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A company wishing to rank for local searches should first

A company wishing to rank for local searches should first…

To learn about how to rank for local searches, read on. If you’re ready to have our team handle your marketing, get in touch with us here.

A company wishing to rank for local searches should first define its target audience. For example, as a digital marketing agency in Boynton Beach, our target audiences are local businesses within our community and the surrounding region. Because Boynton Beach has far lower barriers to entry than, say, “South Florida,” as a locality, it is easier for us to start our ranking aspirations there. Think: Start small and grow from there; find the easy opportunities first to realize the efficiency of organic search growth. 

A Company Wishing to Rank For Local Searches Should First

Create a list. This list should include the following:

  1. Claim and Optimize Google My Business Listing: This is crucial for local SEO. Make sure all information such as business name, address, phone number, website URL, and business hours are accurate and up-to-date.
  2. Optimize Website for Local Keywords: Use relevant local keywords throughout your website’s content, meta tags, and headings.
  3. Create Local Content: Develop content that is specific to your local area. This can include blog posts, articles, or even landing pages focused on local events, news, or issues.
  4. Acquire Local Backlinks: Build backlinks from local businesses, organizations, and directories. This helps improve your website’s authority and relevance for local searches. Some digital marketers also refer to this as citation building, in other words, receiving citations from these local directories to help verify the validity of your business to Google.
  5. Ensure Consistent NAP Information: NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. Make sure this information is consistent across all online platforms, directories, and citations.
  6. Encourage Customer Reviews: Positive reviews on platforms like Google My Business can improve your local search rankings. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews and respond promptly to any negative feedback.
  7. Optimize for Mobile: Since many local searches happen on mobile devices, ensure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly.
  8. Utilize Local Structured Data Markup: Add schema markup to your website to provide search engines with specific information about your business, such as address, phone number, and business hours.
  9. Create Location Pages: If your business operates in multiple locations, create individual pages for each location with unique content optimized for local keywords.
  10. Engage in Local Social Media: Be active on social media platforms popular in your local area. Engage with local audiences and share content relevant to your community.

Building from the items covered in the list above isn’t just a strong start; it’s also setting up the foundation for digital marketing success ahead.

Assess Your Current State of Digital Marketing Presence

Ask yourselves: “What specific customer segments do we want to target?” For example, in the addiction space, those struggling with substance abuse will rarely use the term “addict” without having already been in recovery at some point. However, the family, friends, and coworkers of someone battling addiction are far more likely to use the term “addict” when searching for information on supporting a loved one at odds with substance abuse.  

Defining specific objectives for your local search aspirations involves identifying your target audience and the key terms they are likely to use. Once you have those two items defined, you can begin drilling down on what specific keywords you are going to target and create content around them. To rank on page one, local search engine optimization (Local SEO) has become a vital component for businesses aiming to enhance their online visibility within specific geographic regions. The good news, in terms of Local SEO, specifically Google Maps SEO, is that having a physical location gives you an advantage over the many online-only businesses these days.

Advantages of Having a Physical Location for A Company Wishing to Rank for Local Searches

  • Having a physical location provides Google with tangible information to verify the legitimacy and authenticity of a business.
  • Physical locations enable businesses to be listed in Google Maps, increasing visibility in local search results.
  • Google values businesses with physical locations as they are more likely to serve local customers, aligning with its goal to provide relevant and accurate search results.
  • Businesses with physical locations can leverage location-specific keywords and content, enhancing their relevance for local search queries.
  • Physical locations allow businesses to participate in Google My Business, providing additional information such as operating hours, contact details, and customer reviews, which can improve search ranking and credibility.

The initial step for a company aspiring to rank for local searches involves meticulous keyword research. Identifying relevant keywords and phrases that resonate with the local audience is paramount if you ever want to rank on page one. This process demands a thorough understanding of the target market’s preferences and search behavior.

Steps to Keyword Research for Local SEO

  1. Define Your Goals: Determine the purpose of your keyword research. Are you aiming to increase website traffic, improve search engine rankings, or target specific audiences?
  2. Brainstorm Seed Keywords: Generate a list of broad keywords or phrases related to your business, products, or services. These will serve as the foundation for your research.
  3. Use Keyword Research Tools: Utilize keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs to expand your list of keywords. Input your seed keywords and explore related terms, search volume, and competition levels.
  4. Analyze Competitors: Study your competitors’ websites and identify the keywords they are targeting. Look for gaps or opportunities where you can differentiate and target specific keywords.
  5. Refine and Narrow Down: Filter your list of keywords based on relevance, search volume, and competition. Focus on long-tail keywords (more specific, longer phrases) as they often have less competition and higher conversion rates.
  6. Consider User Intent: Understand the intent behind each keyword. Are users searching for information, looking to make a purchase, or seeking a specific solution? Choose keywords that align with your content and offer solutions to user queries.
  7. Evaluate Keyword Difficulty: Assess the difficulty of ranking for each keyword. Aim for a mix of high, medium, and low competition keywords to optimize your SEO strategy.
  8. Create a Keyword Strategy: Organize your selected keywords into categories or themes based on your website structure and content strategy. Assign keywords to specific pages or topics to ensure comprehensive coverage.
  9. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly monitor your keyword performance using analytics tools. Track changes in rankings, search volume, and competition. Adjust your keyword strategy as needed to stay competitive and relevant.
  10. Iterate and Improve: Keyword research is an ongoing process. Continuously refine your keyword strategy based on evolving trends, user behavior, and changes in your industry landscape.

Use Local SEO Keywords

Even though we are an online business, we still have to find ways to rank on page one.  

One way of making that easier is to start by using keywords with the town your business is in; it’s an added bonus if it’s a smaller city like Boynton Beach.  

On the other hand, if you are in a larger city like Miami, it’s still possible to rank for specific keywords, but this is where you have to get creative. And it’s not rocket science. What I mean is finding target keywords like “digital marketing agency,” which is incredibly competitive, and creating a long-tail keyword out of it, something like “digital marketing agency in Boynton Beach, FL.” Not only will it improve your chances of ranking, but it will also help you rank for the specific keywords related to your geographic location.

On-Page Local SEO 

Once the keywords are identified, optimizing the company’s website accordingly is crucial. This includes integrating the selected keywords strategically into the website’s meta tags, headings, and content. Furthermore, ensuring the website’s NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information is consistent across all online platforms is imperative for local SEO success.

While technical SEO focuses on optimizing the backend and infrastructure of a website, on-page SEO concentrates on optimizing individual web pages and their content to improve search engine rankings and user experience. Both are essential components of a comprehensive SEO strategy.

In addition to on-page optimization, off-page efforts play a significant role in boosting local search rankings. Building a robust backlink profile from reputable local directories (Think: Yellow Pages), industry-specific websites and local publications can significantly enhance a company’s local search visibility.

Moreover, leveraging the power of Google My Business (GMB) is indispensable for companies vying for top positions in local search results. Claiming and optimizing the GMB listing with accurate business information, engaging photos, and compelling descriptions can greatly enhance a company’s chances of appearing in the coveted local 3-pack.

Consistency is key in the realm of local SEO. Regularly monitoring and updating the company’s online presence across various platforms such as social media, review sites, and local directories is essential for maintaining relevance and credibility in the eyes of both search engines and potential customers.

Technical Local SEO Basics

  1. Technical Local SEO:
  • Definition: Technical Local SEO refers to the optimization of the technical aspects of a website to improve its search engine visibility and performance.
  • Focus: It primarily focuses on improving website infrastructure, site speed, crawlability, and indexability.
  • Key Elements:
    • Website Speed: Ensuring fast loading times for web pages.
    • Mobile Friendliness: Optimizing the website for mobile devices.
    • Crawlability: Making sure search engine bots can easily crawl and index the website’s pages.
    • Site Architecture: Structuring the website in a logical and organized manner.
    • HTTPS/SSL: Implementing secure connections for website visitors.
    • XML Sitemap: Creating and submitting an XML sitemap to search engines.
    • Robots.txt: Managing directives to control search engine crawlers’ access to specific parts of the website.
    • Canonicalization: Resolving duplicate content issues using canonical tags.
    • Importance: Technical Local SEO lays the foundation for a website’s search engine optimization efforts, ensuring that search engines can effectively crawl, index, and understand the site’s content.

Online Reviews for Local SEO

One advanced tactic that can significantly impact local search rankings is the cultivation of online reviews. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on platforms such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook not only enhances the company’s credibility but also signals to search engines that the business is reputable and trustworthy.

Furthermore, responding promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews demonstrates the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction, which can positively influence potential customers and improve the company’s online reputation.

Local SEO Summary

Regular monitoring and analysis of key performance metrics, such as local search rankings, website traffic, and conversion rates, are essential for refining and optimizing the company’s local SEO strategy. By leveraging data-driven insights, businesses can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to enhance their online visibility and attract local customers continuously.

By implementing advanced local SEO strategies such as cultivating online reviews, implementing structured data markup, creating geo-targeted content, investing in local advertising, and monitoring key performance metrics, a company wishing to rank for local searches can further elevate its ranking in local searches and establish a strong online presence within its target market.

Ready to advance? Learn more about Google Maps SEO.