What are the best ways to locally optimize my site?
There was a time when local businesses had storefronts and e-commerce had websites. But now, that line is so well-blended that local stores have websites built specifically to cater to local customers. Everything is done online and your website, instead of replacing it has become an extension of your physical storefront. Your website is the online venue that customers visit before, after, and in-between their visits to your physical venue. This of course applies to businesses that will never have a bricks-and-mortar location, like many B2B services today.
To draw the most digital foot traffic, you need to optimize for local search. This means boosting your local SEO so that local customers can find your site. Part of this involves customizing your website to the tastes and buying patterns of the local population, to the extent that’s at play. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as it sounds. There are dozens of ways to locally optimize your site and implementing each one further increases your chances of reaching more local clients and customers.
Let’s dive into the most effective local SEO techniques.
Build Your Location into Your Site Design
First, make sure your location is an integral part of the website. This is done in three ways. First, place your address in the footer – content that appears at the bottom of every page. Many brands place their full address (or multiple addresses) and even a map widget to help locals find their store easily from any website page.
Second, add something about your location and community connection on your home page. As a local business, you have everything to gain by spotlighting your location and community involvement.
Third, be sure to list the areas you serve on the homepage, product/service pages, and most importantly, the Contact Us page. Mentioning your address and locality several times throughout the website creates hooks for web crawlers and lets customers know they’re in the right place.
Creation of Local Content
Content marketing is king right now, so weaving local SEO into every aspect of your website content is a must-do. It’s easy to make your website a treasure trove of local mentions to draw in customers from neighborhoods around your business.
Mention your town, region, and surrounding areas in your page and blog content. Comment on local neighborhoods and landmarks, to the extent it’s relevant to your copy. Mention your town and nearby towns that are within your service area.
Next, work local events and details into your content. Write seasonal content that mentions any local holiday events. Publish articles about your company’s involvement in community events. Make a connection to your city or town part of your content strategy.
Optimize Your Site Using SEO Tools
For on-site optimization, include your city and state within metadata of key pages, especially your home page, landing page and Contact Us pages. Make sure you include your company name and the basics of your product or service offerings. Throw in a unique value proposition but keep it natural and free of pushy sales language. Title tags should be written in a similar manner and should include your city and state when it’s possible to do so in a natural way. Don’t stuff location-based keywords into your website as this doesn’t read well and is a Google no-no.
Create a page for your city and for every location where you do business.
Google My Business/Google Maps
If you don’t have a Google My Business (GMB) listing which is Google’s business-facing service for Google Maps, that’s job #1 in order to rank locally. It’s easy, just request it from Google. If you can’t find an exact match for your industry, don’t sweat it, just pick something close. Make sure all the info in your GMB listing is correct and exactly reflects the same information elsewhere on your website and other sites. Did you know that you can narrow your geographic reach and appear to local-only searches? Make sure your geo-targeting settings are set up to correctly reflect your service area. Doing all the right things here will give you the best shot at ranking within Google’s Local Pack – the three sites featured in Google Maps for local searches.
Get Listed in Online Business Directories
Join local business associations and get listed in online directories. Online directories create one more point of contact and often provide a valuable back-link from an external website back to your site. Online directories are another way that local customers look for businesses to shop with and they are how local businesses seek out potential business partners. Make sure your contact information in these directories is an exact match to the information found in your GMB listing and website.
And don’t forget your social media accounts. As with online directories, make sure to include the same contact information on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. that is on your website and elsewhere.
Make Use of Your Data
Finally, make use of your data. On-site data, marketing data, sales data, analytics data, and even local weather and traffic data can all play a role in optimizing your business with local residents. Track your online traffic and your real-world foot traffic if you have a physical location.
Fine-tune and improve your local website optimization with every conclusion you draw from your data and your site will continue to gain momentum with your local customer base.
Local SEO in 2022
Want more local traffic in 2022? Focus on local SEO strategy to significantly improve your exposure in the search engines and increase the number of local, relevant prospects visiting the website.
AdEdge Digital Marketing is a Google Partner Agency with over 15 years of experience in helping clients achieve their sales goals with website optimization and other high-performance digital marketing tactics. Feel free to Contact Us or call 203-682-4585 with any questions about local SEO. Ask us about a free digital marketing evaluation for your company.