The last time you needed to find a doctor, restaurant, lawyer, auto repair shop or electrician how did you phrase your Google search?
If you’re like most of us, you likely used the city you live in to pair with the person you were trying to find.
Our Google search queries are often influenced by our location. After all, if you live in New York you’re likely not going to use a doctor in California.
That’s why it’s imperative for websites to prioritize local SEO when formulating their marketing strategy.
Recent Google algorithm adjustments have made local SEO even more of an influencer for search engine results pages (SERPs).
Local search engine optimization is just another division of SEO, but it focuses on optimizing a website to be found in local search results.
For example, if you lived in Dallas and wanted to find a local plumber, you might search:
- Plumber near me
- Dallas plumber
- Plumber in Dallas
When you need a plumber – especially if it’s an emergency – the first place you turn to is often Google. Any brick-and-mortar store needs to emphasize local SEO for its website.
Build city pages to boost your business’ local SEO
To climb the Google rankings for local SEO a website must focus on strong content with locally focused keywords, on-page optimization and link building.
One of the best ways to increase your local SEO results is by building city pages that help grow your business. For example, that Dallas plumber as mentioned above would love to gain business from surrounding cities.
Even though the plumber’s physical address is in Dallas, he can add city pages to his website and gain business from surrounding cities he could serve.
But keep in mind that these city pages need to be unique content. Google will penalize sites with duplicate content, so you won’t get away with just changing a word or two for each virtual location.
But businesses certainly can benefit from quality, optimized city pages with a boost in organic website traffic that turns into leads and then revenue.
Keep this in mind when creating city pages:
- Try to have 300-plus words of local content on each page.
- Use hyperlocal keywords in content when possible, but be careful not to overdo it because stuffing keywords, too, can be penalized by Google.
- Also, write your content for people, not simply to climb SERPs. In other words, your content should add value by being relative, readable and useful.
- Add local customer testimonials on location pages help to build trust. The more high-quality testimonials the better.
Incorporate location data points in city pages
Be sure to include location data points in your city pages content to help boost your rankings for the targeted area.
The data points signal to Google the targeted area within your city page. Back to the Dallas plumber. If you want to build a city page for nearby Irving, Texas, to attract surrounding business you’d want to include popular landmarks or destination spots within Irving in your content.
Some options to keep in mind for your city pages:
- School districts
- Sports stadiums
- Top restaurants
- Museums or zoos
Basically, the more data points you can include that solidify your targeted area the better. And you also want to add an external link to these destination spots that can also help increase your SEO rankings.
Backlinks and internal links are vital
Backlinks are still important for local SEO as well. Links back to your site help determine Google ranking authority.
Sites with quality content and high authority that link back to your site can help boost your rankings. Those backlinks to your site can really boost your SEO efforts.
Also, internal links on your website can benefit your business. You should connect relevant internal pages to your city pages. Your city page rankings can increase with those internal links from other pages on your site that are already ranking well. The internal links also show your relevance and authority, adding value for the readers.
Use internal links to talk more about the products and services you offer where a more in-depth explanation of the benefits might exist. Use internal links from blog content that could be relative to your city pages.
Internal and external links add credibility to your website and that increases your authority and rankings.
Online reviews and testimonials help local SEO
Customers who land on your city pages will be looking for testimonials and online reviews of your products or services to get a better feel for what you can offer them.
Online reviews have become essential for many businesses, especially e-commerce and service-based industries.
Online reviews help to boost your credibility and trust, but they can also help your SEO results. Online reviews play a role in how Google ranks local businesses. The more quantity and quality of reviews a business has the more benefit it will gain through local SEO.
Google also suggests that you respond to each of your online reviews to help build trust with your customers while also improving your local SEO efforts.
Make sure your business is listed on review platforms, such as Google My Business, Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook and other social media options.
Reviews signal to Google that you have a quality business that’s relevant to consumers. All businesses should be prioritizing online reviews with their marketing strategies. If you need help, there are several services that offer assistance, including Rize Reviews.
Local SEO has become a crucial component of a business’ search engine marketing (SEM) strategy. Every business should be considering ways to improve their local SEO and looking at opportunities to expand their reach.
Building out city pages is a great way to start boosting your local SEO efforts, but be sure you’re focusing on quality content and not just filler.
Remember this: If your business isn’t found online through Google searches, you’re invisible.
If you want help on forming a local SEO strategy for your business and boosting your leads and revenue, contact Thrive Internet Marketing Agency today.