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3 Best Methods for Enhancing Local SEO (And Beating Your Competition)

By Snap Agency September 21, 2013

You are a local business. You service a certain geographic region and you want your digital marketing to do the same. When a potential customer is searching for your products or services, you want your business to be found – not your competition. Refining your internet marketing to your service area is achievable through local SEO.

Search engines have recognized the growing trend of their products being used for local discovery. It’s no longer required to enter your city or state in a location-based search. Search engines can deliver local results based on your IP address. Here’s how you make sure that your business is recognized for the area it serves and captures local web traffic:

1. Localize Your Keyword Research

We’ve given you tips to improve your keyword research tactics, now it’s time to apply them to local search. Google’s Keyword Planner, formerly the Keyword Tool, gives you the ability to narrow your keyword research down to the zip code. For each of your service areas, conduct separate keyword research to understand how people are looking for your business. The search volume and popularity of keywords may vary from location to location. Be sure you identify these differences because they’ll become useful as you implement your local SEO strategy in the next two marketing activities.

2. Local SEO works best with individual landing pages

If you’re websites lists all of your locations or service areas on one page, it’s time to separate these out. Combining these locations won’t help you as you’re try to rank for each location by itself. By dividing these locations into separate landing pages, you will be able to optimize each page individually with the location-specific keywords you uncovered above. Search engines will then be able to display your landing pages independently, depending on the origin of the search. Have one address per landing page and use keywords that are relevant only to that location.

3. Populate location-based online directories

By now you’re familiar with the location-based search engine result page. It looks something like this.

local SEO search results
Local search results for gas stations near Raleigh, NC

The handy map and directory of search results helps searchers find businesses in their area. Google delivers these location-based results by relying on data from the thousands of online directories your business could be listed in. These include Google+ Local for Business, Citysearch, Yelp, Yellow Pages and many more. If your business and its information appears consistently across multiple channels, search engines can be assured of your relevancy and that you conduct business in the location you claim. Again, these local directory listings present an opportunity for you to utilize the location-specific keywords from the first recommended local SEO method above. They also allow customers to review your business, a factor that aids in where you rank against your competition.

Attacking local SEO from these three angles will capture a greater share of the local search market and funnel searchers to your business (and away from your competitors!).