The SEO Guide to Increasing Local Website Traffic
The SEO Guide to Increasing Local Website Traffic
When was the last time you used an internet search engine to look for something local? Whether you’ve just moved to town, you’re on the road or you’re just looking for something new, if you’re like most people you use the internet as your primary tool for finding everything from great restaurants and bars that are open late to dog-friendly hotels and licensed repair companies.
With so many people going online to find local businesses, it’s surprising how few companies understand the importance of boosting the online exposure of their local web pages. Many great business owners are simply too busy building their business to take the time to learn about content marketing SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Website content writing services can help local businesses to increase their web presence and boost their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings by helping them to optimize their metadata, identify and increase citations, build valuable links and create unique, locally relevant content. This ultimately leads to an increase in local website traffic.
Local SEO begins with an in-depth study of each page’s metadata. Each page should contain relevant, geo-modified keywords in the header, title tag and meta description. Use a tool like Screaming Frog to streamline this step.
Not all keywords are created equal. Begin by researching keywords relevant to the business and the location to determine which keywords will yield the best results. Search the competitor landscape as well to determine where the business currently tracks and where its greatest potential for improvement lies. The following tools can help with this process:
- Google’s SERP Preview tool – Character counts can produce inaccurate results, as Google now measures meta data in pixels. Preview title tags and meta descriptions to visualize how your meta data will appear in Google before you publish.
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer tool – Access half a billion keywords and receive intuitive suggestions and accurate volume estimates, as well as a SERP analysis for the rank of each individual page you create.
- Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner tool – Discover new keywords, compare keyword trends and create a plan for incorporating the most relevant keywords to boost traffic and SERP.
The larger a company’s presence on the Internet, the more favorably it will appear in SERP rankings. Citations are one way to increase a company’s local web traffic. In fact, 90 percent of experts rate accurate citations as a very important or critical factor in local search ranking.
A citation is a mention of a business on a website outside of its own homepage, and each citation boosts a company’s legitimacy. It may also validate contact information and, if favorable, bolster a company’s reputation. Citations may appear anywhere, but start by getting your client listed on national directory sites such as:
- Bing Places
- Google Places
- Yahoo! Local
There are countless other directories where a business can be listed. Not all are worth the effort, and they should not solicit payment. The only citations your client should pay for are the local chamber of commerce, the Better Business Bureau and any regional or national industry-related associations they may be a part of.
To help your client use citations to their best advantage, your first priority should be the quality of the information. Check for accuracy and consistency in the spelling of the business’s name, website, address, phone number and email. These should all be the same as the company’s listing in the GMB (Google My Business) profile. If a phone number is listed in the GMB as (123) 456-7890, it should not be listed in other locations as 123-456-7890. Remember, consistency is key!
Links and Backlinks
Like citations, the right kind of links can boost your client’s SERP rank and establish their expertise in the field. Internal links navigate users from one page of a website to another. External links send visitors to an outside site. Both can boost SEO, but one of the most powerful tools in the SEO arsenal is the backlink.
Backlinks are links from another site to your client’s site. They are an indication that someone, somewhere believes that your client’s site is worthwhile enough to stake their reputation on by linking to it. To build backlinks:
- Create shareable content such as a how-to, product review, humorous post or listicles.
- Share your content with fans, colleagues and industry movers through social media and email.
- Link to other high-quality websites in your client’s geographic area or industry and let them know that you’ve created the link. (They may be pleased enough to create their own backlink.)
- Arrange for your client to guest post on local and industry-related blogs and podcasts.
The more followers a website has or the greater their reputation for authority the more valuable their backlink. A bakery might appreciate a backlink from a local blogger with a small following, but it would not hold the same sway as a backlink from the Food Network. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to pursue links from many sources as you help your client build an online following and increase their local website traffic.
Creating Unique, Locally Relevant Content
High-quality content is the most valuable tool in generating a substantial online presence. This is where a blog writing service can really add value when it comes to website boosting. Many business owners don’t have the time or expertise to create their own content. Website content writing services can create unique, engaging content that draws customers to the website as well as to the business.
Begin by removing redundant or weak content. Businesses that are part of a national corporation may simply copy and paste national content to their own sites. This type of content might fill out a sparse site, but search engines will typically consider the national page to be the canonical version, and even with local tags this content will do nothing to boost a local business’s SERP rank.
On the other hand, businesses with unique, locally relevant content will stand out from the competition down the street. Begin by customizing the Home, About, News and Contact pages. You might also consider adding a blog with regular posts related to your client’s business, such as:
- The background story of the business
- A profile of the business owner(s)
- Employee spotlights
- Customer reviews
- Press coverage
- Case studies
- Local events
- Driving directions
- Product reviews
- New products or services
Writers don’t need to live near the business in order to create engaging, locally relevant content. Business owners can simply fill out a survey with basic information that you can use to craft professional content that is both distinctive and useful. Supplement what they have given you with your own research into the area and the industry. Your blog writing service should be knowledgeable not only in creating high-quality writing but also in employing the principles of search engine optimization (SEO) to boost SERP ranks for local businesses. And remember: content creation is not a one-time endeavor. To keep rankings and local web traffic high, content creation should be part of your client’s ongoing marketing strategy.
While word of mouth can still draw people to a business, most customers rely on online databases to find new places to eat, shop and play. They also find service people and the reviews that persuade them to hire them in the virtual world. Local businesses cannot afford to ignore their online presence. As a specialist in content marketing SEO, you can help your clients build a strong and positive online reputation.