Are you looking to win at local search engine optimization (SEO), but not sure how to do that? Do you think that you need to focus exclusively on content marketing to do this? Yes you can, but there are other techniques you can use to succeed. For local search engine optimization specifically it can be very beneficial to focus on local usability and building up a community.
Here are 7 strategies you can use to attain high local rankings in the search engines for users looking for local and relevant businesses:
- 1Building a community. If you’re good at bringing people together you could create a forum or build your social media presence devoted to the needs of your prospective customers. If you are not then perhaps take a course on community building, particularly an online community presence. There are additional benefits of a community you control; as the community grows you can then actively and passively send your audience towards your offers.
- 2Use a brandable domain. If you go back a few years, everyone was trying to build their websites on domain names that exactly matched their keywords. This worked for a while, and you could rank these websites near the top of the search engines with very little effort. Nowadays, things have changed and brandable domains are the way to go. When you create a brand, you create a unique presence for your business, essential when attempting to rank locally.
- 3Build an intuitive, responsive website. Even with the free web-builder software available today, there are still plenty of local businesses with poor websites. Sometimes it’s best to pay for an expert to create a professional website - especially if you want to outrank these poorer websites.
- 4Use on-page SEO. To rank highly, it’s important to optimize your website. Ensure that each page on your website is optimized with a title, heading tags, and properly labeled images. Choose keywords that are appropriate for your website. Forget about trying to rank globally, but instead, look at adding local place names. For example, “restaurants in Chicago” instead of “restaurants.” Be consistent with the wording across all your listings. If you are not consistent, it may harm your overall visibility. Rather than shooting in the dark it is recommended to use a listing management tool.
- 5Speed up your website loading time. Website loading time is a ranking factor that many website owners fail to address. It can be easily demonstrated that when your website is too slow to load, users will click off it quickly. This contributes to the bounce rate and a high bounce rate will have a negative impact on your SEO efforts.
- 6Verify your business with Google My Business. If you want your business to appear on Google Maps, you’ll need to verify it with Google My Business. Once you’ve done this, your business will have a greater chance of appearing on the map on the first-page search results.
- 7Build local citations and reviews (if appropriate). Citations and reviews are when your business name, address, and phone number are listed on the web. These citations help to boost your visibility on Google Maps and the local search results. Not only do they help build trust in the general public, but the more of these your website the more your site will be rewarded by better organic search positions.
They key takeaway if your focus is to succeed at local SEO is that there are other ways you can dominate the search engine results.
Using these techniques you can easily beat those competitors who invest heavily in only content.
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