If you run a business, you’ll want to work in ways that get your name out there to attract an audience. Aside from building an exciting and authoritative brand, it would help if you optimized your online persona.
That’s where SEO comes in. As you might already know, SEO stands for search engine optimization, which involves enhancing the content on your website to increase your visibility. It’s a must for any business in the digital age and can even be uniquely tailored to local search.
What is local SEO?
As the name suggests, local SEO is a search engine strategy that optimizes your website to target your local area specifically. It involves seamlessly slipping well-targeted keywords into the content of your website so Google can pick it up. When done well, it improves the visibility of your business in search results.
Creating a robust local SEO strategy can be incredibly beneficial, no matter what type of business you have or what industry you work within.
How does local SEO work?
Let’s say you run a restaurant and you specialize in gourmet burgers. Unless you’re a chain, you might have a hard time competing with other restaurants ranking for “best gourmet burgers” for nationwide searches. But if you tailor it to your local area, you’re more likely to climb up the Google ladder to SERP 1.
Target keywords like “best gourmet burgers in Leeds” and those searching specifically for places to eat in that area will have a better chance of finding your business. In the case of restaurant searches, these targeted keywords will work best on your menu and ‘about us’ pages that give an overview of your offerings.
Of course, it doesn’t all rely simply on keywords. One of the first things you need to do when setting up a website is to list your business address. Not only does this help searchers know where to find you, it also allows you to make local landing pages, which ultimately leads to higher rankings for your local area.
Another local SEO must is to ensure your website features the LocalBusiness Scheme markup. You can get this through Schema.org, which submits information about your business to search engines to make it easier for them to make sense of your offerings.
Creating content for local SEO
Content is at the heart of every marketing campaign and page on your website. For every business, the words and infographics is what draws customers in to discover your products or services. But how do you create content that cuts through every other related article online to make your message stand out?
The answer, of course, is SEO. Yes, your content should be well-crafted and engaging to attract your readers better and demonstrate your business as an authoritative source. But they first need to find it.
You need to understand what your local audience is searching for to create expert content that answers those searches.
In most cases, local searches will include the name of the town or city where your business is. This makes it easier for you to rank if you include the common search terms in enough of your content. It’s even easier if you have your address listed, as Google will recognize where people are when they are searching. If they live nearby, then your website will rank higher for their search.
Then think about what they might be specifically looking for that relates to your business. For example, if you run a software company, think about writing blogs about how basic coding works. Once you’ve got a relevant keyword set, make sure to use them throughout and in your headers to answer queries. You’ll be giving the reader what they need and point them in the direction of your services at the same time.
A blog is a great way to help your business rank for local keywords relating to your industry. Because it generally involves engaging content, it adds personality to your business, which helps you attract (and keep) your audience.
If you’re a fashion retailer, consider writing blogs on emerging fashion trends with which you can naturally link back to your clothing items with. This could be as simple as a blog titled ‘5 autumn wardrobe must haves’. If you sell one of the items listed, this is where you can include a link for the user to discover those items.
You could also write about your customers to build a sense of familiarity in the local area.
Your local customers will love to see what’s new with your business by checking your social media channels, so using Facebook and Instagram as a part of your local SEO strategy can be incredibly beneficial.
Any written content you create that includes appropriate keywords will be well placed on your business Facebook page. Your customers may even reshare your posts to a new audience, especially if you write about the local community.
You can also share engaging photos and videos on both Facebook and Instagram. They’ll enjoy seeing some behind-the-scene shots and updates of anything new you’re offering.
Nowadays, users want instant information, and it’s important to know how they try to get it. Whether they’re asking Google or Siri, many users are now opting to use voice search to find local businesses. Consider optimizing your site content for voice search if you feel this search behaviour may be common among your audience.
There are several ways you can do this, such as using long-tail keywords, which are more specific to search queries to better answer users. You can also write headers that better match what someone might ask through voice search, such as “where can I find art supplies near me?” Including commonly asked questions within your content will show that your website can answer what the user is searching for.
The most important thing about incorporating a local SEO content strategy is fully understanding your business and industry. Once you know that, the keywords and organic traffic will come naturally.