Your website is so much more than a URL. It’s a lead generator, information hub, and a powerful marketing machine when used at its fullest potential.
A critical part of that marketing machine is search engine optimization. SEO is one big umbrella that spans a wide range of marketing methods, from on-site techniques to content marketing.
One method getting a lot of attention is local SEO. In fact, almost half of all Google searches are related to local information.
In this article, you’ll discover how to leverage your website for maximum local SEO optimization!
Ready to get started?
Let’s start from square one: What matters to your local community?
Table of Contents
Understanding Your Local Visitors
Search engine optimization is more than your site’s technical SEO. If you don’t understand your local audience, consider your efforts wasted.
This goes for any marketing strategy, from social media to print.
That’s why you need to start with a detailed website visitor profile. Understanding your local visitors is the first step toward understanding their search engine behavior.
Here are some questions to ask when building your profiles:
- What is your target visitors’ age?
- What’s their gender?
- Are they married, single, or have children?
- What’s their annual income?
- What problems do they need to be solved?
- What are their values?
- Which local activities do they enjoy?
- How are they involved in their local community?
- How can your local business bring value to their life?
Once you have a clear sense of who your local customer is and what they want, start applying that information to your website’s local SEO strategy.
Local SEO Keyword Research
Your local community uses search engines for the same reasons you do. You’re both looking for valuable answers you can use. Most importantly, you want that answer quickly!
That’s why it’s so important for local businesses to shoot for the first page of Google. You don’t want to miss any valuable local customers that are rushing out the door.
Keywords are just phrases people use to find local websites like yours. An effective local SEO optimization strategy should cover keywords at every stage of your customer’s journey.
The customer (or buyer’s) journey consists of the following steps: awareness, considering options, and the final decision. This means you need to research keywords that target every stage of the customer journey.
On-Site Local SEO Optimization
After completing your keyword strategy, your next step is to optimize your website!
Before you try any off-site SEO methods, like social media or influencer marketing, cover all your on-site basics first.
On-site SEO is any optimization method that occurs directly on your site. This includes your website’s metadata, site speed, internal linking, navigation, image optimization, and site structure.
You’ll need to optimize your website’s metadata and HTML with the local keywords that you want your site to rank for in search. You also need locally optimized content for your about page, contact page, service pages, and blog.
Here are a few more on-site local SEO Optimization tips to remember:
- Visible phone number on your homepage
- Local chatbots for quick assistance
- Frequently asked questions page for locals
- Testimonials from locals
- Visible social share buttons
- Awards, accolades, or mentions from local publications
When done right, you can transform your website into a local content marketing machine!
Integrate Local Video Into Your Web Design
Ever heard the phrase, “content is king?” Don’t forget that includes video as well! In fact, more than 70% of consumers surveyed still prefer watching videos to just reading the text.
That’s why you should take an integrated media approach to your local website. Since video receives more shares online, on-site video marketing is a great way to boost your rankings and shore up your off-site SEO strategy.
Implement both your on-site site video strategies with your chosen SEO keywords too. Remember, YouTube videos shoot right to the top of Google!
Here are a few ideas for your local video content:
- Hire a local spokesperson
- Q&A’s with your leadership team
- Video of local events
- Footage of your booth at local trade shows
- Videos of your company’s local community advocacy
- Video testimonials from happy local customers
- Live stream with your local community
Video is a fantastic way to add some excitement to your local website. More excitement equals more clicks, improving your local search presence in the process.
Optimize for Mobile
Your local website may look okay on desktop, but how does it fare on mobile? This is a critical question to ask as you optimize.
According to recent stats, mobile devices now account for more than half of all organic searches made on Google. Mobile device ownership is also expected to grow past 220 million by 2020 alone.
Google is putting even more pressure on Savannah business owners to optimize as its AMP project continues to take over the web. And don’t forget about that much talked about mobile-first index.
The first thing you need to do is adopt a responsive web design that works seamlessly on all devices.
The meteoric rise of mobile reinforces the importance of convenience for consumers. That’s why user experience design (UX) has never been more in demand. It’s about making it as easy as possible to get your local visitors from point A to point B.
Add these ideas to your local SEO optimization checklist:
- Easy click-to-call Button
- Improve your mobile site speed
- Enable AMP when appropriate
- Avoid pop-up ads
- Easy scrolling
- Large and legible font
To round out your mobile optimization strategy, regularly check your analytics for both problems and opportunities to rank.
Become a Fixture in Your Local Community
You’re all about going above and beyond.
An optimized web design increases your local visibility, helping you become a fixture within your local community.
Not only does local SEO optimization boost your rankings, but it also helps you connect with locals.
Ready to introduce yourself to the community?
Use the ideas in this article to start thinking about your website’s local search potential. Or get the ball rolling right now and speak to a web design expert who can help.