Two years ago, Google changed the way they list websites for location-specific search terms. Now, instead of seven listings, they only have three. While this created a more user-friendly experience, many businesses suffered due to increased competition and lack of exposure.
Local SEO has become somewhat of a buzzword within the industry. People have started to recognize and understand how important geographic ranking has become, and many are taking this more niche approach with their overall strategy in order to bypass competing with bigger companies.
If you want to re-focus your strategy to make it more localized, the following tips will help.
Hire Local Writers to Produce Local Content
Anybody can produce a run-of-the-mill SEO article. While they can be great for acquiring backlinks—if that’s their sole purpose—it’s always better to write for readers. Write blog posts about local events, people and other businesses. This will not only be more engaging to local audiences, but could provide opportunities for cross promotion.
Ensure That Your Business Address is Registered in a Fixed Location
This may seem obvious, but in today’s remote world not everybody has a fixed business address. If you work from home or on the road, consider renting a virtual office. This will work wonders for your corporate profile and could enhance your listing placement for your local area.
Register Your Business Information With Google
It’s not just your website that you need to optimize. Make sure your business is registered on Google Maps and Google My Business. Unlike content, which should always be fresh, this information must be seamless across the board. In addition, get it owner-verified and ensure that it mentions the city/area you’re targeting.
Embed a Map Onto Your Contact Page
Embedding Google Maps onto your contacts page will give your website a little more weight in the local listings and could provide an entirely new way of reaching customers. According to social media marketing agency, Buzz Voice, “People are now using Google Maps to find all sorts of businesses; therefore, embedding them into your website and social media profiles is becoming increasingly important.” Even if you hire a virtual office and don’t have a physical location, this is still worth doing. Include all of the following: Skype username, opening and closing hours, written directions, phone number and social media links.
Target Local Bloggers and Businesses
Word-of-mouth advertising is still the most powerful marketing method at your disposal. Fortunately, the Internet is a great place to engage in a bit of cross promotion and acquire reviews. Approach local influencers and businesses that are related to your industry. Think beyond the link juice and focus on their followers; i.e., potential leads that could one day turn into customers.
While backlinks and on-page optimization are all part of the SEO process, it’s important that you don’t neglect the simpler, more localized aspects of the business. After all, you could acquire top-ten listings for high-traffic keywords, dominate the SERPs and establish yourself as an authority figure within your field, but unless your visitors actually turn into customers, then what’s the point?
Local SEO may seem tedious and time consuming; however, it can be a very effective way to get leads further down the sales funnel. And at the very heart of it, that’s what good business is all about!