On-page Strategies to Improve Your Local SEO
Getting a lot of traffic to your website is great – you want to be visible online, after all. But not all traffic is equally valuable. For example, if you are running a small business in the service industry that only operates in Brooklyn, then a website visit from Japan won’t be as important as one from New York. So how do you target potential customers in your area? The answer is a specific type of search engine optimization – local SEO. It is a way to get better rankings in local searches that are more likely to lead to conversion. You can improve your local SEO in many different ways that include both on-page and off-page practices. But you have to start somewhere, and on-page strategies are the easier and quicker option. So how can you optimize your content for local searches specifically?
What is local SEO?
Search engine optimization or SEO refers to all the actions you take to make your website more visible in search engine results relevant to your niche. SEO can be incredibly helpful for a business, especially one that’s just starting out and needs to get the word out there. But a wide variety of practices fall under SEO, including things like your website structure, the keywords you choose to use in your content, the way you market yourself on social media, and more. So unless you plan on dedicating a lot of time and effort to SEO, you should consult the experts in this field to achieve the best possible results.
But just being seen is not enough – you need to be seen by the right people. This usually means people who live or work in your area. These are the people who are most likely to purchase your goods or use your services, especially if you’re running a small and local business. To ensure that these people find your website, you need local SEO. Local SEO refers specifically to SEO practices that ensure your business appears in local searches.
Why do you need to improve your local SEO?
It is easier to rank for local searches than global ones. By ranking locally, you can attract more traffic, which can help your overall rankings and even resolve ranking drops. But the main advantage of local SEO is actually attracting traffic that is most likely to convert. The people who search specifically for local businesses are typically ready to spend money on goods and services – they just need to find a suitable place for it. On the other hand, people who search for more general terms are usually just looking into various offers. They are much less likely to shop at your business immediately. Therefore, by focusing on SEO, you can even improve your sales.
How can you improve your local SEO with on-page strategies?
SEO practices are typically divided into three types: technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. Technical SEO is about making your website easier for search engine bots to crawl and index. Off-page SEO includes the things you do on other websites to improve your ranking – this involves backlinks and social media, for example. Finally, on-page SEO is the optimization of the content on your own website. Since on-page SEO practices are entirely up to you, they’re pretty easy to implement. This makes them an excellent place to start when improving your local SEO.
Localize your website
The first thing you should do is to put your location and contact information on the website. Ensure this information is visible and easily accessible – use your sidebar or footer to separate it from the rest of the content on your home page. Include your contact information on relevant pages like the about section as well. It’s imperative to be consistent: you want all your customers to see the same company name, address, phone number, and email regardless of where on the website they notice it.
Create content relevant to your location
Ask just about anyone what SEO is, and they’ll probably start talking about optimized content. There’s a good reason for this: quality content is still one of the most important parts of an optimized website. And in the case of local SEO, quality content means localized content. To attract local users, you’ll want to:
- write about topics of interest to the locals (if you’re located in Florida, for example, beach activities are a better topic than tips on how to shovel snow)
- create location-specific pages (make a page for every location where you operate in order to rank for each of them)
- use location-specific keywords (if you own a spa in Seattle, for example, don’t just use Thai massage as a keyword – use Thai massage in Seattle)
Optimize your website for mobile and voice searches
A disproportionately high percentage of local searches come from mobile devices. This is because people will frequently be looking for local businesses that fulfil their needs when they’re already on the go. For the same reason, you’ll get more voice searches – people on the move often find it easier to speak into their devices than to type out their searches. To reach these users, you’ll need to adjust to their needs. That means optimizing for mobile and optimizing for voice searches.
Optimizing for mobile is a must for every website today. More than half of all searches come from mobile devices. Furthermore, Google implements mobile-first ranking. So even when the search isn’t coming from mobile, your mobile website will still be examined. Given all that, there’s simply no excuse not to optimize for mobile. Make sure your website loads fast, use a responsive theme, and check that your pages can be navigated on a small touch screen.
Voice searches are the future of search engines, so you want to get in on them early to give yourself a headstart. Optimize your content for the more conversational style of spoken searches. This will include using longer keywords and accounting for typical question words (like what, how, or why). To get the best of both worlds, combine traditional keywords with longer, voice search-specific ones.
Other ways to improve your local SEO
On-page strategies are not the only way to improve your local SEO. In fact, they work best when combined with off-page practices. So you’ll want to optimize your off-page presence for local searches too. Start by listing your address and contact information on all your social media profiles. Then, set up a Google My Business profile to put yourself on the map. You’ll also want to get listed in local directories and review websites. Finally, encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business. The vast majority of people are influenced by reviews when making purchasing decisions. Positive reviews are, therefore, essential for attracting a local clientele.