Gaining a foothold, growing a web presence, and generating traffic in your local market from scratch are not easy, but the rewards are worth the grit and grind. Now that you’ve read about the basics and how to take it to the next level, it’s time to cover how local SEO experts go the extra mile to deliver top notch results to their clients.
These local SEO tips and tricks are for when you have already built a solid presence and used analytics to figure out how you are going to take on the competition. It will take a lot of work, but nobody ever said this was going to be easy. Here is how to go the extra mile, and really get to the top in the local market.
Build and monitor your local citations
Citations are an integral part of your local search result rankings. Basically, any time you are mentioned on another website when it pertains to your local area, that is a citation. If you put your name into the Yellow Pages for New York City, then that is a citation for your local area. It sounds simple enough, but what most people miss is just how important they are. External local signals including citation volume make up about 14% of the local search engine ranking.
By getting your name onto a trusted directory (there are a ton), it increases the level of certainty that the engine has in regards to where you are.
Tip: getting to the top is about outworking your competition. Use programs that track citations to see where you competitors are. Build your presence on those sites, and find out where they are lacking.
Increase your click-through rate
Although it is often debated, click-through rate or CTR factors into determining your organic ranking, and a lot of your competitors are going to overlook it. Behavioural signals such as click-throughs make up 10% of the overall local ranking, and it is ranked as the #4 most important factor for organic traffic. The reason we are focusing on it here is because you do have control over it. Increase your CTR by:
- Creating urgency NOW – By creating urgency in your headline, you can increase the amount of clicks you get. People like quick fixes. “Lose 10lbs in 1 week!” is way better than “lose 10lbs!” Putting action words like now, today, or immediately has proven to boost clicks (one study showed double the clicks compared to non-urgent headlines).
- Get with the times – No, we don’t mean get a smartphone and go gluten-free. We mean making sure you use the right year in your headline or title. Adding a phrase like “Montreal’s restaurant of the year 2016” will help make you look fresher than the food you are serving.
- Make them an offer they can’t refuse – Customers want to see value. They want to think they are getting something they normally wouldn’t. When your page shows up in the search results page and says something like “10% off your first visit”, people won’t be able to help but click.
Although getting a ton of click-throughs won’t increase your ranking in itself, getting a large volume of click-throughs from quality traffic will help. Taking the time to spruce up your search result game will do wonders for your local results.
Get up close and personal with your content
One of the most important organic ranking factors for local SEO is the geographic keyword content. When Google sees that the content you are producing is targeted to an area, it sets off a chain reaction that rockets you up the rankings. This means that all of your content needs to be targeted. Stop posting content titled “are you ready for the Sunday fair?” or “three reasons why our city rules.” That stuff might be gold, but if you aren’t sprinkling in the right keywords, you are doing yourself a disservice. Try:
- Using your city and state in the title
- Honing in on local landmarks
- Mentioning neighborhoods of your town
- Using landmarks only locals know
- Using the name of well-known events in your town
- Mentioning national parks or beaches
There really is no limit to what you could do in this case. What we want you to know is that the more local keywords in your posts the better. It might seem like common sense, but it is more difficult than you might think. Just make sure not to overdo it, and to spread out the wealth a little bit. Mention all areas and keep unique, local content coming out.
The good thing about search engine optimization is that a lot of the strategies overlap between general and local, and with a bit of hard work and effort you can find yourself climbing the rankings in no time. Building from the ground up isn’t easy, though, so if you’ve made it to this part then congratulations. Now you have to get more creative, in-depth and hungry to beat out your competition.