The internet can be viewed as a vast expanse, which makes it challenging to concentrate on the right audience for your business as you develop an SEO strategy. SEO, or search engine optimization, is an inbound marketing technique that will boost your ranking in organic search results for specific search terms related to your business. An essential component of these terms is your general location, because you are likely only looking to reach people who can actually get to your storefront. While you might think that optimizing for local keywords is as simple as adding the city you’re located in to your standard set of keywords, optimizing locally is a bit more complex. To take full advantage of local online marketing, read on for some tips on focusing your SEO strategy on your geographic location.

1. Know the Power of Local Search

Once you begin to optimize for local search results, you can tap into the benefits of location-based marketing, which might include special limited promotions sent to people within a given radius of your store—these may be delivered through texts, email alerts, or push notifications. You’ll also be more likely to be prominently featured in Google Maps results when users are searching nearby for certain services.

2. Update Your Business Info

If you do not have accurate information listed on your website or your Google My Business listing, you will miss out on valuable local search traffic. Google sorts local results by their relevance to keywords as well as their addresses and hours, so be sure that this information is readily available anywhere someone might be looking.

3. Understand What Contributes to Rankings

Relevance, distance, and prominence are the generic terms that Google has offered to describe how they sort search results. Thanks to a more detailed analysis of search data by some dedicated marketing professionals, however, we can get a more in-depth look at the signals that will have the greatest impact on local organic search rankings.

Link Signals

Regardless of where you physically are in the world, it is essential to show that you are a reputable resource for consumers. Link signals such as inbound links to your website and anchor text in your site’s content will boost the authority of your site and make you more likely to rank in local searches.

On-Page Signals

It cannot be overstated how important it is to prominently display the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your business on your website. This is the most fundamental on-page signal that will indicate that your business is a relevant result for a given area. Other signals like keyword use in page titles should also be utilized for a well-rounded SEO strategy.

My Business Signals

Using Google My Business is not optional when you want to rank locally. The only way to ensure that the information on your profile is accurate and up-to-date is by using this tool, so be sure that it is a part of your SEO planning.

Social Signals

The more you use social sites, the more effective your local marketing will be. As you engage with other users in your area, you will gain more notoriety in your region.

Review Signals

Another key component of local search result rankings is the presence of reviews. Even if you have some negative reviews of your business online, you can showcase a local presence when people take the time to talk about you on various review sites. You can boost engagement—and search signals—even further by responding to reviews in a friendly and helpful manner.

4. Encourage People to Review Your Business

Because reviews are so helpful for local rankings, you might take extra steps to incentivize your existing clients to post on Yelp, Trip Advisor, and similar sites. Placing links to these sites on your own website, reminding customers to review you when they visit in person, and strategically placing physical marketing materials from review sites can hint to customers that they should offer their opinions about what you’re doing.

5. Get Active in Your Community

If you want to get recognized locally online, a great first step is to become more recognizable within your own community. Using your business as a means of giving back through charitable donations, corporate sponsorships, employee outreach, or community service can help your reputation through word of mouth, and this notoriety can eventually pay off with higher search rankings. Plus, you’ll be giving something back as you improve your own marketing strategies.

When it comes to great marketing, you want to dedicate your best effort for every campaign. If you don’t have the manpower or you aren’t sure where to start, partner with Pennington Creative to discuss your content strategy. Our team is happy to provide custom solutions for your business or agency, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a discovery call today.

About the Author

Marissa - Digital Marketing Manager, Account Services
Marissa Storrs

Digital Marketing Manager, Client Engagement