For this week’s edition of The Filter, we wanted to check in on your ongoing SEO strategy — specifically, your tactics for local searches.
While SEO can connect you with customers around the world (and it’s tempting to focus on those possibilities), it can also strengthen your relationships right at home.
After all, there’s nothing wrong with gathering that low-hanging fruit. Here are some tried and true tips for optimizing your content for local searches, directly from iProv teammates:
Review: The basics of SEO
What is SEO: Search Engine Optimization is a collection of tactics that increase your ranking on Google and other places on the web where people use a search bar (Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, etc). It helps potential customers find your services, so local SEO is simply the focus on helping local customers find you.
Why is SEO important: When you search for something on Google, you can see the number of results generated. For example, when someone searches ‘What is SEO,’ there 246 MILLION results. At 10 results per page, that is 24.6 Million pages — if your service is on page 144, who will click through 143 pages to find you?
Whether your focus is local or global, here are some general SEO pointers:
- Optimize your existing website content
- Structure content to aim for featured search terms
- Create new content based on low-competition keywords
- Get backlinks from authority sites
- Optimize images and video
- Track metrics with Google Analytics to optimize
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
- Optimize for on-page SEO factors
- Decrease load times
Sound time consuming? Luckily, local SEO is all about taking care of the basics. When you upgrade your website and marketing materials, it’s critical to integrate information that may seem obvious to you, but will remain relevant to potential customers. Here are some ways to think of it:
- Make sure your website includes your business's name, address, and phone number (NAP) on every page, and that this information is consistent across all directories and listings.
- Create content that is specifically targeted to your local area, such as blog posts about local events or news, and include location-specific keywords in your content.
- Create service pages for each local community or even neighborhood you serve
- Include local community or neighborhood pages that list the services you provide, as well.
These simple actions will help you be in the top 10% of local businesses in your area in search results.
Once you have the basics down within your own site, the #1 step you can take is to claim your Google My Business listing and optimize it with accurate information, photos, and reviews.
From there, consider…
- A strategy for mobile searches, including social media SEO
- Collecting customer reviews to integrate additional keywords into your content
- Making the most of social listening to insert yourself into conversations taking place online
- Using keywords as “alt text” in images on your webpages
Update Your Keywords
91.8% of all searches are for long-tail keywords, which is a significant shift from the early days of the internet. These keywords are longer and more specific than the target keywords you might utilize regularly — for example, “how to rank on Google” versus “Google ranking.” Though they have lower search volume than shorter keywords, they can be very useful for local searches.
The TLDR of Local SEO
Long story short, you want to be where people are looking for you. In order to show up when your target audience is looking for your exact good or service, simply being close to them is not enough — you have to optimize your website for search engines just as much as global ones. Using keywords that your audience will search for over and over within your content is how you reel locals in and sell them on your value.
SEO is an ongoing strategy. It requires lots of tinkering, constant updates, and a robust understanding of the wider web. At iProv, SEO is one of our favorite ways to grow a client’s business — in fact, it’s become something of a sweet spot.