Local SEO is incredibly important for businesses of all sizes that target customers in a specific geographical area. If you want to rise to the top of the search engines and increase your visibility when your target customers search for your products and services in your local area, local SEO should be an essential element of your marketing.
But many businesses are confused about how to go about local SEO properly, and you might be facing problems with your own optimization efforts. If so, here are some of the most common problems along with solutions to help you increase your ranking.
Struggling to Choose the Right Keywords
One of the biggest problems of all is not knowing which keywords to target. Keyword research is always tricky in any type of SEO campaign, and not knowing which keywords to target can cause a lot of problems. But when you are targeting locations as well, it becomes even more confusing.
The best option is to research a list of keywords using a tool like Google's Keyword Planner, which you can use for free when you sign up for AdWords.
Find a list of the best keywords, without considering location at this stage. Once you have your keywords, now add in the locations and mix them up so you have local keywords to optimize for.
This is where hiring a specialist can help. They can get you started on the right track so you at least know you are targeting the right keywords.
Knowing Which Location to Target
If your business has a presence in numerous locations, it can be difficult to know which areas to target the most in your local SEO campaign. Should you use all of your locations on your home page? Or should you create different pages for each location?
This is not always obvious. It can sometimes be a good idea to have one page for each location so that people searching for your business in a specific location can find the most relevant web page for them. But you also don’t want to try and cram in all of your keywords for the sake of it because it will look unnatural.
If you are unsure, speak to an SEO specialist to help you come up with a solid strategy.
Knowing What Is Working
With local SEO, as with other types of online marketing, you want to know what is working and what's not working, But this can be difficult. You can keep an eye on Google Analytics, but it can sometimes be confusing.
Instead, you might want to use a specialist tool. A local SEO analytics tool that is specially designed for multi-location brands can be a good idea. You can find out more from Chatmeter here, which is one such tool, and you might find its insights useful.
Not Understanding the Jargon
There is a lot of jargon associated with SEO, and this can be confusing at first. For example, you will hear lots of talk of NAP, which stands for Name, Address, and Phone number.
This is the information that you use in your citations on other websites, and it should be the same wherever it is mentioned. Or you might read about the 301 redirects or the 3-Pack.
These are all very common words used in local SEO, so it is well worth doing a bit of research whenever you come across a new term. There are not too many to learn, and it will greatly improve your understanding.
Finding a Reliable SEO Company
It can seem like there are so many untrustworthy SEO spammers out there when you start looking for an SEO to help you. There are many so-called experts who claim that they can get you to the top of the search results when really they could hurt your efforts.
Do your research and read up on reviews, then speak to companies to find out how they operate. Only choose one when you are certain that they will help rather than hinder your efforts.
Knowing How to Use Your Keywords
Even after you have your keywords, knowing how to use them is another thing entirely. Many businesses have difficulty with this, and one thing you don't want to do is cram them all into every piece of content you create. Instead, use them in specific places on your web pages, but don't overdo it and cram them in.
Focus on creating and publishing content on a regular basis, and fit your keywords into your content naturally. Talk about local events and local businesses in your content, and share your posts on social media.
Solve Your Local SEO Headaches
These are some of the most common problems for businesses that want to improve their local SEO. They may cause confusion, but all it takes is a bit of research in most cases to work out how to go about your local SEO in the right way
So solve your local SEO problems and start optimizing your site for local search so that you can improve your rankings and start generating more targeted local traffic to your website.
Zac Bradshaw is a marketing associate who is always on the lookout for the latest trends and tips. When he finds them, he likes to share them on a variety of business blogs.