By Adrian Cruce
Like all parts of search engine optimization, local search engine optimization is also evolving. This is especially the case right now, as the development of smart devices has made it easy for us to access the Internet through various mobile devices.
Unfortunately, due to the tremendous growth in technology we are currently seeing, most SEO specialists are not up to date with all that there is to do for local search engine rankings. You just use common strategies, e.g. B. retrieving entries in Google My Business or similar directories. If that’s all you do, your rankings won’t be as high as they could be.
Do you want to rank higher in local searches? If so, get started with these advanced local SEO strategies.
1. Focus on visibility, not rankings
It is normal to want to rank higher on local searches, but if that is your only goal you will have trouble getting to the top. It’s not just the top ranks and listings that get a lot of traffic, either, and this is what makes local search engine optimization so unique.
When I say focus on visibility I mean dominating and controlling search properties. Ranking high is not enough if your competition is pursuing a visually guided strategy. Good local search engine optimization doesn’t just focus on getting links and quotes like regular search engine optimization does. It also includes a visual aspect that is usually overlooked by business owners.
As a very simple example, if your business ranks high on Google My Business but is not visually attractive, competitors listed after you may get more traffic just because they seem more attractive. Keep in mind that most local searches are done on smaller screens, so pictures and videos become even more important than normal desktop searches.
2. Use local SEO keyword research
In search engine optimization, you know you need keyword research. But few people know that local SEO keyword research is different from regular keyword research. Usually the process is more straightforward, although it is much easier to make mistakes.
The good news is that there is less competition for local keywords. Because of this, you need to choose the right ones as they will bring you better results in less time.
Start by brainstorming your startup keywords. The formula for this is very simple: “[Your service] in the [location]. ” For example:
- Gym in the new York
- Bike shop in the Melbourne
- hotel in the Brooklyn
- grocery store in the San Francisco
Combine all services and products with all locations you own or operate. This will give you a comprehensive list of local startup keywords to use.
Don’t use exact matches as Google is very good at identifying location-based indicators. For example, in Brooklyn, a person might just type in “hotel” and receive a list of hotels near the physical location from which the search was made.
3. Analyze your competition
In any type of marketing effort, competitive analysis is critical to campaign success. The same applies to local search engine optimization. Identify your competitors and enter them into research tools like SpyFu, Ahrefs or SEMRush. You will then see the ranks of the competition for various local keywords. These are all potential keywords to target.
You can also analyze the backlink profiles of local competitors. That way, you can find media, blogs, and local resources from which you can potentially get valuable backlinks.
4. Carefully tweak all of your quotes
Most people understand that local quotes are very important local ranking signals. Local citations are mentions of your company in an online environment. This includes mentions on industry-specific websites, company directories, blogs, or relevant local websites. What they don’t often realize, however, is how easy it is to get them wrong. For higher local rankings, it is not enough to get quotes. You also have to be consistent.
The big problem is that you often get quotes without even realizing it. If they’re not consistent, your rankings are lower than they could be. For example, there may be slight differences in the recorded address, which is a central part of the NAP (name, address and phone number) that is included in a quotation.
If you find a wrong quote, do your best to fix it. Often times, this is as simple as sending an email and notifying the webmaster of the error. When creating additional citations, use the same consistent NAP.
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5. Improve your local on-page optimization
Now that you’ve done your local keyword research, it’s time to tweak your website content. Fortunately, this mainly means using exactly the same optimization practices that you use with all ranking strategies. However, some particularly advanced local SEO strategies can help you:
First optimize the homepage
Contrary to what many people might think, you shouldn’t optimize the homepage for the local keywords. Instead, you should focus on the keywords that apply to the entire customer base. Use these keywords with the highest chance.
If, like a hotel, your business depends on location, add a homepage tool that allows visitors to search by location. Everything else can be the same as normal search engine optimization. Next, move on to the local landing pages.
Optimize local landing pages
You should create a different landing page for each location, and each of those pages should have their own local keywords. The NAP data should be added to the content.
Also, create geo-targeted content for each landing page. To do this, identify features that make the location unique. Add success stories from local customers and highlight positive reviews. You can also add specific parking and transit instructions, as well as other relevant location-specific details.
An important point is that every single local landing page needs to be as useful and unique as possible.
Use the schema markup
Schema markup is becoming increasingly important in local search engine optimization. This is a structured data form that will be added to the website. The aim is to support search engines in displaying particularly informative results.
Different types of location marker types can be used for physical locations to quickly view location details, hours, and more. Check out Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper for pointers on how to get it right. Just make sure your NAP is consistent.
Get results from advanced local SEO strategies
Local search engine optimization continues to evolve. It gets more complex month by month and new strategies are developed even as you read these words. These advanced local SEO strategies will help you get better in local rankings. However, you always need to keep an eye on the industry and see what the specialists are saying. Check out the latest case studies and regularly adjust your local SEO strategy for the best possible results.
RELATED: 6 Warning Signs You Hired a Bad Local SEO Agency
About the author
Contribution by: Adrian Cruce
Adrian Cruce is a very experienced marketer who specializes in out-of-the-box campaigns and ethical SEO practices.
Company: Digital Muscle
Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.