There are plenty of guides and “tips and tricks” posts online about keeping up with the current SEO trends, polishing your own skill at search engine optimisation of content, as well as about selecting the best agency to which to outsource your company’s SEO tasks.
However, these tend to focus more on the “big picture” and the art and science of SEO at large, and less on the local aspects of it.
Therefore, we took a look at how the experts handle the challenge of optimising content to fit the needs of location-oriented entities.
Here are a few surefire strategies to boost your success in this field.
1) Understand the Field that you are playing in
Before you attempt to do anything else, you need to understand the basics about what local SEO actually is and how to go about it. Check out this link for more of an in-depth look.
To put it into simple words, local SEO essentially means adapting your search engine strategies in a way that will best suit a local business. In other words, it is centred around the “local online community”, so to speak.
Your target market would encompass your local area (more or less broad) and the people in that area will be searching online for the kind of service you provide. If your web presence (site, blog etc.) is not optimised for local searches, they will end up discovering your competitors.
2) Rethink the Keywords you are using
Since you are dealing with a local target group, your SEO needs to be more specialised. Coming up with half a dozen descriptive phrases that somehow relate to your business and sprinkling them throughout your content wherever they fit naturally enough will not cut it anymore.
The three notions you should begin employing are keywords which carry buying intent, regional keywords, and long tail key phrases.
Let’s take a brief look at each of these.
How do words carry Buying Intent and how can you use that?
Keywords which carry buying intent are, in plain English, search terms which include vocabulary related to making purchases. Some of these would be: “buy”, “on sale”, “affordable”, “on a budget”, “under £50”, “how much is” and other similar variations.
Whatever your particular line of business is, at the end of the day you are looking to sell something to someone. You need a way to find people who are looking to spend their money, and keywords with buying intent beat a pretty clear path to them.
For this reason, you want to optimize your website for them as much as you possibly can, so invest some time in researching keywords with buying intent (including long tail key phrases) which are related to your niche or your particular brand.
What are Regional Keywords and how do they help you?
Just as their name suggests, these are names of a location or area serving as search keywords. In our context, a local SEO agency needs to include their seat in addition to their line of business.
So, instead of the generic “SEO service” the regionalised “Portsmouth SEO service” or “SEO agency London” would be a much better choice. “Why bother?”, you may ask. The answer is simple: a person in Portsmouth or London who needs an SEO agency will literally type “Portsmouth/ London SEO agency” into their browser’s search bar.
The closer your titles and tags match these specific search terms, the higher you will rank in the search results displayed to potential customers.
What are Long Tail Key Phrases and why you should stop avoiding them
Long tail key phrases, also known as long-tail keywords, are online search terms which consist of four or more words, for example, “expert home repair service in Austin Texas”.
Long tail keywords are notorious for not generating many leads – a few clicks per month, at best. This is not unexpected, as each person will add some slight variation to the basic idea when they are actually browsing for it. Therefore, many SEO agencies, even local ones, completely ignore them.
However, what they typically tend to overlook is that it is quite possible, and completely fine, to optimise your content for more than one of these long search keys. This will allow you to cover for several most commonly used phrases and bring in noticeable additional business.
Best of all, you can find plenty of them for free online. Services like KeywordTool.io or UberSuggest let you insert a “seed keyword”, for example, “home repair service”, and then they generate amazing numbers of related key phrases, including long tail ones.
3) Make sure you are Visually Optimised as well
Image optimisation is overlooked rather often, which is a rather huge seo mistake. Along with uploading textual content, whenever you upload an image, you should take the time to optimise it for local search. How?
Keep it on the small side. Large image files slow down your site, which in turn ranks you lower – people want an immediate response. Moreover, loading enormous images consumes massive amounts of mobile data.
People who search on the go from their phones will decide to just close the tab, rather than pay extra for pretty pixels. The optimal image file would be under 100KB and in .jpeg format. Include regional keywords in the alt text and optimise the file names.
Featured Image Sorce: Pixabay