What is Local SEO?
Let’s begin by understanding the nuances of local SEO and what it encompasses.
Local SEO refers to targeting local keywords to rank on Google and/or other major search engines. In general, a good example of this would be targeting a keyword such as “best painting company in New York” instead of “Best painting company.” The idea is to add the city into the keyword as a way to localize the word.
This is important because the average homeowner residing in New York isn’t going to want to hire a painting contractor sitting in Paris, France. They will want someone that is close to home and that is why they are more than likely going to search for “best painting company in New York” when they hop onto Google.
Tips for Ranking Locally On Google
1) Set Up a Google My Business Listing
The first thing a business has to do is set up their listing on Google My Business. You are going to verify the listing as directed and then start filling everything out based on the most recent information at your disposal. This includes things such as your hours of operation, address, phone number, and more.
Everything has to be up-to-date because this will push your local SEO to another level. You will start to see your local keywords climb and your Google My Business listing is also going to rise in front of the others.
If you’re looking for a great guide on setting up your GMB, check out HubSpots’ >> The Ultimate Guide to Google My Business.
2) Optimize for Local Keywords
Are you taking the time to optimize for local keywords? This is a must when it comes to local SEO and it has to be done right away.
These keywords can include:
- Best Painting Services in New York
- New York Painting Services
Simply take the niche you are in and then start building local keywords such as the ones mentioned above. The goal is to go after as many of these keywords that are relevant to your specific niche. It is one of the easiest ways to cut away all of the competition and put your name in front of the local customer base.
The key with this tip is to not overdo it though. A lot of people will go overboard and end up over-optimizing their site which will cause it to look spammy to Google.
If Google detects over-optimization, it can cause your website to lose its rankings.
The best way to optimize your content for these kinds of local keywords is to mix in different variations of the keywords into your content. If you’re targeting “Best Painting Services in New York” you don’t want to repeat this phrase continually through your content, it’s going to look weird to the humans visiting your site and Google may flag it.
Aim to have this phrase in your content once, “Best Painting Services in New York.” Then somewhere else in your content have something like “New York’s #1 rated painter.” Then mix in “Top New York painting.”
By incorporating different variations of the same kind of phrase into your content, you’re able to avoid over-optimization, while making your content very specific to your target keyword.
3) Add Location Pages on the Website
You will have to start adding location pages on your website as soon as possible.
These location pages can be divided based on cities, towns, and/or any other way such as neighborhoods to generate traffic. You want to target as many ways a person will search for your business on Google.
This means whether they go by state, city, town, neighborhood, or even major streets, you are the name that is going to pop up.
4) Build Authoritative Local Backlinks
To become a local powerhouse, you are going to need authoritative backlinks. This means you want backlinks from businesses in the region (can include unrelated niches) while also focusing on generating high-quality backlinks from other relevant niches. The goal is to build a strong online asset that is going to become easy to rank for local keywords.
This is a real difference-maker when it comes to pushing in front of other local competitors that are not as honed in on what needs to be done for local SEO results.
These tips are going to go a long way in setting the foundation for your business and how well it does. Remember, it is important to target local keywords as that is going to trim the competition and allow you to hone in on potential customers that are nearby. There is no reason to go after international leads that aren’t going to convert for your small business.
If you’re doing it yourself, stick to the tips mentioned here, focus on building a good online asset, and watch as your local SEO campaign flourishes.