bump in your ranking.
9. Use Social Media
Make sure that your social media profiles are always posting about local events and issues. If you or representatives from your brand go to a farmers market or local street fair, write a post about it.
The more you show that you're in your community, the better you'll look to search engines and potential customers.
10. Make Hyper-Local Content
Some brands will use the same format for their locations, even if they have multiple franchise locations. No one compiling local SEO tips would recommend this. Duplicate content will be rooted out by search engines and penalized.
Local SEO Tips Require Local Knowledge
If you're new to the neighborhood, get to know the local terminology. Introduce yourself to your neighbors, whether they're other businesses or potential clients. The more you know about your region, the bigger the impact your SEO will have.
If you're ready to implement a new local SEO campaign, contact us for what tools you should be using.