As a service-area business, a few additional local SEO tactics are necessary to get noticed by target consumers in your geographic location.
Local SEO focuses on achieving high ranking status in your specific geographic location. Some brands operate nationally and globally, and can their marketing arm can support advertising in national searches. Not all brands are this big, and it’s to the interest of small businesses with few locations (or only one location) to pour their effort and budget into ranking in the area where consumers will actually visit. If you are a pizza joint in the Northeast, there is not a pressing need to rank at the top of Midwest searches; it’s better to concentrate efforts on garnering awareness and traffic in your establishment’s neighborhood.
How does local SEO affect rankings?
Local SEO still evaluates traditional SEO factors, but it considers how consumers are searching. Local searches are typically made on the go, meaning search terms are requested from mobile devices, increasing the chance of voice search, which uses more conversational language. Local searchers are also more likely to make purchases as they’re searching for some service immediately and nearby.
Google operates its Local Pack algorithm on three prongs: relevance, prominence, and proximity. The algorithm is trimodal, meaning you need to meet and surpass expectations in all three in order to rank well in consumer searches.
Local SEO Ranking Factors:
- Relevance. Relevance can be easy to assume so long as your business offers the services and products that match search terms. For this reason, using obscure words to identify products and services you offer can hinder your ranking success. You are better off using traditional, though admittedly boring, terms and phrases.
- Prominence. Boost your prominence by seeking reviews from previous clients and peers in your industry. You can help one another by providing referrals for peripheral business.
- Proximity. Are you actually located where you are advertising? If not, your search rankings might be negatively impacted. You can enhance this element of Google’s Local Pack trimodal algorithm by setting up a small shop in the specified area. You might find that it’s more affordable to create a new space than it is to pour money into surrounding marketing efforts for promoting your business in the new area. Competitors who rank well in proximity, but poorly in prominence or relevance can still outrank you.
Be mindful of all three algorithm factors. Where you excel in one, work to bring the remaining elements up to par so you can appear first in local searches for your services.
Most importantly, don’t give up! SEO takes time to work, in some cases, results only showed after a year.
How to improve local SEO:
- Invest in GMB and Local Pack rankings. Invest in local ranking packages and services to boost your SEO and local rank. Optimize your inbound linking strategy. The more links you have coming into your site from reputable sources, the more legitimately Google views you and the more prominently you place in searches.
- Focus on yielding local, organic traffic. Even if you are a nationally branded company, include local marketing in your strategy. This can allow you to garner audiences from two pools instead of only one.
- Optimize your site with strong landing pages per city. Instead of maintaining a locations page that lists where you can be found and visited, give each city its own landing page. Saturate each location-specific page with relevant, quality content. The better and more engaging the content is, the more traffic you will receive and the higher you’ll rank.
- Specify reviews per location. Reviews are a huge way to gain traction on your site and to transition visitors from viewers to purchasers. Keep location-specific reviews attached to their respective location pages and whenever possible, ask customers to include your city location in their review. This is as simple as a folded-card reminder at check-out that reads: remember to mention our MIAMI location and what you loved so much about it.
- Include NAP info for reviews. A business name, address, and phone number are essential for local business schema navigation. Upload this information if you haven’t already, and update it as often as necessary. Whenever you open a new location, you’ll need to enter new NAP info. The more entries you have, the more connected you are as a brand the easier it is for potential consumers to find you.
- Target locations in anchor text. There is no need to spam your pages with your location, but you do need to include one mention in the anchor text of every page. Without a mention of the location, Google fails to register your business as relevant and useful to the consumer’s geographic search.
- Combine local and brand links. Wherever you have a brand presence, use it to share your other locations. Each location page can outbound link to each of your other location-specific landing pages to make searching easier and to get more traffic on across pages. Inbound linking across landing pages will increase your inbound links and get more consumers interested in your various locations.
- Include a crawl-able store locator. If you have many locations, be sure to have a crawl-able store locator so that Google can match site visitors with the appropriate location.
Local SEO is essential for a healthy, prosperous service-area business. Supplementary help can bring you more success, which is why many brands opt for an outsourced local SEO team.
A local SEO company can improve your rankings and get you the attention you need to thrive as a local business. Reach out to Executive Digital to learn more about our small business SEO packages and how we can make your website an asset to your growing brand. Our team is here to guide you to the top of your market in any location – contact us today!