If you have a business with a physical location, it is vital that you have a local SEO strategy and work on optimizing your website with this in mind.
Local SEO involves taking steps to ensure your website shows up on search engine results pages for relevant queries in your area. If you would like to learn more about this sector of digital marketing and why it’s important, check out Roadside Dental Marketing’s guide to local SEO, which covers all of the basics.
In this article, I’m going to provide you with my top local SEO tips so you can reach the right people and make more sales.
Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing
A Google My Business listing allows you to highlight information about your business like the name, address, phone number, website, business hours, and reviews. These listings typically appear on the first page of Google just under the Ads section, so claiming yours can hugely improve your search engine visibility.
To claim your listing, head over to the Google My Business portal and fill in all the information required. It’s a good idea to add as many details as possible and also attach images of your venue and the surrounding area so locals can easily work out where you are based.
Create a web page for every location you serve
If your business has multiple locations, you should dedicate a webpage to each. This can be a great way to ensure that your website appears in location-specific searches made by your target audience.
When creating a location page, you should include details like the name of the city or town you are based in and the services offered in that location. You can also optimize your location pages by using location-specific keywords and photos. Web FX has a rguide that can help you get more information on how to identify the best location-specific keywords for your business.
Here are some examples of companies with web pages for each location they serve. You can use these to get inspiration for your website.
Our first example is from Bay Property Management Group, a company that helps people manage their rental properties. On their website, they have various location pages dedicated to the areas they serve and one of them is for Arlington, Texas.
They have optimized the page for this location by including the main keyword “Arlington” in strategic places like the title tag and in the website content for the page. They’ve also included the address of their office in Arlington, as well as a Google Maps screenshot of the exact location.
They’ve written about the location-specific property management services they offer, provide their phone number, and even have photos of the surrounding area. These techniques are very effective as they play a huge part in optimizing the company’s location page and making sure it appears in relevant search results for their ideal customers.
We also have an example from Legacy Healing Center, a treatment center for people addicted to drugs and alcohol. They serve a variety of areas and, on their location page for New York, they have optimized their title tag and landing page copy for their services in the city.
They’ve also included location-specific information like the sober-friendly places to visit in New York. They mention places like the Central Park Zoo, Strawberry Fields, and Liberty State Park, including the addresses of these landmarks and highlighting the fun activities visitors can get up to there.
With all these optimization techniques, they’ve increased the possibility of their website popping up for people who are searching for alcohol or drug rehabs in New York.
Create a web page for each of your products or services
If you offer different types of products or services, it’s a good idea to create a page that will be dedicated to each, and then optimize them for local search.
This is because people don’t just search for certain types of businesses in the area — i.e. “bakery near me” — but they also look for the types of products they want — i.e. “birthday cakes in [location]”.
Let’s take a look at some examples of websites that have local service pages on their websites and how you can replicate the same for your business.
Here is Florin Roebig, an attorney firm that serves the people of Florida.
On their website, they have different service pages, all of which are optimized for local search queries — their Florida car accident lawyer page is a fantastic example. The title tag and body content of this page mention both the location they work in, and the specific area of law that someone might be looking for help with. They also give detailed information about the types of car accident claims they deal with, how their lawyers can help people who land on this page, and what people need to do to get in touch.
The query “Florida car accident lawyer” receives 300 searches a month in the United States and this page ranks in the top spot on Google. So, this technique is certainly working well for the firm, as it’s succeeding in helping them to reach the right people.
We also have Shoutwire, a company that helps people with the likes of tree trimming and pruning.They offer these services in various areas of Georgia and they’ve created different service pages for each location.
On the web page where they promote their tree service in Richmond Hill, GA, they highlight their location both in the H1 of the page and throughout the body copy. They also have an interactive tool that allows users in the Richmond Hill area to input their zip code and answer a series of questions like the service they need and the project timeline they need, so they can get the best quotes. All of these elements, coupled with the fact that they’ve included their local phone number and address, ensure that the page is optimized and shows up on the local search engine results for relevant queries.
Publish local content on your website
Creating content with a local angle will give search engines a better idea of where you’re based.
There are many approaches you could take to creating local content for your website. For instance, a hotel could create a round-up of the best restaurants in the area, or a pet shop could put together a list of local dog-walking routes in their city.
Let’s take a look at some examples of websites that do a good job of publishing local content so you can get some inspiration and use a similar tactic for your business.
First, we have My Canada Payday, a company that offers financial lending services to people in Canada. They have a blog post that provides information on how residents in Vancouver can get financial help in 2021.
The post talks about a rental assistance program, support for those financially impacted by Covid-19, and how the owners of small and medium-sized companies can access help. The company operates in Canada and this content is very Vancouver-specific, so it’s great for boosting the company’s local SEO.
To replicate this for your business, focus on publishing content about issues that affect customers in the area where your business is located. Doing this not only provides value for your audience, but it also gives your website a better chance of appearing in search results when new visitors are looking for answers to the local issue you’ve addressed with your content.
We also have an example from Schloegel Design Remodel, a remodeling company located in Kansas City. They have a blog where they talk about the different remodeling jobs they’ve done.
On their blog, there’s a post about how they created the ultimate Kansas city patio for one of their clients. It documents the entire process from when they started work on the patio, the challenges they faced, and the final outcome. This post is an example of the type of local content that can build trust with customers within a company’s geographical location and it also gives search engines an idea of where the company is based.
If you would like to use a similar technique, you can try creating a post that shows the start to finish process of how your product or service worked well for a local client. Make sure you mention the area you were working in, include images with optimized alt text, and give plenty of information about the work you carried out. This way, people in your local area who are looking for a similar service will be much more likely to come across your business.
Build some local links
Link building is a marketing strategy that allows you to acquire links from other websites to your own site. Getting quality links can be really good for your SEO because it tells search engines that you own an authoritative website and this can help improve your rankings.
Building links on local sites can help search engines to get a better understanding of where you’re based and this can help you appear in relevant search results related to your geographical location. You can do this by involving yourself in the local community or attending local gatherings and meet-ups. Most of these events might have online press coverage and, if you participate, publications could include a link to your website when they publish posts or press releases about it.
Another way of getting links is by searching for sites with guest posting opportunities so you can write content for them in exchange for links that will lead back to your website. One way to do this at a local level is by using Google to perform specific searches for relevant blogs in your area. For example, if you owned a landscaping company, you could use the query “gardening blogs in Boston”, and this is what you would see.
You could look through these sites and reach out to any that have blogs and might want to receive a guest post from you. Send them a personalized pitch with a few ideas that you think would work for their site and that will allow you to show off your expertise. Make sure you ask whether they could provide you with a backlink as payment for your work, too — you don’t want to write your post only to find that they aren’t willing to do this. Blogging Wizard has a great guide to pitching guest blog posts, which can help you with this process.
When you’re trying to build links for local SEO, your focus should be on blogs, websites, or directories in your niche and local area as this can help expose your website to new audiences nearby. And, if you need help building local links and citations, Loganix has a service that takes care of that and delivers results in 5 days or less.
Target relevant local keywords with your copy
It is very important to target local keywords in your web content if you want to boost your local SEO. To figure out which local keywords to use, you can carry out local keyword research to get an idea of the search queries your target audience is using.
To do this, you can use keyword research tools like AnswerThePublic or Ahrefs. When using these tools, you want to search for location-specific keywords. So, for instance, instead of searching for “bakery”, you could input “bakery in San Francisco” to get more specific keywords that are relevant to your area and can be included in your website copy.
Another method is to analyze the sites of your competitors to identify the local keywords they are using. This can really help because it gives an insight into what keywords you might be missing and how you can incorporate them into your content. WordStream has a great guide that outlines the best practices for conducting competitor keyword research.
Let’s take a look at an example of a website that focuses on using local keywords in their copy. You can get some inspiration for your website by taking note of what they have done.
Mike Diamond Services provides plumbing, electrical work, and drain cleaning services.They work in several neighbourhoods in the California area and have pages dedicated to each location. On the location page for their services in Glendale, California, they have made use of various relevant local keywords like “Glendale plumbers,” and “best plumbing services in Glendale, CA”.
These keywords are location-specific, so they greatly improve the local SEO of the website and will help the company reach potential customers who are ideally located in the Glendale, California area.
If you’re looking to include more local keywords in your content, just ensure that you don’t go overboard and start keyword stuffing. Your copy should still read naturally. You could include the location of your business in the headings and subheadings of your content, just like the plumbing company in the example above included “Emergency Plumbing in Glendale, CA” in the title of their service page.
Investing in local SEO is one of the best things you can do for your business if you want to reach your ideal customers.
Some of the best practices for getting it right include optimizing your GMB listing, creating location-specific webpages, publishing local content, and acquiring backlinks from local sources. These tips will help you get started and give you excellent results in the long run.
Author bio & headshot:
Aaron Haynes is CEO and co-founder of Loganix. The company is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals, which provides the services businesses need to improve their online visibility and grow. If you liked this article, check out the Loganix blog, where you’ll find more SEO guides full of expert advice.