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The goal for any SEO campaign manager is to get their clients’ businesses ranked for important keywords to their products and services. For larger companies with an in-house team of digital marketers – like Nike or Under Armour, for example – embarking on a local SEO campaign isn’t that important. Customers already recognize their brands, and more than likely, know where the closest location is to their home.
For smaller companies relying on the Internet to drive leads, sales, and revenue to their business, local SEO can be a make it or break it marketing strategy.
What is it? Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for local search.
How do I do it? Follow our 10 tips for a successful local SEO campaign below!
Optimize Your Site for Local Search Traffic
Tip #1 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
The first step towards earning more traffic from your local service area is to optimize your site’s content for local search traffic. If you work with an SEO and online marketing company, they should already be doing this for you (but still worthwhile to double check!). If not, here are some DIY tips and tricks for a successful local SEO campaign:
- Optimize title tags/meta descriptions – You know, those things you see on search engine results pages (SERPs) that you actually read and click on to take you from Google to another website? Optimizing title tags and meta descriptions for “keyword + your city, state” can go a long way in improving your local SEO.
- Optimize onsite content – Optimizing meta data simply won’t be enough to outrank competitors in your area. Be sure to optimize the content of your website for local search. Mention your service areas in close proximity to relevant keywords to give yourself a better chance at ranking locally. Your content should read in a natural, conversational tone—don’t sound like a robot trying to stuff keywords and service areas everywhere you can.
- Optimize page titles – Instead of naming your page “Furnace Repair,” rename it to “Furnace Repair in Saratoga Springs, NY” (if you’re a heating repair company located in Saratoga Springs, that is!). Try renaming your service pages to “[Your Service] in [Your City], [State].”
- Create multiple product and service pages – You’re not going to rank in the first three search results for your entire service area without targeting each area specifically. Create pages for each town and city you service, for each service you offer.
Submit Company NAP to National Directories
Tip #2 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
For most business owners, NAP doesn’t ring a bell. For SEOs and online marketers, NAP is a critical aspect to a successful local SEO campaign. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. Your company’s NAP should be listed on every page, without being intrusive to whatever content your visitor is engaging with. One popular way to include this is to list your NAP in the header or footer of your website, like we do on ours!
You should also submit NAP to national directories like Yellow Pages, Hotfrog, Manta, etc. When it comes to online directories, these are some of the biggest players in the game. So when Google, Bing, and other search engines find your NAP listed on these directories AND on every page of your website, there’s no doubt about where you’re located and how customers can reach you.
Be sure to submit consistent NAP to directories. Format your address and phone number the same across all directories to eliminate errors (e.g. – “Suite 100” versus “Ste. 100” or “500 Main Street” versus “500 Main St.” – pick one and stick with it!).
Claim Local Map Listings for Your Business Location
Tip #3 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
If customers need directions to your shop or office, they’ll first need the correct address. After submitting your NAP to directories, be sure to claim your local map listing. Doing so ensures customers can find you and see what the outside of your building looks like via Street View in case they’re unfamiliar with your neighborhood or containing location. This includes Google and Bing!
Add Schema Markup Language to Your Site
Tip #4 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
Schema markup language is universal website coding added to your website that is recognized by all major search engines. Adding Schema provides a major benefit—Schema tells search engines exactly what your web page is about. This ensures your business’s information is read exactly how you want it to be for search engines and provides more accurate local search listings on SERPs.
Visit schema-creator.org to easily create Schema markup language for your business.
Submit Company NAP to Local Directories
Tip #5 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
Just like submitting your company’s NAP to national directories, submitting it to local and more niche directories can go a long way towards optimizing your site for local search. Register and claim your business with:
- Your local Chamber of Commerce
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Other locally-based online directories
- Industry related directories
Get Backlinks from Other Local Companies
Tip #6 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
Perhaps the most important of our 10 tips for a successful local SEO campaign is getting backlinks from companies in your area. Backlinks—when someone links to your website from theirs—are some of the most valuable SEO ranking factors. Getting backlinks from authoritative, well-known companies in your area can prove to be a worthwhile tip for improving your local SEO campaign.
Sponsoring a fund raiser or helping out with a local event—alert the media! Send out a press release letting the community know how you’re involved. Chances are a news outlet or two will pick it up and link back to your website.
Partner with other companies in your area? Get them to link back to your website, but be sure to never pay other companies for backlinks or engage in any other black hat link schemes that may get you penalized by Google.
Get Reviews from Local Customers
Tip #7 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
When you want to add a patio to your home, won’t you want to work with the best stone mason in your area? But how do you know who’s the best?
Read reviews, of course! Getting online reviews from customers within your service area lets other prospective customers know how good you are and that you can be trusted. This goes a long way towards establishing yourself as the authority in your city. For contractors (and any other company) we recommend getting reviews on:
- Angie’s List
- Home Advisor
- And as many more as you can!
After completing a job, send a follow up email with direct links to your company profiles and directions on how to leave a review or simply leave directions with your client before saying good bye!
Optimize Your Site for Mobile Search Traffic Near You
Tip #8 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
In 2015, mobile search surpassed desktop search—meaning more people are researching products and services from their phones than ever before. Be sure your site is built on a responsive framework or you have a mobile website (e.g. – m.yourdomain.com).
If you don’t have a mobile site your mobile search results will be suppressed by Google, resulting in lower organic traffic for “near me” searches and geo-based searches from a mobile device. Not having a mobile-friendly website is essentially saying, “No thanks, I don’t want to have a successful local SEO campaign!”
Build Local Content Silos
Tip #9 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
(Image courtesy of Search Engine Land)
How are home service companies with more than one office location and servicing multiple areas far away from each other supposed to optimize for local search?
Content silos, that’s how.
A content silo is just like a regular website, but targeting one specific service area. Each silo should have its own area-specific phone number and address listed.
Take a look at content silos we built for a document scanning company in Atlanta, also offering document scanning in Virginia. As you can see, the silo (Atlanta, GA location) looks the same as the Virginia silo, but with an Atlanta area code and office address. Its content is Atlanta-focused and its URL structure is also formatted differently, using www.modernimageusa.com/atlanta/”page-title“/ in order to keep any link juice and authority already established by the main site while clearly differentiating its service area from its Virginia location.
Have a Well-Optimized Website (Overall)
Tip #10 For a Successful Local SEO Campaign
Overall, having a well-optimized website improves your SEO value and will prove itself in a successful local SEO campaign. Ask your SEO company and webmasters to double-check that your website is optimized for:
- Site structure
- Onsite content
- Offsite content
- Schema markup language
About The Author: Blue Corona's Editorial Staff is determined to help you increase your leads and sales, optimize your marketing costs, and differentiate your brand by passing on our tribal knowledge. The team vigilantly stays on top of the latest in digital marketing, bringing you the top insights with expert commentary. Want to see something on our blog you haven't seen yet? Shoot us an email and our marketing team will get to work.
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