If you own an online eCommerce website, a blog, or any other kind of web property, you probably know the importance of using SEO (search engine optimization) in your content. But have you thought about how to optimize your pages for the search engines on the local level?
If you ever saw the movie, “The Internship,” the two main characters go into an apprenticeship in Google, where the average age of the employees is around 25. Former salespeople, they struggle to find their way around the most sophisticated tech company in the world with the help of some much younger co-workers.
To their amazement, they find that they have even more to offer than their younger counterparts due to their knowledge of the fact that sales are about reaching the most people possible in the shortest time. This is a lesson they learned on the streets as salesmen, long before Google was even invented.
They bring this idea to their team and use it to gain one of the biggest clients Google ever had. And all they had to do was to convince a local pizza shop owner that he needed to expand his reach, even if he was only trying to reach a local audience!
Pretty amazing when you think about it! The fact that you can use a global platform to just focus on your local area is nothing short of genius and Google is a tool that you can use to achieve that.
How Google Helps with Local Search Results
So how do you optimize your pages for local search results to gain your local audience and clientele? The shorter answer is that you create content that your local audiences will love. But there’s a lot more to it than that.
Using Citations to Increase Results
One way that you can increase the reach of your message to your local audience is to use citations. That’s right! Merely citing quotes from influencers that appeal to your geographical audience helps you to reach people that you would not ordinarily reach. For example, if you are trying to appeal to local customers about a pizza place, like the man in the Google movie, you should consider what is important to local customers. Why do people come to the pizza restaurant in the first place?
One reason may be the local hospitality. They get to know the owners and the staff, and they enjoy the atmosphere of the local establishment. Perhaps it is a unique sauce they use that was handed down through several generations. Whatever it is, there’s a reason the locals love the place, and it is essential to focus on those factors.
When you create your content, think regarding what appeals to your local clientele first and organize your content with that in mind. Don’t make too many references to other places. Keep it local and mention landmarks residents are familiar with.
By doing this, you are establishing an atmosphere of trust in your business and appealing to local people more. But what about SEO? What keywords should you use to appeal to the searches of local people? First, you need an understanding of what terms they might use to search for the local place of business. In the case of the pizza parlor, you can talk to the local restaurant owner to find out what their customers like.
If you are the one who owns the local establishment, you probably have an idea better than anyone what your local customers want. Use this information to brainstorm keywords and think about the types of content they would want to see.
The List Method
When you are brainstorming ways to create your SEO content for local audiences, consider making a list of all of the things you want to include. By listing the elements that appeal to your local customers, you may be able to tap into the most important aspects of your business for your local customers. This will help you to fine-tune your content so that it appeals to your local audience.
But remember, you also need to get it to show up in the searches. While many of your searches may occur from other locations, such as people looking for places to eat outside your area, local people will also search for your business. This is especially true if they are just “passing through” and looking for a place to eat (in the case of the pizza restaurant), or if locals are looking for an alternative place to eat in the area.
Think like the searcher and consider what you would want to find when it comes to your local business. Let’s say you own a crafts business in your area. Do you sell thread, materials, and selvages? If so, you may want to include these keywords in your SEO because these may be the words that locals use to find these items.
The key to success with SEO is always to match the search with your online business, much in the same way that a sales person’s job is to match customer needs with your business. When you are creating local SEO content, you should always keep in mind what your goal is: to increase the traffic to your website by people who want what you have to offer.
Using Citations for Credibility
Back to our point about using citations. How will you fit these quotes in with your SEO content and copy? It’s not too difficult to do if you have some contacts that are willing to help you. Let’s say you are the business manager of a successful children’s shop in the real world. You have a website, and you get lots of inquiries and orders from other places. But you want to increase the number of in-store walk-ins that you get from local people. One way to do this is to get some client testimonials that you can use to illustrate how customers prefer your children’s shop over your competition.
The citations or quotes do not necessarily have to come from a CEO or business manager, clothing expert, or designer. Think about anything that can add value to your content and use quotes from clients, as well as from influencers in your industry.
How long do the citations have to be?
You do not have to include a long, rambling quote to make this effective. Shorter quotes are sometimes more effective, as long as they get the message across. Think about what you want to accomplish with the quotes. What do you want to use them for? Is it to establish more credibility with your brand so that more local people will purchase?
Whatever the reason, think about the topic of the citations or quotes before you place them in your content.
Using Citations from Other Web sites or Publications
Another way to increase your level of engagement and quality traffic from locals is to cite online publications or even landline publications that make an impact on local people. For example, if you know that people in your town read, “The New Yorker,” and your shop is located in the New York area, you could cite a quote from this publication to add credibility to what you are doing. Even if you don’t have a connection with the publication, you can quote from it if it helps improve your image, so long as you give proper credit to the person making the statement.
When do you need permission?
This brings us to the issue of copyright and permissions. Yes, we know. This is one of those technical aspects you’d rather not think about. But it is important. You don’t want to be guilty of infringement on other’s intellectual property. So always get permission from the publication if you can. If there is no way for you to get permission or you don’t get a response from them, you can quote them anyway and give them credit. You cannot get into any trouble doing this, as long as the quote is accurate and you credit both the publication and the person for the statement.
That being said, there is a much better way.
Introducting The Hoth
This brings us to telling you what we do. At The Hoth, we understand the importance of SEO for both your global audience online, as well as your local clientele. In fact, for some business, it is more important to appeal to your local audience than to appeal to a wider global or national audience who may never come into your place of business.
If your business is set up as an ordering or distribution center where you ship out goods from your store, doing global promotions are also needed. But for businesses who need local clients such as restaurant owners and others, it is critical to increasing your level of traffic and engagement for your local area.
After all, it’s hard to download a pizza or burrito, right? Humor aside, if you need an agency to help you accomplish this, we can do it.
Getting the Right Connection to Authority Sites
One of the reasons why some sites are so different from their competition is that they are well-connected to some high-authority sites. News agencies such as the Associated Press and many others who might be helping with this process. One of the best-outsourced SEO management and link building teams on the internet today for these types of services is The Hoth.
Also, The Hoth can create local citations that work with your site and help you compete with similar businesses in your area. They get you names, phone numbers, addresses, and other geographical citations that seamlessly work with your websites so that you will get the results you need.
The Hoth will not only perfect and analyze your local citations but they also check to make sure you are in the best local business directories so that you will get the best results with local people and increase your local traffic.
Remember there are other types of citations rather than just quotes that you can use to increase your local traffic. Sometimes citations are just mentions and references to your business from other search engines or directories.
At The Hoth, they offer the following types of local citations:
- Full Citation Audit: Checking to see which ones are working and which are not
- Local Citations: Getting your local citations that work with your sites, using business directories and high-authority sites
- Rich Media citations: Using videos and photos that get the attention of your target audience
- Social Media citations: Using links to social media (internal and external) to increase traffic and engagement
By integrating all of these elements together, we can create a complete network of links and citations that improve the local results of your site content.
To learn more about why customers prefer The Hoth to any other citation service and SEO agency, be sure to visit their website and see the many types of different services they have to offer. Local SEO optimization is a critical part of your online promotional strategy.