Local SEO is all about maximizing the visibility of your website and physical location in search engines. It’s not only about optimizing your content for geographic keywords; it also includes getting the most out of your Google My Business listing, claiming unclaimed listings, building quality local links, and leveraging review signals. It’s a whole new animal than traditional SEO, and it requires a different set of skills to get right.
The best local SEO strategies are those that make sense for your business model and target audience. For example, a local dry cleaner might benefit from creating a page dedicated to “dry cleaning services near me,” while an Italian restaurant could be better off with a page focused on the city’s famous cuisine. Creating separate pages for each of your unique products and services gives you the opportunity to optimize for a wide range of local keywords, making it easier to rise above the competition in your area.
If you’re a small business with multiple locations, try creating “location pages” for each brick-and-mortar shop. This is a great way to emphasize each location’s presence on Google, and you can add details like name, address, phone number, unique store descriptions, parking/transit information, promotions, and testimonials from happy customers to boost your online reputation. Plus, Google’s autocomplete feature will often show you relevant searches based on your location. Try typing “cleaning services” + your area to see some valuable keyword suggestions.
Use the Google Keyword Planner to filter keyword searches by region and create a list of popular local keywords. Then, be sure to incorporate these terms into your site’s meta content, copy, and URLs. You can also include region-specific landmarks and hotspots in your on-page content to further improve your chances of ranking for “near me” local searches.
Link building is just as important for local search as it is for regular SEO, and it’s also one of the most important factors in Google’s local pack and snack pack results, according to Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors study. Try to build links that come from relevant local sites, such as industry blogs or news publications. You can also bolster your link profile by claiming unclaimed listings on directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, and Angie’s List.
The good news is that many of the same tools and tactics used for traditional SEO are still applicable to local search, including competitor analysis, keyword research, and link building. And by taking advantage of these techniques, you’ll be on your way to climbing the local SERPs in no time.