Did you know that Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second? That totals 3.5 billion searches every day!
No matter what type of business you operate, it’s essential to take advantage of search engine traffic. Implementing Search Engine Optimization (SEO), in particular, can be an asset for businesses seeking greater digital visibility.
If you’re a local institution, you’ve likely already heard about local SEO. Local SEO is valuable for brick-and-mortar companies looking for ways to draw more local clientele into their businesses.
Local SEO can be tricky to navigate for first-timers, but we’ve got you covered. Read on for insight into what local SEO is and how you can implement it today.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a type of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) designed to attract local customers. If you aren’t familiar with general SEO, the principle is simple.
SEO involves optimizing your online content for searches your ideal customers are likely to type into Google. For example, if you operate a bike shop in Atlanta, a keyword your clients may use to find you on Google may be “Atlanta bike shop” or simply “bicycle repair.”
Well-optimized content that also plays by Google’s rules is far more likely to appear in the most competitive part of search results: at the top of the first page of listings.
SEO can give your content higher rankings, which can mean more organic traffic to your site or relevant platforms.
Most SEO campaigns involve more than just one keyword. In fact, it’s wise to optimize individual pages for distinct keywords in order to expand the potential reach of your content.
Local SEO is still SEO. Its primary difference lies in the type of keywords used to optimize content. Local SEO works with location-based phrases and keywords, such as “bike shop near the Washington Monument” or “dog park in Manhattan.”
Keywords don’t have to have a specific city name or town in them, either. They can be geographically loose, like “best barber shop near me” or “cafe near the bridge.”
Local SEO works best when paired with other location-specific marketing strategies. These include registering on viable review platforms, like TripAdvisor or Yelp. It’s also advisable to claim a Google listing, making your business visible on Google Maps.
How to Implement Local SEO
It’s possible to take your local SEO campaign into your own hands. Let’s dive into how you can bring local SEO to your digital marketing timeline now.
The most effective local SEO campaigns are well-researched. It’s easy to just arbitrarily sprinkle your web pages with location-based keywords, but avoid this at all costs.
Take a moment to brainstorm relevant local SEO keywords. Think outside the box when possible. We recommend typing some keywords into Google to see where your competitors rank (and what local keywords they are using).
You may also wish to use a keyword planner, such as Google’s or Ahref’s. These planners can help your research competitors’ keywords and trending search terms so that you can optimize your content for the most viable phrases.
Choose a distinct keyword for every page of content. You may also wish to choose some keywords for a social media campaign, as it’s possible to optimize social posts, including images and video files.
Optimize Existing Content
Now that you have your keywords selected, it’s time to optimize your current content. Sometimes it’s possible to integrate keywords into your existing content without too much effort or modification.
However, you may find that keyword optimization is best when you start from scratch. This is because arbitrarily sprinkling a phrase like “bike shop in Atlanta” into your homepage content may do you more harm than good.
Google’s web crawlers see through such “keyword cramming” and will be on the hunt for content that seamlessly integrates keywords.
Ideally, use up to five keywords per 500 words of content. Write naturally, so that readers won’t even notice when they stumble across a local SEO term.
After you optimize, you may wish to check your SEO performance via a website audit or your own organic searches.
Claim Your Google Listing
Registering your business on Google My Business immediately puts your institution on Google Maps. Claiming your listing is free and easy.
Simply navigate to the Google My Business registration page, enter your commercial address and contact details, and choose your verification method. This will often be in the form of a postcard sent with a Google verification code.
Once your listing is verified, it becomes public. Now, people who enter your business title into Google will see your blue “card” to the right of search results, detailing your hours of operation, website, and contact information.
Enable reviews with your listing so that customers can provide feedback. Be sure to upload relevant images and take advantage of Google Posts, a function that permits temporary banners advertising events and other promotions.
Register on Review Platforms
In addition to your Google listing, claim a citation on review platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor. This will permit additional customer reviews, which can be an asset when marketing to local customers.
90% of consumers will consult an online review prior to making a purchase decision!
Review platforms also give you a chance to respond to comments and ratings, both negative and positive. In your responses, you can integrate local SEO keywords, giving your content even more visibility.
Monitor Your Campaign
SEO itself is always changing due to Google’s algorithms and new competition. For this reason, it’s imperative to monitor your campaign at all times.
This involves checking in on keyword performance, maintaining your Google listing, and responding to reviews. You may find that, over time, you trade out certain local keywords for more high-performing ones.
Final Thoughts: Local SEO
Local SEO is a digital marketing asset to institutions that depend on local audiences for the majority of their business. It optimizes online content for greater visibility, driving organic traffic to your site and building your name locally.
Implement local SEO by researching keywords, optimizing your online content, and claiming relevant listings. Stay on top of your campaign to ensure maximum results.
If all of this sounds like quite a lot of work, we can help. At SEO Optiks, we love assisting our clients in local SEO implementation and management. Learn more about us here!