Search Engine Optimization – also known as SEO – can be a great way to get your website more traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. However, there are many different strategies to employ, and they should all be tailored to the needs of your business and specific market. So, if you’re looking to get your site on the first page of search results in your local area, it’s time to start implementing local SEO tactics into your strategy immediately!
Ten steps to getting a high ranking
Keyword Research. Keyword research is arguably one of the essential parts of your Local SEO campaign. You need to find terms and phrases that people are searching for online, on a local level, related to your product or service. This information will allow you to develop a competitive edge over your competitors. The best way to do keyword research is through tools like Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, SEMrush, or Ahrefs. If you don’t know what keywords you should target yet, check out our post on Local SEO strategies.
Identify your keywords
Keyword research is a search engine optimization (SEO) tactic. But before you can delve into how to maximize your rankings using keyword research, you must first identify your keywords and what they are based on. For example, if you want to rank for organic food near me, that keyword would be organic food near me. After identifying your keywords, it’s time to do some keyword research. When doing keyword research, consider both broad keywords and long-tail keywords. General keywords are more competitive because so many people are targeting them, but they also have more traffic potential than long-tail keywords. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are less competitive but require more specific information about a person or product; however, long-tail keywords typically have higher conversion rates than broad ones.
Start writing content around those keywords.
You’ll want to start using your target keywords to get top rankings in search engines throughout your website. Target keywords can do this through content writing, link building, and backlinking. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these terms or techniques, we recommend reading about them; they’re not impossible, but they are complex, and there are a lot of variables to consider (such as whether your niche is competitive). The best place to start is our ranking factors guide. It will give you an overview of what it takes to rank well in Google for different searches. It also includes a section on content writing, which should help you figure out how to write around those keywords effectively. Once you have that figured out, read up on link building—the next step in your quest for high rankings.
It’s important to note that while content writing is crucial to getting good results from local SEO if you don’t have links pointing at your site, all of that work won’t do much good.
Create unique and fresh content regularly.
If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, you might want to ensure your current Google My Business listing. For example, if you’ve changed your hours or location, updated your contact information or business address, etc., those changes will be reflected in your listing on Google and other platforms. But these updates only happen when you submit them directly through your account. So keep an eye out for outdated information, then update it accordingly. You can also add photos of your new storefront or products that are now available—all of which help customers find and recognize your business when they search online.
Optimize your website
Local search engine optimization (or local SEO) is your best bet if you want to be visible and rank well on local SERPs. That’s because different algorithms exist for local versus non-local search engines. Local businesses can optimize their sites using appropriate business names, titles, phone numbers, street addresses, and postcodes. It’s also important to have consistent reviews from local directories like Yelp and Google My Business, which will help local users find you when searching for keywords related to your location. It would help if you also considered hiring a professional service specializing in local SEO; these experts know exactly what works and what doesn’t when ranking high on local SERPs.
Develop local backlinks
It’s essential to build a solid local backlink profile as well. The more backlinks you have from authoritative sites like industry organizations and government agencies, the higher your rankings. The best way to do that is by speaking at or attending local events or industry conferences. Many of these organizations will list your name and contact information on their website if you request it—and they should even offer help getting you listed on relevant directories and news outlets. (It never hurts to ask!)
New businesses often overlook opportunities for networking and backlinking, but it’s one of the most effective ways to get top search engine rankings. If you don’t have time for face-to-face interactions, try online tools like LinkedIn Groups; there are plenty of groups related to your industry where you can connect with other professionals who might link to your site.
Develop local citations
You can build three types of local citations: phone, address, and website. Phone and address links can be a mix of things. The first is your Google My Business listing, which you need to set up if you haven’t already (if you haven’t already claimed it, someone else might have). Next, select Get verified now and fill out all relevant information when you get to that page. Then, add any other local listings like Yelp or TripAdvisor—both will allow you to claim your business and verify ownership through an email verification process.
This should go without saying, but when building local citations, don’t buy them from sketchy providers—you may hurt yourself by getting bad reviews for spamming. Instead, to keep things legit, focus on reaching out to actual local businesses who would benefit from linking back to you; maybe they want more customers in their area.
Promote yourself locally
Getting ahead on a local search isn’t difficult if you are already established, but it is a new field for many businesses. The easiest way to get started is to create a Google My Business listing and correctly fill out all your contact information. If you don’t have a physical location yet, consider adding an address that doesn’t belong to you—this will allow users to find your business when they search nearby. Then add photos of your business (you can make these yourself or use stock images) and links to any relevant social media accounts (like Facebook or Twitter). And don’t forget about customer reviews! These are important because they show up prominently in search results. Offer incentives like discounts or free products to encourage people to leave reviews.
Monitor your success with analytics tools
Google Analytics is a free tool that lets you see how visitors find your website and where they’re coming from. What keywords are they using to find you? Is social media bringing a lot of traffic? These and other insights will give you a good sense of where you need to focus your efforts. It also helps to use social listening tools, like Google Alerts or Social Mention, which let you know when new content related to your business is published online. This way, you can quickly share information on your site and respond to any questions or comments from customers. You can even set up alerts for competitors so you can keep tabs on what they’re doing and get ahead of them if necessary. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, put signs near your store pointing customers toward local review sites like Yelp. While it may seem counterintuitive at first—don’t people go straight to Yelp anyway?—your presence there could be what convinces someone looking for a quick restaurant recommendation or reliable dry cleaner that yours is their best option.
Use Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools provides a vast amount of information about your website’s presence on Google, and it’s a great place to start if you want to understand how well (or not) your site is doing. Find out where you need to improve, what Google thinks of your website, and more. Next, you must analyze how Google views your site to get top rankings in search engines. An excellent way to do so is by using Google Webmaster Tools. This tool lets you see which pages are indexed by Google, how many links point to each page, etc. It also helps identify problems such as duplicate content or canonicalization issues; these are things that can cause your site to be penalized by search engines like Google. With all of this information in hand, you can make changes to optimize your site for better ranking performance.
Keep it up long-term.
Once you have a site that ranks well, you must keep up your excellent work. But don’t panic—keeping your rankings high doesn’t mean you have to do extra daily legwork! Instead, use common sense and follow these tips Re-optimize: If you make any changes to your website or content, re-optimize your site for search engines. You should also check on competitors regularly and adjust accordingly. Use social media: Make sure all social media sites are optimized for search engines (including Google+, YouTube, and Twitter). This will help people look at what you’re doing through new eyes.