If you’re a local business, it’s important to make sure that your website is optimized for SEO. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best ways to optimize your website for local search. We’ll go over topics like on-page optimization, backlinking, and NAP consistency. If you follow our tips, you’ll see a big increase in your search engine rankings and more traffic to your website!

The goal of SEO is to make your website appear higher in SERPs. Local businesses have a unique opportunity because they can provide customers with more information about themselves than other companies do–their address, phone number etcetera! This means that when someone searches online for products or services near them (i e within driving distance), this region will show up first on search engine results pages (SERPs). It also offers potential clients an opportunity not only to advertise but sell directly from the source without having any middlemen take profit away like google does through ads placed alongside each result link.

SEO for Local Businesses

When you want to find a restaurant or a nearby car repair shop, what do you do? Your search for it online! You may not know it, but you’re probably quite familiar with the local search already. When you want to find a restaurant or a nearby car repair shop, what do you do? Your search for it online! And you’re not the only one. As of 2022, 78% of consumers look up local business info online at least once a week. So if your business has a physical store or location, make sure those consumers can find you! To do that, local SEO (search engine optimization) is what you need.

What is local SEO?

There’s no official definition of local SEO, but the concept is simple. It’s the process of optimizing your site to achieve better rankings for searches focused on a specific location. When a user includes the name of a city in their search, or the search engine infers a location from the user’s device, they can get results based on that area. An example of a local search phrase would be “car dealership in Los Angeles, California”. To optimize for these local searches, you’ll need to utilize various techniques and tactics. Doing it successfully will improve your business’ position on local search rankings.

Why should my business care about local SEO?

If you have a business that serves a particular town or area, local SEO matters a lot. And it’s likely to become even more important in the future. Even if you’re already engaging in an organic SEO strategy, it’s worth the effort to get more local visibility. People nearby are your potential customers, so you really don’t want to miss the opportunity to get their attention.

On top of improving your overall online brand awareness, local search is a significant driver of leads, sales, and in-store traffic for local businesses. A better question might be “why wouldn’t your business care about local SEO?”. The only real argument against investing in local optimization is the effort and possible costs involved. But that’s not something you need to worry about — in fact, depending on the keywords and tactics you’re using, you may be implementing a local SEO plan already without realizing it!

Local search

Local search is an integral part of any SEO strategy targeting customers in a specific region, city, or neighborhood.

Simply put, local SEO is where you focus to improve your rankings and visibility in local search results such as Google’s Map Pack/Local Pack.

Organic SEO is how you improve web page rankings in organic search. How your website ranks in those organic results can positively influence your Local Pack rankings, as well.

Organic listings are another great opportunity for your local business to appear in front of motivated searchers when Google determines that the query has local intent.

So, although local and organic SEO are interconnected in these ways, each requires a unique strategy with different optimization tactics.

Why Local Search Is Important

Here are a few stats that prove how important local search continues to be for businesses:

  • According to Google, 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
  • 30% of all searches it processes are related to location, also according to Google.
  • 61% of consumers said in a recent local search survey that they search locally every day.
  • A recent local SEO survey found that 82% of consumers read online reviews for businesses during a local search and spend close to 14 minutes doing so before making a decision.
  • 86% of people rely on Google Maps to find the location of a business.
  • Yelp appears in the top five search results for SMB searches 92% of the time.
  • Worldwide, 74% of in-store shoppers who performed their search before physically arriving at the store said they searched for things like the closest store near them, locations, in stock near them, and other types of hyperlocal information.
  • More than half of Internet users worldwide use a mobile device for their local searches.
  • 83% of searchers use Google Search to learn more about nearby businesses; 55% use Google Maps, 44% Apple Maps, 39% turn to Yahoo, and 31% choose bing.

There are three types of SEO that an SEO strategist can focus on:

  • On-page SEO: This SEO focuses on the content that’s actually on site pages, and how to optimize it to boost the website’s ranking for specific keywords.
  • Off-page SEO: This SEO focuses on links directed to the website from elsewhere on the internet. The number of backlinks a site has from reputable sources helps you build trust with search algorithms.
  • Technical SEO: This SEO focuses on a website’s backend architecture, like site code. Google cares just as much about technical set-up as it does content, so this position is important for rankings.

Bear in mind that every business has different objectives, so it is an SEO’s job to examine their industry, determine what their audiences care about, and develop a strategy that gives them what they’re looking for. 

SEO Content Strategy

1. Make a list of topics.

Keywords are at the heart of SEO, but they’re no longer the first step to achieving organic growth. Instead, the first step is to make a list of topics you’d like your content to address. 

To start, compile a list of about 10 words and terms associated with your product or service. Use an SEO tool ( Google’s Keyword Tool, Ahrefs, SEMRush , or GrowthBar just to name a few) to research these words, identify their search volume, and come up with variations that make sense for your business. By doing this, you are associating these topics with popular short-tail keywords, but you’re not dedicating individual blog posts to these keywords.

2. Make a list of long-tail keywords based on these topics.

During this step, you’ll begin optimizing your pages for specific keywords. For each pillar you’ve identified, use your keyword tool to identify five to 10 long-tail keywords that dig deeper into the original topic keyword.

For example, we regularly create content about SEO, but it’s difficult to rank well on Google for such a popular topic with this acronym alone. We also risk competing with our own content by creating multiple pages that are all targeting the exact same keyword — and potentially the same SERPs. Therefore, we also create content on conducting keyword research, optimizing images for search engines, creating an SEO strategy (which you’re reading right now), and other subtopics within the SEO umbrella.

This helps businesses attract people who have varying interests and concerns — and ultimately creates more entry points for people interested in what you have to offer.

3. Build pages for each topic.

When it comes to websites and ranking in search engines, trying to get one page to rank for a handful of keywords can be next to impossible. But, here’s where the rubber meets the road. Use the pillar topics you came up with to create a page or post that gives a high-level overview of the topic using the long-tail keywords you came up with for each cluster in step two. These pillar pages can essentially be a table of contents, where you’re giving a description of the main topic, and briefing readers on subtopics you’ll elaborate on in other posts.

4. Set up a blog

Blogging can be an incredible way to rank for keywords and engage your website’s users. After all, every blog post is a new web page and an additional opportunity to rank in SERPs. If your business does not already have a blog, consider creating one.

As you write each blog post and expand on your clusters, you should do three things:

  1. Don’t include your long-tail keyword more than three or four times throughout the page as Google doesn’t consider exact keyword matches as often as it used to. In fact, too many instances of your keyword can be a red flag to search engines that you’re keyword stuffing to gain rankings, and they’ll penalize you for this.
  2. Second, always link to the pillar page you created for your topics. You can do this in the form of tags in your content management system (CMS), or as basic anchor text in the body of the article.
  3. Once you publish each blog post, link to it within the parent pillar page that supports the subtopic. By connecting both the pillar and the cluster in this way, you’re telling Google that there’s a relationship between the long-tail keyword and the overarching topic you’re trying to rank for.

5. Create a consistent blogging schedule.

Every blog post or web page you create doesn’t necessarily need to belong to a topic cluster. There’s also value in writing about tangential topics your customers care about to build authority with the Google algorithms. 

6. Create a link-building plan.

The topic cluster model is your way forward in SEO, but it’s not the only way to get your website content to rank higher once it’s been created. While our first five steps were dedicated to on-page SEO, link-building is the primary objective of off-page SEO. Link-building is the process of attracting inbound links (also called backlinks) to your website from other sources on the internet. As a general rule, sites with more authority that link back to your content have a more significant impact on your rankings. 

Dedicate some time to brainstorming all the various ways you can attract inbound links. Maybe you’ll start by sharing links with local businesses in exchange for links to their own sites, or you’ll write a few blog posts and share them on different social media platforms. You can also approach other blogs for guest blogging opportunities through which you can link back to your website.

7. Compress media files before uploading them to your site.

This is a small but important step in the SEO process, especially for mobile optimization. As your blog or website grows, you’ll undoubtedly have more images, videos, and related media to support your content. These visual assets help retain your visitors’ attention, but it’s easy to forget that these files can be very large. Since page speed is a crucial ranking factor, it’s important to monitor the size of the media files you upload to your site. 

8. Stay up-to-date on SEO news and best practices.

Just like marketing, the search engine landscape is ever-evolving. Staying on top of current trends and best practices is an important strategy, and there are multiple online resources that can help you do so. Here are a few resources to check out:

  • Moz
  • SEOBook
  • Search Engine Roundtable
  • Search Engine Land
  • Diggity Marketing
  • This Blog!

9. Measure and track your content’s success.

SEO can take a lot of time and effort, and, because of this, you’ll want to know if your strategy works. It’s important to track your metrics to understand the success of your overall process and identify possible areas for improvement. 

You can monitor organic traffic using your preferred web analytics tool or create your own dashboard using Excel or Google Sheets. Also, tracking indexed pages, conversions, ROI, and your rankings on SERPs can help you recognize your success as well as identify areas of opportunity.

SEO Report

An SEO report is an overview of the SEO efforts you’ve enacted over a specific period of time. It essentially shows how successful you’ve been, as well as any areas that need improvement. Having a consolidated report also helps you present the data to relevant stakeholders to display why your SEO activities are important, and how they drive growth for your business. 

Your SEO report can contain metrics like organic traffic results, the SEO health of your website, and inbound link generation, and also address any areas where growth has declined that need to be addressed for future improvement.

There are many factors to consider when optimizing your local business for SEO, including target audience, data aggregators’ organic search results, target keywords, google business profile, and local SEO strategy, but we hope this article has given you a good place to start. If you need help with your SEO strategy, our team of experts is always ready and waiting to help you create a plan that works for your business. In the meantime, be sure to keep these tips in mind as you work on getting your local business ranking higher in search engine results pages.

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