It’s more important than ever to think locally with your SEO. The question is, what can your business do to become more discoverable by locals? Some tips from Sefati & Co:
- Create hyper-localized content.
- Optimize for voice search.
- Don’t forget on-page SEO elements.
- Think beyond Google.
- Gather user-generated content.
- Use Google Posts.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is getting more local all the time. Gone are the days when companies competed over being at the top of a generic Google search; today, what matters is gaining visibility among local users in your own neighborhood.
This is true for everyone, but it’s especially true for brick and mortar retailers, restaurants, and other highly localized institutions. It makes sense, when you think about it. If you own a plumbing company in Los Angeles, there’s not much point in spending time and money to connect with homeowners in New York. There’s simply no way anyone’s going to pay you to drive so far to unclog their sink! Better to spend your resources connecting with the people nearby.
That sounds simple—but actually, local SEO results take some careful strategy to achieve. There are a number of steps to consider as you try to get your brand “discovered” by consumers in your community. Here’s a six-step strategy to bear in mind.
6 Tips to Improve Your Local SEO
Develop localized content.
And when we say localized, we really mean hyper-localized. Referencing your city is fine, but it’s better to reference the specific neighborhood you’re in, as well as local landmarks—for example, major streets that are nearby, significant intersections, big shopping centers, etc. Give your readers (and the search algorithms) a sense of exactly where you are.
Additionally, write some blogs that address local events—especially events that are relevant to your business. For example, if there’s a big food festival happening in town, and you happen to run a donuts shop or a burger joint, it may be worth blogging about the event. This is true even if you’re not attending the event! Just use the local buzz to help build your own brand.
Don’t forget voice search.
The second tip we have to offer is simple in theory: Optimize for local search. Remember that more and more customers are going to use Alexa and Siri to help locate nearby businesses—e.g., “Siri, where’s the closest plumber?”
Actually optimizing for voice search is a little harder, but one thing we’d say is that including some natural language queries in your content—including search terms phrases as questions—is key.
Attend to on-page SEO factors.
Of course, there are always technical SEO considerations to make, and that includes a number of on-site factors. Make sure you’ve adopted AMP technology, schema markups, and local images and videos. Run some speed tests to make sure your site loads promptly, ideally in just two or three seconds. And, make sure you can offer a flawless user experience, including easy navigation.
Think beyond Google Search.
Simply put, not everyone uses Google. Specifically, a lot of the top voice search assistants, like Alexa, default to other search engines. If you only think in terms of Google, you’re being myopic and limiting your ability to reach a wide audience.
Assemble some user-generated content.
User-generated content is also important and can come in many forms—including user reviews, testimonials, and even hashtags that you can feature on your website. Don’t just sit back and wait for this content—actively seek it out!
Make use of Google Posts.
We’ve found that Google Posts—a feature of Google My Business—can be invaluable for local SEO. Use them to promote blog posts, sales, events, special offers, and more.
Get Help with Local SEO
As you can see, there’s a lot you can do to generate local search visibility—and the first step should always be formulating a cohesive strategy. That’s something we can help you with. Sefati & Co is a leading local search consultancy in Orange County, and we’d love to show you how to get your business some traction in your community. Contact us today to set up a consultation