Near-me search, or “Local SEO” as it’s technically referred to, is a tough nut to crack. There are several rules on optimizing searches for a local audience. If you want to boost your online visibility for a certain geographic area, you need to tweak a few things in your content strategy.
List Your Business on Google My Business
You need to do this first and foremost. When you create an account on Google My Business, you can then optimize it for Near Me searches. Just set up an account on the site and click “Start Now.” It’ll guide you through the entire thing. However, listing isn’t enough. You need to optimize your listing so people can find your business through local SEO.
First, enter your complete business name and address. You should then add your business address so that people can find you on Google Maps. This is essential since people use Google Maps to find businesses and restaurants near them. ‘Google Maps’ usually shows you specific places that are near your current location.
You should also add your business hours and contact details like phone numbers. Also categorize your business and be specific. This helps list your business is vague categories that will help you get better rankings. You can also add photos or your favorite services.
You should also ask people to leave reviews on your site. This will ingrain a sense of trust in people who are visiting your business. It’s always great to read reviews that praise your business.
Also, make sure that your business name, address, and phone number are updated as soon as you make any changes to them. Nothing irks online searchers more than coming across outdated information on Google.
Use a Schema Markup
Schema markups are great for local SEO. Schema data helps search engines acquire more information related to your business. They often present this data in the form of rich snippets that can be of help to the user.
Schema markups can include changed business hours during holidays. They can also include social media profiles and ratings, etc. You can add schema markups to every single location page. The schema data should have the business address, regular working hours, and contact information.
Use Geographic Anchor Text
Backlinks are a great way to improve business rankings on Google for local searches. They help in linking back to your page which brings more people to your business. For local SEO, you need to acquire high authority backlinks for your region. These should include geographically-rich anchor text.
Take, for example, the location New Hampshire and the category “casino.” You will need to use location-rich variants of text like “the best casino in New Hampshire” or “New Hampshire casino” or “New Hampshire Casino on 3rd Street.” These types of keywords will help you rank better with local SEO searches. These are the tags that most people will likely search for when they’re looking for a casino in New Hampshire.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile Browsing
You need to make your site responsive on mobile devices so that all the links and content respond the same way. We’ve all been to sites that don’t work well on mobile devices. In such cases, we have to wait till we get to our computer. That’s a travesty in itself.
You also need to speed up the user experience on your site. To do this for mobile devices, you can create AMP pages to improve site speed. Also, include a search bar on the site so that it’s easier for people to look for stuff.
You should also use CDNs so that the load is distributed and your site loads faster. Keep in mind that you’re optimizing for all types of internet connections, including Wi-Fi and 3G/4G. You should also turn on autocorrect for the search forms and search bar to make the user experience fluid.
All this is about optimizing the experience for the end user. This results in higher rankings for local SEO.
Create Pages for Every Location of Your Business
This is unavoidable. If you have several locations that are spread out over a sizable area, you will need to create separate pages. You’ll also need to optimize those pages for local search as well. This is not only done to help separate locations trend well in local search, but to also help a business reach out to as many customers as possible. If you have a business that has branches in five different cities, you should have five different pages. You should also optimize all of those pages differently for near me searches.
You need to:
- Optimize the meta tags and title for the target keyword
- Make a user-friendly URL structure so that its readability is high
- Add the proper tags and title tags to images that are being placed in the web page
- Add a description for your business which includes business hours and directions
- Include a video of the location if you can. This way you can increase the relevance of the content on the page.
If you’re new at this and haven’t made separate pages for your business, you can always hire content writing services.
Create a Blog for Your Business
The last thing you’ll need to do is create a blog for your business. This isn’t just a way to engage with your local audience, but to acquire local links. Blogs let you share articles on a regular basis. Hence, it allows users to be updated about your business. Use this to your advantage. Promote products through it, advertise through it. Offer your readers specific discounts. This will not only boost your readership but your sales as well.
What’s more, a blog can help you reach local audiences. You can request feedback on the latest offerings from your business. This feedback can allow you to gain insights into what you can offer the local audience. All this is valuable information for your business. It will not only help you trend online, but also help your sales grow.
Think of these tips as a stepping off point for your local SEO. It’s a never ending battle to keep your business writing papers trending. Great service has no equal, however, you can always use local SEO to extend your reach and help sales grow.
Dave is a Senior Content Strategist at Content Development Pros. When not supervising the content that flows into and out of CDP, Dave enjoys gaming, surfing the internet, and watching movies.