How focusing on local tactics boosts your SEO strategy
A lot of business owners and entry-level marketers look at SEO and see this complex machinery that takes years to get the hang of. And for the most part, it is – but not for the reasoning the majority uses. When asked, most people see professional New York SEO agencies as high-end companies that have an entire arsenal of tools and knowledge at their disposal. Again – only partially true. Establishing a strong and functional SEO strategy is a demanding endeavor and one for which there is no universal formula. Instead, you need to learn as you go and test various solutions before finding the right one. In this article, we take a look at how focusing on local tactics boosts your SEO strategy.
Why is focusing on local optimization tactics so important?
Whether you are a service-oriented business or a retail one, it all circles back to the need of local consumers at some point and to some measure. That is why optimizing for local search results has always been and continues to be a necessity. It’s how customers in your area discover your business and come to you.
And if you’re not on that coveted first page of SERP, it will end up costing your business a lot. Fortunately, there are local tactics that boost your SEO strategy on which you can focus your efforts in order to achieve long-term success and brand development.
Ten ways how focusing on local tactics boosts your SEO strategy
1. Optimizing your GMB profile
The importance of Google My Business (GMB) for local businesses is a well-established fact in the world of digital marketing. It is a very practical way for your business to appear on SERPs with all its fundamental information such as:
- Work Hours;
- Google Rating;
- Link to your website;
- Click to call button.
However, simply setting up a GMB account for your business won’t be enough to get it the attention you want. Instead, you need to invest time into filling out the profile with relevant information. And once you do, you need to constantly update that information, to ensure that it is accurate and helpful to users that come across it. Additionally, by adding photos of your business, you can provide customers with an entire story that will lead to a boost in engagements.
If you are looking at how focusing on local tactics such as GMB boosts your SEO strategy, just consider the following statistical data:
- Direct calls are the most common step upon coming across a GMB listing. According to studies, phone clicks on GMB accounts doubled during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. And it is only logical to expect this to continue during the upcoming months, as more people will feel reluctant to visit businesses directly but rather focus on online purchases.
To capitalize on this trend, marketers use call tracking phone numbers in their GMB listings. That can give them the insight they need to measure their SEO performance and make necessary optimizations to GMB pages to drive a higher quality and quantity of phone clicks.
2. Implementing a Strong Review Management Strategy
Another essential part of a strong and high-performance GMB listing would be the reviews of a business. And this is not only an important factor for GMB but it is also a vital ranking factor for any business to tap into. So, if you are looking into how focusing on local tactics boosts your SEO strategy, then look at the reviews for your business and how best to manage them. Here are some useful guidelines to consider here:
- Earn reviews through the quality of your services
- Motivate customers to leave reviews for your business
- Guide customers through the process of leaving a review
- Highlight the best reviews by showcasing them on your website
- Keep a close watch over reviews and be responsive to them
3. Going through your NAP consistency on a regular basis
‘Name, Address, and Phone Number’ (NAP) are among the key SEO ranking factors for local businesses. Google has to cross-reference your company data on your website and web listings to confirm that you are running a legitimate business. And to make this process easier for search engines, you might want to consider the following steps:
- Add NAP to your pages in the form of schema markups (as HTML code or plugins).
- Consider using listing management tools that can automatically update all listings through a centralized interface.
- Use DNI (Dynamic Number Insertion) call tracking phone numbers on your website or in your listings to track the channels leads originated from.
4. Enriching your website with Schema Markups
We already touched on the notion of using schema markups to make your NAP more visible to search engines. However, there are also other ways in which a local business can apply schema markups to feed crawlers with relevant information about it. As some examples, you can add schema markups that:
- Display reviews right under the meta descriptions for a business;
- List FAQs and links to pages relevant to user’s inquiries;
- Populate more information about your business on SERP.
All these uses of schema markup can offer online users more information about your business, keeping it more competitive on SERPs while boosting your CTR. And more importantly – schema can be very beneficial for local SEO strategies, as it offers search engines a strong argument for ranking a business higher than others.
*Bonus tip – schematic markups can help a business acquire rich snippets that contain text, reviews, prices, dates, images, social media links, etc.
5. Focusing your content strategy on location-specific pages
Nearly half of Google searches are focused on getting local information. And this is reason enough why local businesses need SEO in their business plan. By enabling your website to tap into this type of traffic, you can secure a large number of local leads, and all based on covering the areas you serve through the content on your website. But how can you do this? By creating location pages for each town, city, county, and region that you service.
- If you were a moving company based in NYC, it wouldn’t be enough for you to simply have separate pages for each of your services. You would have a much higher chance of ranking on local results by creating a separate page for each neighborhood in each of the five boroughs, only to move on to other cities in the state of New York afterward. And since each of these pages would have a location name in its title tag, meta description, headlines, content, URLs, and image alt tags – it would make it easier for search engines to associate it with a location.
However, be wary that the content for each of the pages would still need to be unique. Otherwise, you risk being penalized for duplicate content. Instead, take the time to offer insight specific and equally valuable for each of the locations you cover. The more tailored to that specific location, the better.
6. Investing in a local link building strategy
Gaining relevant links to your website from strong external domains is among the more impactful rankings factors in the eyes of Google. And by taking the extra step and making sure to focus on gaining links from strong local websites, you will gain more exposure for the area your services cover, making your business the obvious choice on SERP. Building up a strong local link-building strategy is a very transparent example of how investing in local tactics boosts your SEO strategy as a whole. To do so, you need to focus on reputable local sources such as:
- Business directories;
- News publications;
7. Improving your mobile site speed
Page loading speed is among the vital practices for high-conversion landing pages and websites in general. It is a very important ranking factor and one that can significantly influence the performance of a website and its value. Mobile site speed plays an even more important role in local SEO strategies, given the high purchase intent of local searches via mobile devices.
- In fact, recent SEO statistics show that 72 percent of consumers that search for local businesses within five miles ends up visiting the business directly within 24 hours.
And so, the need to ensure that your mobile site speed is optimal can play a crucial role in maximizing the impact of your local SEO tactics. It can be the key difference between choosing your business or one of your competitors in the area. And here are some useful pointers for boosting mobile site speed:
- Test your site using Google’s mobile-friendly tool
- Redesign your pop-ups for mobile devices
- Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- Implement caching
- Compress your images to improve loading time
- Minimize HTTP requests
- Reduce server response time
- Leverage browser caching
- Enable gzip compression
- Reduce the number of redirects you use
- Eliminate 404 errors and bad requests
- Reduce DNS lookups
- Reduce the number of plugins you use
- Monitor your site speed over time and make adjustments
8. Tracking conversions through calls
Despite the digitalization of business and tracking everything online, there are still certain aspects that need a more traditional approach – inbound call tracking. And that is something that most marketers tend to neglect when measuring their conversion rate from SEO activities. However, call tracking is an essential part of the local search consumer cycle.
By implementing call tracking for each of your landing pages, you can report both online and offline conversions. And this offers the opportunity to work on updating and optimizing those pages to drive more sales at specific locations that might be underperforming.
9. Optimizing location performance
To draw on the call tracking as one of the local tactics that boost your SEO strategy, you need each location to pull its weight. Otherwise, your efforts to optimize your GMB listings and boost organic traffic will be all for naught.
The proper call tracking software uses AI to not only record and analyze phone conversations but to also track and monitor the performance of each sales rep. That, combined with the right CRM software can offer business owners the insight they need to identify team members and locations that are underperforming and to improve their efforts through the educational use of those transcripts. That will ultimately lead to better results from your SEO efforts.
10. Raising the bar higher
Dealing with local SEO doesn’t have an endgame – you just keep going, taking it further with every step. And to do that, you need to test out new local tactics to boost your SEO strategy. By reporting on your results in terms of organic traffic and conversion rates as well as ROI, you can identify patterns and find room to improve. And by pushing that bar constantly higher, you take the steps to expand your online brand.
Start working on your local SEO efforts today
As I explained at the very start of this article, SEO is an intricate maze filled with many obstacles as well as shortcuts. However, having someone to guide you through the maze and steer you in the right direction is not only desirable but also smart. Having a digital marketing NYC agency with the experience and know-how that you want is even better. Let us take your local SEO to the next level and watch your brand grow across your service area!