Boost Your Local SEO Rankings
Whether you’ve got a local site with lagging SEO results or the tactics below aren’t in your SOP, follow these practical content-associated recommendations for a boost in your local SEO rankings. We’ll discuss:
- How to implement a sitewide internal linking strategy
- How to incorporate Geographical Entities to impact your local SEO
- How much impact Title Tag optimization has on your rankings
- To focus your energy on keywords that drive traffic and conversions
Purposeful Internal Linking
Execute an organized internal linking plan for every page and post you publish and you’ll likely beat the pants off your competition. Failing to connect relevant pages meaningfully will limit a site’s potential to rank.
Create an Effective Internal Linking Strategy
A successful internal linking strategy involves more than the concept of effortlessly linking pages on your site to other relevant pages from within the body of the text. The real benefits are achieved by developing a topical hierarchy based on keyword and topic research.
Local SEO often consists of:
- Targeting variations of high volume [CITY + CORE SERVICE] search terms (e.g., dentist Miami)
- Targeting multiple lower volume [CITY + SERVICE] search terms (e.g., dental crowns in Miami)
- Supporting all service-associated pages with closely related blog subtopics that target audiences are often searching for
Support broad topics by linking to and from related pages and subtopics. A silo structure organizes content on a specific topic. Having a silo structure in place will guide users and search engines throughout your website in a clear, understandable manner. The advantages include:
- Faster indexation of new & updated pages (increased crawl budget)
- Helps parent pages build more authority
- Authority will spread to important pages that may be difficult to build links to
- Organizing your website with silos positively impacts rankings
- Your website will have a better user experience & behavior flow
The above image shows a hybrid silo-cluster method.
Leveraging your blog posts to support and rank your service pages is essential for local business websites. This HVAC company located in New York City bested their competition by doing so. They started executing a meticulously planned blog strategy in April of 2020 and became the undisputed local authority by harnessing the traffic of nationally ranked terms.
Plan Your Anchor Text Wisely
For internal links, you can use keyword-rich anchor text within your site more often than inbound links, so the acceptable anchor text ratios between the two differ greatly. Think of your anchor text as a STRONG signal that tells Google what you want the page you are linking to rank for. Although you can have multiple exact match keyword anchors when internally linking to a page, be sure to vary the anchor text to avoid over-optimization.
Just above, I linked to another page on this site using the anchor text “anchor text ratios.” Since this section and the heading are devoted entirely to the topic of anchor text, it makes sense to link to the page.
Include Geographical Information within Pages and Posts
If you want to rank for [Niche or Service] in [City], mention the city:
- Within headings
- Within the body
- Within titles and meta descriptions
- Within anchor text for internal links
- Throughout the site on pages associated with the particular city (consider your service area pages silos when ranking multiple cities)
Be sure it appears naturally within your content and avoid overuse.
Take it one step further by including city associated entities (People, Places, and Things) in the same locations mentioned above. Mentioning geographically related entities throughout your site will significantly impact Google’s view of whether or not your site is the local authority.
You can still rank your blog posts nationally (for traffic and authority boosting purposes) while including geographical information to rank locally.
Adjust Your Title Tags and H1s Accordingly
Don’t overlook the importance of proper Title Tag optimization. Title Tags are among the strongest signals Google considers in determining page rankings.
Failure to optimize your Title Tag(s) will significantly lower your chances of achieving top rankings, even if you knock the other major points of optimization out of the park.
- Put your main keyword in the Title Tag; the closer it is to the front, the better
- Use keyword research tools to ensure you’ve made the best choices for words and phrases used
- Consider including a secondary keyword within your Title Tag if it isn’t going to have its own page
- Make sure you’re not duplicating Title Tags or causing cannibalization by making your Title Tag a variation too closely related to another page’s main keyword or topic
Google Now Changes Your Title Tag 33.4% of the Time
Google’s recently switched to relying less on what we use for our title tags to generate SERP titles. When Google ignores the title tag, it uses the H1 50.76% of the time instead. So make sure you include the main keyword in the H1.
To minimize the chances of Google rewriting title tags, the best approach is to craft the best titles possible. Getting some of your titles rewritten is inevitable, though. One way you can keep track of your rewritten titles is to use Ahrefs’ site auditor tool.
Performance Driven Keyword Research
Put Conversions First
The main goal of Local SEO is to acquire leads that will result in sales of products and services. An essential part of effective research involves determining which keywords will result in conversions. Put conversions first by prioritizing supporting pages required to boost your conversion terms.
Attack low-hanging fruit by:
- Using SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Google Keyword Planner to first map out a complete list of your niche related possibilities
- Track your rankings closely and be prepared to alter your monthly strategy to prioritize keywords ripe for the taking
- Checking Google Search Console for impressions and other traction your site is getting that may not be visible on the surface
A Profit Mentality with Keyword and Rankings Awareness
There’s an ebb and flow of opportunities to rank during each stage of an SEO campaign. The difference between campaign success and failure often hinges on managing your budget versus your actions. Proper keyword research from the start combined with rankings awareness yields dividends every step of the way. You’ll experience quicker and deeper wins building out the topics that pop while avoiding the creation of poor-performing pages.
Put more energy toward keyword sets associated with the services gaining traction in the SERPs. This will result in more traffic to your site. With more traffic comes authority, and with more authority comes the opportunity to rank for more keywords. This approach will help you obtain the most leads you can as quickly as possible.
Do you agree the techniques in this post are probably the top 4 missed opportunities to impact organic traffic for a Local SEO campaign significantly? Comment below and let us know!