There isn’t a single business out there that doesn’t want to rank higher in a range of search engines used by their audience. With Google on the throne, closely followed by Bing and Yahoo, you need to understand what drives your website visitors to click through your site, and what gets them in front of your pages to begin with. It all starts with how you optimize your website with the right content, the kind designed for visitors and the kind designed for search engines alike.
But before you start filling your website with widely-used keywords embraced across the industry, keep in mind that 46% of all Google searches are local in nature. Close to half of all Google queries, then, are focused on finding data about your business that pertain to your location. But choosing, researching, distributing, and making sense of localized SEO is a form of digital art that can make or break your digital presence. Here are a few tried and tested tips on maximizing the potential of your local keywords to get more people to your website and interested in your content.
Do your keyword homework
Most businesses would assume that your localized keywords end and begin with attaching your physical location to the main keywords for your service and products. Sure, this is one major piece of the local SEO puzzle, but to assume that this is enough will cost your business a number of spots on that results page. While researching and implementing local keywords isn’t an exact science or too complex in nature, you should still use your imagination and expand your research to encompass other local opportunities.
- Use a research tool that will help you see which keywords are most commonly used in your industry and by your users. You’ll also be able to see their frequency and competitiveness, and determine which ones make the most sense for you.
- Look to your most successful local competitors: what’s their keyword distribution like? What can you learn from their best practices?
- Utilize Google’s Search Console to spot local keywords.
- Diversify your local searches by using keyword variations that include plurals, different verb forms, synonyms, by widening your search into a broader physical location (New York as opposed to Manhattan).
Find gaps in your content and mend them
Although your new content and new landing pages you’re about to create are relevant in your efforts to boost your local SEO, you still need to bear in mind that your existing content has a profound impact on your ranking for local queries. If you’ve failed to utilize enough local keywords in your content, or you’ve added poor-quality or broken links related to your local keywords, if you failed to add a keyword-based meta description – your local ranking will take a hit.
One of the most effective ways to monitor and adjust your on-site content is to use tools such as DIY SEO that can help you with ongoing optimization efforts and constant monitoring for relevant keywords. Using such reliable crawling tools is a far better way to analyze your current content than to manually comb through dozens of pages and possibly miss out on opportunities to add local keywords to improve your ranking.
Optimize your business listings
A frequently overlooked opportunity to utilize local keywords, and an especially relevant one for that matter, is your approach to handling those business listings online. Failing to claim, let alone optimize any business listings on in the most relevant business directories can actually be harmful for your SEO. Starting with Google My Business, all the way to Bing Places, your brand’s details need to be loud and clear, and most importantly, consistently presented.
This single step transforms your business from yet another irrelevant wannabe into a reputable, trustworthy business entity confirmed and recommended by trusted search engines. When your listing is verified by the search engine, you can further optimize your business listing by adding more details such as any additional phone numbers and contact details, listing any specific services that will make your business easier to recognize, and details such as opening hours in case you have a brick-and-mortar presence. All of these fields represent opportunities to fine-tune your listings into an SEO-friendly tool for all local searches with the right keywords.
Ensure consistent NAP citations
Out of all the keywords and local details you send out into the ether are your NAP details – name, address, and phone number. You might not perceive them as keywords per se, and yet, they have the potential to make or break your local SEO efforts in the eyes of search engines, but also in the eyes of your potential buyers. No modern customer will be likely to keep digging for a phone number if they first come across a disconnected one – they’ll rather go to a local brand that delivers reliable details on the first try.
Your NAP details need to be the same and consistently presented all across the web. That way, you prevent misleading your customers and search engines, which is the foundation of poor customer experience – and that will certainly not get you that prime spot in search results. Consistent NAP delivery, on the other hand, is another neat piece of the SEO puzzle to maximize the efficiency of your other local keywords, and strengthen your presence online.
Local SEO is becoming more vital for your digital presence every day. Use these tips to make the most of your local keywords within your SEO strategy and let your business grab that prime spot on Google and other search engines to get more visibility, and more love from your audience.
Raul is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com