Implementing Local SEO
It’s very easy to become intimidated by the thought of beginning a local SEO campaign. With the global reach of multichannel marketing giants and sprawling corporations, the thought of putting your small shop up on Google through local SEO work can seem impossible.
The good news is that implementing SEO with a local scope is a different animal and the odds of you having success depend only on your ability to run a well-managed campaign.
We’ll go over some basics on how to implement SEO locally, and compare as we go to the larger scale SERP magic that is more familiar to many marketers in the world today. Let’s get started.
What affects local SEO the most?
It only takes one quick look at the ranking factors of Google to understand that making your business localized where appropriate is very important in the modern SEO world.
A sharp eye will see quickly that there are no elements fully unique to local. Many of them apply to normal SEO as well. The key difference here is that you need to have an understanding of the main SEO methods and concepts and then the capability to apply these a little differently as suits a local SEO job best.
There are a few elements that we’ll go over as examples.
Keywords are a great first choice. The keywords you choose for your marketing campaign on a local SEO job need to be tailored geographically. You can get creative with this depending on your location. For example, colloquialisms work very well for local SEO. Additionally, you can always make use of town or city names in addition to your product and brand phrases.
On page factors are up next. You need to be very diligent in the use of your alt tags and titles/descriptions when working local. In order to come out above other businesses in the area, you need to be sharp on the keywords and phrases that you spread across your campaign and include in these pieces.
NAP consistency is a big deal. Make sure that you have clearly displayed your contact information. This has to include your contact number, address and name if you want the best shot at SEO gains. Be sure to only include these details in text form. You don’t want to have any issues with crawlers not being able to pick up the important details on your pages and listings.
Finally a mention of citations. When you work with SEO on a global scale, the quality of any link sharing or referring domains is the biggest key. When you think local though it’s more to do with being listed in any local resources. You need to be ready to do some outreach work to make relevant listings or directories include your contact details.
If time is tight why should I bother?
The age-old question of time and value. It’s fair to say that if you are entrepreneurial enough to work a local business start-up you are going to be stretched for time in a major way. You need to know the value of your hours spent working.
It might be the case that your SEO is going to be done only by you due to budget constraints. If this is the case, there are a few key actions you can do in such a small amount of time to make sure you are hitting the biggest areas first.
Local sites and listings are key. You need to be strong on this as it’s local SEO’s bread and butter. This is also a direct comparison to referrals and link building tactics. You can get a lot of traffic by working this alone.
Content is king. We all know the value of organic high quality content but it applies doubly so for local. Contentwise, you need to work any angle you can to drive traffic in. For SEO purposes this means you have to lower your bounce rate and increase your conversions. Create engaging content for your site and it’ll help your success greatly.
Audit tools are next. Fortunately, you can find a range of these on the net. Most of them represent good value if they allow you to do a quick scan of your page now and then to check for any on page SEO errors that can be quickly fixed.
Social media and reviews are last to mention here. Reviews make a massive difference in local and are critical to success. You can really work on increasing your quality through full and accurate reviews. These will drive traffic and act as high quality organic content.
It can be worth thinking about free product send outs in exchange for a high quality review to act as a centerpiece for your page. You can also use tricks like hash tags of your city on social media to help anchor your local presence.
What kind of strategy should I be using?
Keyword research time. Let’s go over some points on this important task that will help you keep your SEO in line. These will make sure you´re going straight ahead instead of splitting off into different areas.
It begins with good competitor analysis. You have to know who your local and global adversaries are and how their business is affecting your bottom line. Ask questions like these:
- What keywords do they tend to use?
- How do those work to get them to the front page of a SERP?
- Are these keywords fully unique or are they fighting to own them?
- Are any of these similar to mine?
- If so, should I consider changing my keyword strategy to avoid needless competition?
A good method to switching your keywords up to avoid grinding against another company is to work in geo locational cues into your keywords. This is as simple as adding “in country x” to your keywords. This helps differentiate you from the competition and will help you squeeze the most out of your keywords for your local SEO.
At the end of the day
Local SEO can be a fun and exciting type of marketing. There is a lot of room for ingenuity and you can craft unique keywords to great effect by making use of geo locational cues. Combine this with some truly high quality organic content. This will drive long stay site visits, organic referrals and links, and you will naturally find yourself climbing to the top.
Be prepared to invest some time. The above techniques can be worked into your daily activities for as little as around half an hour once you know what to do. The potential for driving business to you and building a larger customer base is huge. This is specially true when you consider the very minimal costs for working SEO locally.
You can also use your local SEO as a testing ground to prepare and sharpen your skills for the time when you move to the larger global scene. It’s a great way to help bring in customers and cash flow. But it also prepares you for when you are ready to make the jump to a global audience.