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- 5 Ways to Increase Your Local SEO Presence | SEO Tips to Get Ahead
Why Local SEO Matters to Your Small Business Local SEO Matters Customers turn to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find “restaurants near me” or the “best plumber in my city.” People unknowingly use Local SEO by searching for local businesses every day. Use these SEO Tips with relevant keywords and your specific location to be one of the businesses that show up for them. 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying. The overwhelming majority of retail consumers start their journey with online research. GE Capital Retail Bank This is where local SEO enters the picture. You can reference our last blog post to refresh your memory here: "Did You Google It?" What is Local SEO? Local SEO is similar to search engine optimization, the main difference is that it focuses on web page design and improving a website’s ranking in local search results as opposed to search engine optimization. It's all the same, but Google likes the differentiation, so, we'll show you step by step how to do it. SEO Tip: How to Improve Your Local Search Ranking with Content Marketing The good news is that you can improve your local search ranking by making a few changes to your existing content. These SEO Tips will show you five ways to maximize your exposure to reach the exact type of customers searching for your products. 1. Submit Guest Posts & Publish Content on Local Websites There are nearly 4 billion people worldwide connected to the internet, there has never been a better time for businesses to include blogging in their marketing strategy. SEO Tip: Contributing to a blog is an amazing method for improving your webpage and connecting with friends you haven't met yet. There are nearly 4 billion people worldwide connected to the internet, According to a 2014 study, 4 out of 5 customers use search engines to find local information, including restaurants, services, and entertainment. Google Marketing Report Search engines like Google determine which local websites are relevant and useful to the searcher. According to the local SEO Guide, only the best local search results turn up based on a cellphone, computer, or iPad location when someone searches for “dog walkers” instead of every single link on the internet related to either dogs or walking. You're logical, use the SEO tips you've been learning to have an impact. SEO Tip: Guest Writing Guest writing for a blog is the most ideal way to reach untouched connections and market your shop, product, or service. Google Marketing Report Finding a local business to write a guest post on is super simple. To show you how quickly it can be done, we will search Dover-based local businesses that welcome visitor posts. The most time-consuming part is to find nearby sites that welcome and invite visitor posts. Do a Google Search To do it; open Google, and do a Google search of your area. Because formulas can be intimidating, and a bit much, there's an example below. Type in Google search this formula 'your query inurl:write-for-us' OR '“write for us” + [niche]'. This way Google will return websites. In the Google search bar, we typed: "Dover website write for us." As you can see, two nearby sites offer visitor posting on the front page. Local, Dover NH, Google Search, Putnam Marketing SEO Tips: Action Items Search your location + website + guest post. Then your location + website + submit a guest post. Also try different search terms for your location, if appropriate. Such as your region, county, or nearby cities. For example, if you are in Boston, local SEO could be; “East Coast,” “New York City,” “Portland,” or “Manchester”. We Made You a Local SEO Setup Template to Get Started As a Capricorn who loves organization i.e. spreadsheets, my suggestion is to use a spreadsheet to organize the list (if you need a starting point, here's a resource for you: Publish Content to Local Websites Template Tracker). SEO Tip: Use this template to organize your list to optimize Local SEO Make a list of potential websites to write for in your target area. Visit each site to check out their guest post guidelines, as well as the type of content they publish. SEO Tip; determine which sites cater to the kind of audience you’re targeting. Because Putnam Marketing is a web design company this website is perfect for us to contribute to. Let’s search for prominent Seacoast Online news websites by searching for, “Dover, NH news.” SEO Tips: Backlinks Matter As you can see in the screenshot above Seacoast Online publishes content related to “Things to Do,” “Food & Drink,” and “Spotlights” in the Sea Coast Area. This site may be a good place to submit a guest post about a local restaurant, attraction, or event. Another way you can earn valuable links from high authority local sites is through backlinks. Some websites provide backlinking opportunities to local businesses by creating a local resource list, or by highlighting local deals. Seacoast Online Local Menu As you can see in the screenshot above, publications like Foster's Daily Democrat and Seacoast Online are among the top results. If you check out some of these publications, you might be able to find an opportunity to earn links to your site. SEO Tip: there are resources waiting for you to find them. One bite at a time. Let’s check out Foster's Daily Democrat. If you go through the website’s menu, you’ll find “Local Deals” towards the bottom. This suggests that the website allows local businesses to list their deals and earn links to their sites. Why Should You Shop Local? Google Search Results 2. SEO Tip: Find Relevant, Local Keywords You already know the importance of keywords for search engine optimization. Keywords are crucial for local SEO as well and should be used to enrich and optimize your content. That's a fancy way of saying; write your content to match what people are searching for. Whether you’re publishing a blog post on your site, rewriting your site content, or submitting a guest post; using the right keywords can help you attract local searchers. Did You Google It? The best keywords are those that are relevant to your business and have high search volumes in your target location. (We use Chrome Extensions Keywords Everywhere and SEO Quake) to cut down on the amount of time it takes to find top keywords). Add your location keyword to those business-specific keywords and use that combination to optimize your content. Another Great SEO Tip This is a little more advanced than we've gone, so skip it if it's confusing. Find keywords through Google Keyword Planner which will help with further SEO setup (we haven't gotten to it yet, but for the big picture it's below). Before you use this tool, you will need to set up your AdWords account. Once your account is set up, go to the homepage, and click on “Tools” at the top of the page. Then select the “Keyword Planner,” as shown in the screenshot below. When you get to the Keyword Planner page, select “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.” Then begin your keyword research using phrases related to your business. As shown in the screenshot below, you will see fields to enter a relevant phrase, your landing page, and your product category. You can also select your target location. This is a quick way to narrow down your end-user for Google. 3. SEO Tip: Write Local Content This is where things get tricky. You can't just use the keywords over and over, Google's smart. Get Creative. Now that you have a list of the best keywords to use, it’s time to infuse them into your website content for better local search ranking. It’s not enough to simply use these keywords in your page content. Make the most of them by writing local content posts for your blog. You can compile local “Top 10,” and “Best Of” lists that are related to your industry or niche. Or you can write useful how-to articles or guides relevant to your industry, and target location. This will help you attract a relevant local audience. SEO Tip: How You Can Get Involved on the Backend Let’s search for keywords related to, “car dealership,” and keep the target location as Dover, NH. This will bring up a long list of potential keywords. The goal is to make a list of keywords with high average monthly searches, and low competition. You can then combine them with your city/location and use them to optimize your content for local search. For example, “car dealer in Dover,” or “Dover car dealer.” We Found the Perfect Example Dover Honda nailed it. Their website has useful car care and maintenance tips for local customers. Their service area includes Maine, New Hampshire, and Boston, as well as the surrounding areas. As you can see in the screenshot below, they provide readers with car buying types, Dover Guide, What’s Trending, and mentioned their service areas in the blog post. Local "Write for Us" Search Results 4. Cross-Promote on Social Media Platforms This is an absolute no-brainer. According to Statista, the number of worldwide social media users will increase from 2.34 billion in 2016 to 2.51 billion in 2017. With those kinds of numbers, likely, many of your target consumers are already using social media. The Impact of Social Media If you’re not already doing so, it’s time to start promoting your blog posts and guest posts on social media. The basics; are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Social media can be a great way to engage your followers, and drive traffic to your website. Facebook Is About to Become Your Best Friend From someone not really into Facebook (even a little), as an SEO marketing tool, Facebook is at the top of our list. Let’s say you’re a restaurateur, or your business is related to the food industry, and you’re based in Dover, NH. You can write a blog post that lists the best places to get fresh organic ingredients locally. To find relevant groups and pages on Facebook, search for, “Dover, NH food.” You can then sort the search results for “Pages” or “Groups.” For public Facebook groups, all you must do is join. For closed groups, you will have to ask to join or be added by a member. Joining Virtual Groups Here is an inside tip to joining groups: When you join a group, spend the first few days to a week engaging, liking posts, responding to posts, thanking them for the warm welcome, and THEN posting. Social media is just like a physical group and there are unspoken tribal group rules that are expected to be respected and acknowledged. How to Contact Page Owners To further engage local audiences, and grow your follower base, join relevant local groups on social media platforms. Then share your location-specific content in those groups. You can also reach out to relevant, local Facebook pages for help promoting your content. To contact page owners, and admins for Facebook pages, go to their page. You will see an option to “Message” the page. Send them a short, friendly message with a description of your content, and why you think it would be useful or interesting to their fans. Then politely ask them to share it on their page. Similarly, you can also join relevant LinkedIn Groups to promote your content. Just select “Groups” from the drop-down menu in the search bar, as shown in the screenshot below. In the search bar, enter a relevant search term with the location name to specifically target local audiences. To find a LinkedIn group where local business owners network, use search terms like, “Boston, MA Business,” or “Boston entrepreneur.” 5. Participate In, and Write About, Local Events, Activities, Reviews, etc... In the first point, we covered the important role backlinks from local websites play in your local search ranking. And you learned how to build your local link profile through guest posting. Another way to earn local backlinks is to get involved in the community. Participate in local events, charity drives, or awards (nominate someone special to you or a mentor who has changed your life). You may be able to get a backlink from the official website of the organization or event. If being a participant isn’t your cup of tea, you can also earn links by sponsoring local events, clubs, sports teams, and organizations. Your participation in the Local Community Your participation or sponsorship may be considered newsworthy by local publications, which means you could earn more links from local news sites. Not only will getting involved in the community help you improve your local link profile, but it can also help you build your brand’s reputation. According to Search Engine Journal, your real-world prominence can affect your local search rank as well. Participating in a local event isn’t just great for earning backlinks or boosting your reputation. It also allows you to enrich your blog with local content. You can write a post about the event, and your experience or involvement, and publish it on your blog. If possible, include high-quality photos and/or videos from the event in your post to optimize engagement. Now, Optimize Your Content for Local Search How to Optimize Your Content: Use relevant keywords Use Title's correctly Post consistently Local links not only help drive traffic to your site and improve your page authority,