After you’ve mastered the basics you can let the real work begin! The following secondary tactics can be extremely effective but like most good things, nothing comes without effort. Many of the tactics listed here in Phase 4 of our Massive Guide to Local Search Tactics are not one time tasks so be prepared to start working and never stop.
Go After the Long Tail
Essentially the “long tail” is about selling less of more. Ultimately it will return more results than if you went after just a few high profile keywords (the head terms). For example, a head term (which is hard to rank for) would be “Furniture”. The long tail keyword examples of the furniture category could include such phrases as Furniture Showroom New York City, Oak Bedroom Furniture Ohio, High Quality Kids Furniture Miami and Contemporary Grey Couch Boston.
The long tail is, well, long. It can return much more traffic than if you just focus on one key phrase. You obviously don’t want to avoid the head terms. It’s just that we shouldn’t obsess and put all our efforts into ranking for a few terms like some companies do. If you understand the concept of the long tail, there is ultimately much more traffic there AND it’s easier to get.
If you can get local rankings for highly competitive terms in your area without killing yourself I say go for it. I’ve done it. But many times I’ve found that continually tackling the long tail brings in more traffic and helps to build up the overall reach of the site more than just continually pounding on 5-10 top level terms that you may or may not get.
My approach might be different than some too. I focus on content development and landing pages built specifically around priority terms. It’s hard and time consuming. But when you go after the long tail in this way you can get top rankings very fast and drive much more traffic than putting the same amount of effort into ranking for one or two competitive terms. It’s not always the case but it’s where we’ve seen a lot of success in developing targeted, local traffic.
Optimize Your Site & Priority Content for Mobile
More and more people are searching “on the go” which makes it imperative that your business is optimized for mobile tablets and devices. That means that your website information should be easy to read, easy to share and easy to engage with on all mobile devices. Mobile usage is growing every year and it’s a very important part of local optimization online. It’s going to become more and more important as the internet is accessible in more and more ways. (Think Google Glasses, embedded chips and other futuristic technologies)
Develop Local Landing Pages
Landing pages are individual web pages (other than your homepage) that visitors see in the search results. Work on developing keyword/location specific pages that relate to your business.
Example: SEO Company North Canton, Ohio — Search Engine Optimization North Canton, Ohio — Local Search Optimization North Canton, Ohio
These are all examples of individual landing pages that you could develop with unique content. The more content that you have on your site related to what you do, the more you’ll show up for those specific searches in your area.
Bonus: If you’re running pay-per-click campaigns you can use these pages and link them up to the individual keywords in your campaign to increase your quality scores and conversion optimization.
Create Valuable Content and Never Stop
In addition to setting up a blog and having an easy way to publish and manage content, you need a plan in place to actively create valuable content related to what you do.
This is one of the most difficult and time consuming tactics but it’s the #1 thing that search engines like Google want to see. YOU MUST CREATE CONTENT AND NEVER STOP.
Look at if from Google’s point of view. Who would you rather link to (all things being equal), a website with 10 pages that’s never updated or a website with 1000 pages on the same topic that’s being updated 3 times a week? Hopefully you see my point.
Google knows that it’s HARD to create valuable content. That’s the way they like it and for those willing to take the time and invest in content creation it will pay off.
Embed a Google Map on Your Site
One thing that might help Google understand where you’re located is to embed a Google Map on your site that shows the address and location of your business. If anything, it will help your customers find you and that’s the goal of all this, right?
Use Schema Markup Code
Schema markup code basically allows you to put simple code on your website that highlights important information about your business and location. This is a rare thing with SEO because it’s a simple tactic and search engines automatically treat this information as important information. Take advantage of it!
An example would be the following for the phone number field: Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”>330-266-1188</span>
When it comes to local, there is one all-important aspect of schema that you should focus on first which is your company name, address, city, state, zip code and telephone number.
Beyond that consider all the options that apply to your business like payments types to testimonials.
Develop and Optimize Videos
Video can show up directly within search results. Ask yourself what you can do to optimize your videos so the search engines know that the content is related to a local business.
If you haven’t thought about developing videos as a part of your internet marketing strategy it’s a great tactic. Also consider that YouTube is one of the top 10 websites on the planet. People are always looking for information on YouTube and it can be a great outlet for you to increase your visibility online.
Optimize Website Photos and Galleries
Optimizing your photos is not only a great local SEO tactic, it’s a core SEO tactic. Consider everything from the file name of every image to the alt tag on the page.
The Massive Guide to Local Search Tactics
Phase 4: Secondary Onsite Local Strategies