If you operate a business that caters to local clients or customers, chances are you’re eventually going to launch a geo-targeted SEO campaign to generate leads in your area. You can outsource this task entirely to an SEO agency, but it’s still wise to have some influence in the direction of the campaign. As the owner or manager of the business, you’re the ideal person to inform your SEO team about the company’s specific value propositions and marketing materials so that this information can be used to create more effective ad & keyword targeting. Here are five tips you can use to get better results out of your local SEO efforts, whether you’re going it alone or collaborating with an agency.
1. Target a Multitude of Local Keywords
Try targeting longtail variations of popular keywords accompanied by the names of cities. neighbourhoods, and counties in your area. For example, an SEO firm operating out of Belfast, Ireland could potentially generate more leads by going beyond the core “SEO Belfast” term and into more specific variations for surrounding areas, such as “SEO Bangor,” “SEO Strandtown,” “SEO Castlereagh” or a regional variation like “Northern Ireland SEO.”
2. Ensure NAP Consistency Across All Channels
Many people don’t know that your rankings can potentially be hurt by inconsistent Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) data across different directories. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo crawl the web looking for information about your company and use algorithms to detect whether your contact information is reliable and up-to-date. Excessive variation in NAP data should be avoided and your contact information should be listed the same on every site.
3. Leverage Local Link Building
Local link building is the practice of generating in-bound links from websites that have regular audiences in the area you’re trying to target. For example, if you own a sporting goods shop in London, you could try to get an in-bound link from a blogger who writes about London sports teams. Since Google and other search engines aren’t very friendly about reciprocal or out-of-context links, one of the only legitimate ways to proactively build local links is to author a guest post that adds real value to the blog that publishes it.
4. Focus on Generating Positive Reviews from Local Customers
Did you know that having a high rating and lots of reviews on sites like Yelp and Google+ can help your local SEO rankings? Try to motivate your customers and clients to leave positive reviews.
5. Optimise Social Networking Signals
Finally, search engines also crawl social networking sites like Facebook, so make sure your social media presence is strong and you’ll be generating lots of traffic and exposure while also improving your local SEO rankings.
Local SEO Can Be Easier Than Global SEO, especially if You Diversify
While certain industries are saturated and overly competitive in most major cities, it’s usually possible to rank within the top 5 for most local longtail keywords. In conclusion, here’s another bonus tip you can use to generate more local leads and rank better for geo-targeted keywords: Come up with a diverse list of 100-500 keywords to target. While some niches may allow for more, this is a good range to ensure you’re covering all bases initially.