Using search engine optimization (also referred to as SEO) is one of the best ways to strategically drive organic search engine traffic to your website. You tap into people using a search engine who are looking for the solutions you can offer.
To drill down a bit more, local SEO is when you tie your community to the searcher’s intent. This helps you attract people in your area to your site. For example, a barbershop in Des Moines, Iowa wouldn’t just want to score the highest on searches for “best barbershop,” but specifically for “best barber shops in Des Moines, Iowa.”
So how do you ensure your local SEO is attracting the most attention it can? By putting together a local SEO strategy that is well thought out and executed. To do this, you will want to establish a local SEO checklist. This is a list of actions you’ll want to take to rank and win at local SEO, leaving your competition searching for answers and customers coming to your door.
Let’s take a closer look at what should be on your local SEO checklist.
Optimize your website
First thing’s first: before you can truly get the most out of your local SEO actions, you will want an optimized website. Ensure your site has the needed web pages and content your customers need to see. That includes:
- A landing page, which tells customers about your business.
- An “About” page, which dives a bit deeper into the benefits you bring to your customers and your mission.
- A “Contact Us” page, which allows your customers to connect with you. This can include an email address or contact form. This should have your business’s name, address, and phone number (this trio of information is often referred to as NAP). If you have more than one location, include the NAP for each one.
- All of your disparate mentions of NAP should be the same across your different web pages. Inconsistent information leads to confusion.
- Include a Google map of your business – this will make it easier for your customers to locate where you are and will also help with local SEO.
SEO content to include
Once you have optimized your site, you will then want to create content that helps you score high in Google’s search rankings. Create content that answers the questions your core audience has. You will also want to infuse that content with the local keywords people from your community will include.
It is not only acceptable to look at your competitors’ content, it’s actually good business practice. Using tools like Moz, you can do a competitor keyword analysis to see what content is ranking well for them and how you might be able to tap into those keywords.
What you should not do is steal content from competitors. Not only is it unethical, but in many cases it is illegal. Always create original material.
There are other measures you can take as well. When adding meta descriptions and tags to your content, you can include the name of your town and city. You can insert pictures and videos of local establishments and landmarks with your content, including your targeted keywords. This helps drive home the local flavor of your website and business and will only strengthen your local SEO efforts.
Link building is the practice of optimizing the number of places that link to your content. Having a large number of sites linking to your site also makes Google happy. It will increase your search engine rankings, particularly if you have links from credible, reputable sites.
From a local SEO perspective, there are a few tactics you can use to increase the flow of local digital traffic to your site:
- Maintain a close relationship with local media outlets that have a digital presence. This can include city newspapers, but also popular blogs or social media accounts in the area. When you have content that appeals to their audiences, you can alert them to this so that they’ll link back to your site.
- If you want to increase the likelihood that local outlets will link to your site, employ a content strategy that includes plenty of locally-focused content.
- Add backlinks to your own content within newly published posts. Make sure that the linked pieces of content are relevant to each other, otherwise, your audience may not appreciate the link.
- Set up a Google alert for your business name. When your business is mentioned but not linked to, you can reach out to the owners of these sites and inquire if they’d be willing to include a link.
Another tactic that helps improve your local SEO results is being mentioned in local web directories. The more reputable local web directories you appear in, the better your search ranking will be.
Assemble a list of local directories that are trusted, verified, and of high quality. Submit your site for inclusion here. Along with helping your local SEO, this will also make your site visible to anyone browsing those directories.
When your customers leave good reviews on your Google My Business page that is linked to your website, this is a good sign to Google. The more positive reviews you get, the more searchers Google will send your way. That is why you’ll want to include reviews as part of your local SEO strategy.
How do you do this? You do not want to solicit good reviews if they are unearned of course. But when you have wowed a customer in a way that leaves them wanting to return, you can politely ask them to leave a positive Google review about their experience.
The key here is to provide great customer service. When you do this, your customers will have no problem delivering solid Google reviews that give you plenty of stars and attract attention online.
You can include links on your website with a persuasive message asking customers to rate their experience working with you. Google provides explicit instructions on how to do this. If you have one-on-one consultations or interactions, you can ask for the Google review at the end of those. You should be able to gauge how likely they are to leave a positive review based on the quality of the interaction and whether they seem satisfied.
By building your local SEO checklist, you will increase the chances that your site is seen by the people within your community – the customers you’ll want to have for your business.
We Can Help
At WebServ, we can help you build your local SEO checklist. We are a digital marketing agency in Orange County, CA. Our team can help you and your business achieve your digital marketing goals through effective SEO services. We offer a range of services that can help you improve your online presence.
WebServ proudly helps businesses across the country achieve their SEO and digital marketing goals. We are available to assess your current content and make suggestions and tailor your local SEO checklist. Our aim is to help businesses navigate the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.
Do not hesitate to contact us today. We are ready to help you achieve your digital marketing goals and strengthen your online presence.