5 Key On-Page Optimizations for Local SEO
If you’ve tried every trick in the book to bring in nearby customers, then chances are you’ve considered local SEO. Indeed, search engine optimization (SEO) allows your site and its content to dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs). Localize it, and you’ll be visible to customers close enough to give you a call or drop by your brick-and-mortar location.
Local SEO is one of the best investments you can make in marketing your business. However, it’s easy to get many parts of it wrong. From inconsistent business listings to cluttered page hierarchies, errors abound — costing businesses time and opportunities.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a statistic. By making these on-page optimizations, your business site will be on the front page of the results pages, getting more clicks and conversion.
1. Localize Your Content
One of the main on-page optimizations you need to make is creating relevant content. The content of your business website becomes relevant in two ways — with the right keywords and with tags for your locality.
Keyword research needs to come before incorporating them into your site’s content. By and large, keywords will depend on your industry or the service you’re offering. For example, if you’re selling L-theanine-infused coffee, then your industry-relevant keywords might be:
- “Coffee for focus”
- “L-theanine coffee”
More importantly, these keywords need to include tags of your area. This is what it means to localize your content.
There are two ways you can create localized keywords for your content. One is to add the words “near me” to your keywords. The other is to add the name of your locality.
To illustrate, if your business caters to coffee buyers in Edinboro, localizing your keywords would look something like this:
- “L-theanine coffee Edinboro”
- “Coffee for focus near me”
- “L-theanine coffee near me”
Other than adding the right keywords and location tags to your content, ensure that your content speaks the language of your locality. In other words, it won’t hurt to use colloquialisms and expressions unique to your locality.
2. Keep Your Listings Consistent Across Business Directories
In local SEO, one of the most important pieces of information that directs people to your site is your NAP. NAP is short for your business’ name, address, and phone number.
These pieces of information are what your customers will use to touch base with your business. More importantly, business directories like Google My Business need this information — and this information needs to be consistent across various business directories.
One of the ways Google determines the quality of sites is the consistency of their NAP listings. The NAP listings in one directory need to be the same as how it appears in another directory.
If your business information is inconsistent, one of two things will occur — either Google assigns a lower ranking to your business site, or your customers seek services elsewhere. Either way, inconsistent listings aren’t good for your site or business.
3. Optimize for Mobile Devices
Based on Search Engine Journal’s most recent statistics, the vast majority of customers will be on their phones. It’s on their phones where they’ll seek out businesses like yours. With this in mind, you’ll have to ensure that your website works and looks good across many devices beyond desktop.
Google — along with many other search engines — also ranks sites based on their mobile-friendliness. Part of the reason for this is that many search engines (Google, in particular) are positioning themselves as advocates of user-friendliness. With the above-mentioned statistics in mind, it’s clear that user-friendliness necessitates optimizations for mobile devices.
Device-friendly optimizations are usually in the realm of technical SEO. Nonetheless, there are on-page optimizations you can perform to improve your site’s local SEO. One is to use your content management system (CMS) to create a layout or interface for mobile devices. WordPress has plugins like Divi that allow this.
As well, it pays to make your site faster for mobile devices by minimizing the use of high-resolution media like videos. Page loading speed is another ranking factor. Hence, on-page optimizations that make your site’s loading speed faster on mobile will be like hitting two birds with one stone.
4. Create Header Tags Specific to Your Locality
Before optimizing header tags for local SEO, let’s clarify what a header tag is. The best way to think of a header tag is that it resembles titles on a book.
You can imagine the main header or H1 as the book’s title. It denotes the most important piece of information. When it comes to your site, the main header can be the titles of your web pages.
Other header tags like the H2s can be imagined as chapter titles. These can be headings under the main heading.
Header tags need to contain your location tags and what you’re offering your customers. This will make everything clearer for your potential customers.
More importantly, having the right header tags tells search engines what your business is all about. As a result, your header tags will affect what needs to appear on the SERPs.
5. Use Internal Linking to Your Advantage
Internal linking means creating clickable elements within some of your site’s content that lead to other parts of your site. This will have two effects.
First, it keeps your users on your site. With in-site navigation options available in the form of anchor text, your site’s users will be able to explore more parts of your site.
If you serve multiple areas within your locality, this is worth taking advantage of. An example of effective internal linking is creating an anchor text in your blog post that redirects users to your “areas served” page.
The second effect relates to local SEO. Internal linking is also good for local SEO since it’s indicative of your website’s structure. A structure tells search engines like Google that your site follows a visual and thematic hierarchy of some sort. This is something Google’s bots evaluate.
The more structure your internal linking, the more ranking points your site can score. The more ranking points your site has, the higher up the local SERPs it will be.
Grow Your Online Visibility with Local SEO
Local SEO is an excellent way to gain more visibility and create more conversions. By incorporating these on-page optimizations, your site can dominate the local SERPs.
Local SEO has many moving parts. With Google’s ever-changing ranking factors and algorithms, DIY-ing your local SEO will feel like hitting a moving target. To maximize your chances of ranking atop the local SERPs, you’ll need the help of professionals.