12 Website Optimization Tips to Dominate Local SEO
- Posted by Trevor Weitzel
- On April 14, 2019
For small businesses that want to implement a successful digital marketing strategy, local SEO is a hot topic – as it should be. If your doors are open to customers in your area, local SEO isn’t just a good idea; it’s a necessity.
According to Think with Google, more than 75% of all people that use their smartphones to search for something nearby visit a business within a day. And of those searches, almost 30% result in a purchase being made. Your customers are looking for you, and local SEO will guarantee that you can be found.
What is Local SEO?
Before we go any further, let’s cover the basics: exactly what does local SEO mean? Local search engine optimization (SEO) involves improving your website’s search engine visibility, specifically in local search results. With local SEO best practices, you can achieve higher rankings in the search results of users submitting relevant queries in your area.
Here’s an example of local SEO in action: let’s say you own a small, local bakery in Northern California that frequently provides services for weddings in your area. If a bride-to-be does a Google search for “wedding cake bakers in Northern California,” you would hope that your business shows up near the top of the results. And as long as you implemented the right local SEO strategies, it would – and you’d be that much closer to booking a new client.
Local SEO: An Invaluable but Underutilized Strategy – Until Now
So if local SEO is so important, why are so many business owners letting it fall by the wayside? Optimizing for local search can often be a challenge, especially if you don’t consider yourself a full-time SEO strategist. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t take some simple steps to optimize your website for local SEO.
At V Digital Services, our team of SEO experts has worked with a diverse range of clients to make targeted website improvements to boost local business SEO. We understand the complexities of SEO, which is why we’re one of the industry’s top choices for search engine optimization. So, when you need professional support to solidify your digital presence, consider us your official local SEO guide (and your go-to source for all things digital marketing).
But for now, we’ve put together a quick-start local SEO guide to help you make some small changes to your website that can add up to a big impact. Here are 12 of our favorite local SEO tips that you can dive into starting today.
Our Top 12 Local Search Optimization Tips
1. Create a high-quality home page that is effectively optimized.
When online users arrive at your home page, it’s like they’ve walked through your virtual front door. It should be easy for them to see who you are, what you have to offer, and where you’re located. And of course, it’s ideal if they can quickly understand what makes you the best in the business.
Google should also be able to easily process key details about your brand and business. So, make sure that your page title tag, header tag, and meta description all incorporate this basic information.
Additionally, don’t overlook the actual content on your home page. Keeping it clear and concise, create relevant content that features your most important keywords.
2. Optimize your website’s metadata.
While it’s true that there’s some debate over the current relevance of meta descriptions and page title tags as a ranking factor, that doesn’t render them pointless. Even if you aren’t a big believer in their value as a search ranking factor, it’s impossible to ignore their usefulness for user experience and local SEO.
When your focus is local SEO optimization, take advantage of your page title tags and other metadata as a place to include your location. Place both the name of your city and the products/services you offer in the page title tags so that search engines can discern a) where you are and b) what you do there.
3. Build a webpage for every product, service, and location.
When it comes to SEO, less is not necessarily more. Even if you are a minimalist, consolidation isn’t the right tactic if you want to boost your SEO.
Creating individual web pages for each product, service, and location allows you to target geo-specific keywords within the content and the metadata. Going one step further, it establishes a helpful link between your location and your offerings.
This structuring style is an overall SEO best practice, and it also creates a better sitemap for search engines. Your product and service pages will be able to rank higher while also allowing for specific schema applications.
4. High-quality content should exist throughout the site.
It’s not enough to set up a great home page; your content should be consistently engaging and relevant on every page. Text-based content, in particular, is vital because it’s where you’ll find the best ways to use keyword targeting. Keyword research is worth every minute because it empowers you to craft content that casts a wide net and captures the exact traffic you want and need.
Don’t forget that Google’s ultimate goal is to give users the answers they’re searching for. So, if your content does that in a helpful and thorough manner, Google is likely to notice.
5. Keep an eye on your URLs.
Avoid over-optimized URLs that attempt to cram in every possible keyword because that can end up backfiring on you. Instead, keep your URL simple, relying on hyphens and lowercase letters for optimal results.
For example, this is a good URL: domain.com/wedding-photographer-phoenix/.
But in this URL, the number of keywords is pushing it into spam territory: domain.com/phoenix-wedding-photographer-wedding-photos-senior-portraits/.
6. Apply local business schema to every web page (and product and service schema, if possible).
Local business schema (structured data markup) should ideally be applied to each of your web pages in order to optimize for local SEO. It’s one of the keys to securing your spot in the Google Local Pack and a major edge over your nearby competition.
What is local schema? It’s an additional portion of code that can be added to your website pages, providing details to search engines to highlight why your website is useful to specific local queries.
If you want to go one step further, you can implement a product and service schema. Much like local schema, product/service schema communicates with search engines. Essentially, schema is the “language” of the search engines and a way to get optimal local results by driving your message home.
7. Claim and complete your Google My Business page.
We could write entire pages about how Google My Business is something you can’t afford to ignore (in fact, we have written multiple blogs on that very subject). Your Google My Business (GMB) page is essential to local search, especially in terms of the Google Local Pack and your SERP results.
Your business could very well already have the rough beginnings of a GMB page, but it’s your responsibility to flesh out the details and make sure everything is accurate. Claiming it will give you administrative abilities to edit it as needed. The more information you can include, the better – and don’t forget to claim all GMB pages if you have multiple locations.
8. Update all NAP citations across your website.
NAP is shorthand for Name, Address, and Phone Number; it’s the basic contact information for your business. While you have your Google My Business page in front of you, take a moment to compare the listing to the NAP details on your website. The information should be an exact match.
If you’re working with multiple GMB pages for multiple locations, then set up a page for each so you can include the correct NAP as needed.
9. Get your business into local directories.
Citation building and establishing listings in local directories may take some time and effort, but the payoff is significant. As you expand your citations and directory listings, remember that every entry should have the exact same NAP information. Again, double-check the details on your Google My Business page, then edit the formatting accordingly.
There are various tools and services that can help you tackle this task. Since it can be such a time-consuming and ongoing responsibility, many businesses opt to pass the job to a professional.
10. Make sure your social media pages point to your physical location.
Hopefully, you already have a solid social media strategy in place (and if you don’t, give us a call right away). There are plenty of benefits to social media marketing, including how it can help your local search ranking. Set up social media signals pointing to your location so that you can get the “bonus points” for local SEO.
11. Prioritize online reviews and review sites.
We probably don’t have to tell you that positive feedback from customers can make a world of difference for your business, but you might not have known that reviews also impact local SEO. Search engines take a broad range of factors into consideration when they’re assembling results pages, one of which is reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Take a moment to Google search for various local businesses, and you’ll notice that Yelp is virtually a guaranteed presence on the first page of the search results. Google reviews are also a constant on the SERPs. Building up your reviews will help you solidify your spot among the top local results while simultaneously strengthening your brand reputation and customer trust – it’s a win-win.
12. Use SEO best practices across the board.
It might sound overly obvious to make SEO a priority, but you might be surprised at just how often it ends up being ignored. You can work on local SEO optimization all you want, but it can’t save you from poor-quality SEO practices.
Ultimately, it’s all connected: your strategies for SEO, content, linking, and so forth. With higher quality content, you’ll earn better inbound links, which in turn help your local SEO ranking and natural ranking for SERPs. Give it all the attention it deserves, and you’ll be set up for success.
Expand Your Digital Presence with a Marketing Strategy from VDS
Now that consumers spend more time in the digital world than ever before, digital marketing has become a must for businesses of all types. But keeping up with the ever-evolving world of online advertising can be difficult – and you have a business to run.
V Digital Services is a digital marketing agency that provides a full range of services, including SEO, social media, website development and design, and more. We work closely with clients to pursue sustainable growth with smart strategies, delivering customized plans for marketing success. Using our extensive expertise, industry know-how, and creativity, we’ve proudly helped a multitude of clients go above and beyond their business goals.
Learn more about what local SEO can do for your small business and why you need to take action to boost your local search engine visibility now. Contact V Digital Services to start your strategy now!
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