The rise of mobile search has brought many changes to SEO, but none as dramatic as in the realm of local search.
I think most people are familiar with the Google update known as Pigeon. Launched in 2014, it improved the search visibility of local directories and helped establish a foothold for local search engine optimization (SEO). With mobile usage surpassing desktop and Google reporting that over a third of his mobile searches are locally relevant, local SEO has become a key part of his overall SEO strategy. No wonder.
The local SEO competition is very difficult, especially on mobile devices, given the shrinking local result space in search engine results (SERPS). What strategies should you use to increase your organic visibility and ranking in local search results? Here are four things to consider:
- Claim all local name, address and phone number (NAP) citations and listings in the local directory and ensure they are consistent across all listings.
- Claim your Google My Business Page and Bing Places For Business, each with relevant information and local keywords to be found in local search. That way, your business will show up on Google and Bing Maps in addition to search results.
- Improve your local ratings and reviews to outperform local search packs by fully optimizing your webpage and filling in all information fields on Google My Business.
- Create local content to rank for long-tail keywords and above-the-fold results.
This article focuses on creating and optimizing local content. Because it’s one of the best ways to increase your visibility and ranking in local search results.
Content optimization for local SEO
Local SEO is a great strategy for small businesses and service industries that primarily market in a specific region. By focusing your content on local keywords and intent, you can effectively narrow down your competition and narrow your reach to your target audience. smart!
The two most important steps in optimizing your website for local are making your website mobile-friendly and localizing your schema markup.
A study sponsored in part by Microsoft (download required) found that only 17% of marketers had embedded schema markup on their websites. Adding structured data to your website tells search engines the focus of your content and the geographic area of your business. This won’t directly improve your ranking, but it will make your webpage more relevant to your targeted local keywords. This also helps you rank in local search packs.
When creating content for local audiences, it’s important to insert local keywords into your title and meta description tags to create local rankings. Content often focuses on long-tail keywords to describe your site topically or geographically. For example, a comprehensive web page can include “Seattle SEO Firm” and a blog post can include “Best SEO Firms in Seattle”.
Inserting Seattle on both pages, which is required for the second page, helps Google index your content for Seattle and SEO-related searches. It’s also a good idea to insert geographic keywords as close to the beginning of the tag as possible to avoid truncating them in search results.
This is necessary because companies with multiple locations often have the same location page in different locations. In addition to updating your NAP information, consider adding relevant information such as nearby local landmarks and testimonials from local businesses that have provided services.
Ideas for local content
Localized content is a great way to capture a niche that many people aren’t working on. Aside from local news stations and influencers, real estate and travel he websites such as TripAdvisor and Movoto, most websites do not focus on localized content.
Do some research to identify your target audience before creating localized content for your region. The best way to do this is to use your locality to interview customers directly.
Conduct extensive audience analysis using Facebook’s Audience Insights using search terms and criteria from in-person meetings. This helps us identify our audience demographics and psychographics and curate content that appeals to them.
You can also use Google’s Keyword Planner to measure search volume for your chosen keywords based on insights gained from face-to-face interviews and your own local keyword tactics. This helps you find target audience members you haven’t reached yet.
You should also refer to analytics to audit current traffic data and website performance. Are people reaching you through direct traffic, social, or search? What keywords are they using in their searches? , is also important for finding the best channels to publish and promote.
One thing to remember is that local content is more than just blog posts. Local content marketing incorporates a variety of strategies such as sharing user-generated content, optimizing landing pages with local images and descriptions, and optimizing online reviews.
For blog posts and landing pages, there are several content ideas you can pursue for this strategy.
- Writing local events.
- Piggyback on local news stories.
- Content centered around your business.
- Industry-focused, region-specific content, such as Seattle’s Minimum Wage Law Impact on Retailers.
- Answer local questions like, “Where’s the best place to shop in Washington DC?”
- Generate local media coverage.
You can also be active in the community and spark ideas for local content. This allows you to report directly and write authentic sentences. Here are the ideas:
- Host a local event.
- Participate in local events.
- Sponsors of local events.
- Guest posts on local blogs.
- Guest lectures at universities and local schools.
Beyond creating local content to rank in search engines, the main idea is to position your brand as a leader in your local community. That’s why it’s important to strategically place, publish, and promote your content across different channels. While social should be your primary channel, your top local landing pages are also a great opportunity to provide listicles and valuable local information. Blogs should be reserved for more topical content, such as local news events.
Local link building
Local SEO also provides a unique opportunity to create linkable assets that focus on local research and statistics. For example, many real estate companies profit by posting local housing statistics on their websites. This creates a great opportunity for bloggers and local media to see these stats.
This is not necessarily reserved for the housing or travel industry. A heating company can list energy price statistics for their area, and a law firm can create a detailed mock-up of the city’s legal changes.
Building local links is already in line with your current SEO strategy.
- Get directory links and mentions.
- Insert landing page links to related citations.
- Get coverage from local media.
- A local guest’s blog.
From hosting events to guest speakers, all the content strategies I’ve listed offer opportunities to build more links. Depending on your geographic location, you can apply at any time to become a guest columnist for national publications, including local and metro sections.
Local SEO is an untapped opportunity
When we think about local SEO, we often think only about the basics, like getting local directory links and being on Google My Business. While these are important, local SEO has many advantages over broad SEO, especially as mobile search continues to grow.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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