The folks over at Small Business Trends always have some great local digital marketing tips to share.
Today’s post has to do with local SEO efforts. If you’re interested in optimizing your own business site, it’s worth the read, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. SEO is an ongoing effort – one that is difficult for most local business owners to accomplish on their own. Feel free to contact us with any questions, or comment below.
Effective Local SEO Tips To Implement
Do the Keyword Research
I know, you are probably tired of hearing about keyword research, but it’s crucial. But I will give you this – I’m not just going to talk about keyword research – I am going to show you how to perform it. First thing first, go to the AdWords tool and set up a campaign, if you need to. Once this is accomplished, use the keyword tool and put in your current website. From there, it should pull up for you a list of tons of keywords that you are likely associated with. From there, delete all of the “Ad Groups” (left-hand column), which do not relate to you. From there, you should have 5-15 groups of keyword phrase that you can rank for. You then want to highlight the different groups and make sure that you have a different page optimized for each group of phrases.
This is an example of what a finished product should look like:
Build Out Landing Pages for Groups of Phrases
After you finish your keyword research, you want to make sure that you have one web page for each group of phrases. Pick out which web page you want to optimize for each group, and then focus on that page for those groupings. If you do not have it, then you want to build out landing pages for each group. Once this is complete, you have to have the landing pages linked to from the navigation bar. You want each page to optimize for the group of phrases, using the following:
1. Meta title
2. Meta description
4. H1 tag
5. Body content
Build Local Citations
Google has three things that they look at for local SEO: time that your business/domain has been active, the links/citations back to your site, and then reviews. Getting links will be important, but having local citations is important so that Google knows where you are located. You need local directories (named citations) that point to your site that all have the same information from your phone number, email, address, etc….
One way that you can do this well is to use a tool, such as White Spark or Moz Local. Or if you want a DIY solution, you can use a YEXT automated directory solution. However, we see much more results from tools like White Spark/Moz, and then our SEO services that make all of the local citations manually, one by one.
Build Local Editorial Links
In addition to citations, you also need editorial links without the nofollow tags inside them. All directories or citations contain their outbound links as rel=”nofollow” which tells Google to not crawl the link to your site. Therefore, you need to good do-follow links to your site. You can find very relevant local websites, such as local blogs, or even more national blogs that have to do with your industry. For instance, if you are a lawyer, you can Google search for “Write for Us Law”, “Contributing Writers Law” or “Guest Contribution Law”. This way Google can serve you results from websites that allow contributing writers. Then email them and secure a contributing writer spot and write content for them. Usually, they will nofollow the links in your bios, but your articles can contain links to your actual website.
Build Social Media Signals
Building social media signals is different than just doing social media. You need to post your blogs to your social media platforms and build relationships with your target market. Use retargeting to promote your content to website visitors, promote your content to people in your area (side note – if you are not creating good content, then you need to start ASAP) and use the advertising tools to really get your content shares, likes, and views. This allows Google to see that people are talking about you and your content, and therefore, are a good source for the keywords that you have.
One of the three big things that Google looks at is user generated content. They want to see what people say about you. Make sure that you send people over to your Google+ page and your Yelp page to write good reviews and look for review sites in your niche by searching on your keywords, plus “reviews”. Get good, real, and positive reviews and Google will value your site more than others, as long as you have the other two parts, which are links/citations and time you have been around.
Measure Your Traffic
Once you implement these tactics, be sure to measure your traffic so that you can benchmark your success. Use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to segment your organic search traffic. If your traffic, sales, and rankings are going up, you can be assured that your local SEO campaign is doing well.