Many businesses and websites aren’t looking to dominate the national search results; they just care about doing well in their own neighborhood. For instance, a plumbing company in Phoenix, Arizona doesn’t want to get visitors to their site from Normal, Illinois, so ranking well for national keywords isn’t the primary objective. Even though that visitor is looking for a plumber (which you might assume makes them part of the plumber’s target audience) that Illinois homeowner isn’t going to hire an Arizona based plumber. This is why it is so important for local businesses to incorporate local SEO best practice guidelines into their onsite optimization process.
Here are 3 best tips for optimizing your website for local search:
Localize your keywords.
Localizing your keywords takes your keyword research process one step further. First, conduct your keyword research on a national level and select the most appropriate keywords on a page-by-page basis. Once you have your 2-5 keywords per page, you just need to add your location to each keyword to make them more appropriate for local SEO. For instance, I might target “Boston SEO,” “Boston MA SEO” and “Boston, Massachusetts SEO” if I were looking to attract more Boston-area SEO clients that are looking to work with a local SEO company. For a more in-depth look at how to localize your keyword research, check out this blog post.
Blog about local events.
A great way to naturally incorporate those localized keywords into your content is to blog about local events that are related to your business. Let’s go back to our Phoenix plumber. April is National Water Conservation month and let’s assume they decide to host a free workshop teaching homeowners how to check for common leaks in the shower, the toilet or kitchen sink. They can write a blog post announcing the event, as well as a recap post. Those blog posts can target keywords like “plumbing tips for Phoenix AZ homeowners, “free Phoenix plumbing seminar” and so forth. Since blog posts can rank individually, just like pages on your site, these localized posts can help build their online brand.
Get your site listed everywhere!
Bing, Yahoo and Google all have local business listings—get your site published on all three of them. You can also create local business profiles on peer review sites like Yelp and offer incentives (like 10% off their next purchase) to your customers when you ask them to review your business. You can also submit your site to local directories or join local business associations. Many local business associations link from their site to their members, and some will allow their members to submit guest posts or articles to the association’s blog.