Rather than spending time explaining local SEO in an analytical or definitive way, this article will discuss local SEO(search engine optimization) as it relates to companies in St. George, Utah using examples.
In order to follow this guide it is important to understand the basic premise of the topic.
What is local SEO?
In its simplest form, local SEO refers to search engine optimization based on targeted keywords in a targeted location.
An example of this might be a local plumbing company. While this company might wish they could rank for the keywords “plumbing company”, that is not reality. Unless they have a very large budget, and a ton of time on their hands, it is not going to happen.
On the other hand, trying to rank for, “plumbing company in St. George Utah”, is very attainable. By targeting a location as well as keywords, you have narrowed your competition tremendously. Not only has the competition been reduced, but your perspective clientele is more targeted to your business location.
It does not really help your plumbing business, if you receive a call from a person in New York with a leaky faucet. You are located in St. George Utah!
By using “local” seo we are able to target the right clients, in the right way, and reduce our competition.
Now that we know what local seo is, let’s start with some examples and ways, you, as a business owner can create your own local seo.
The examples I am going to use are from some of the websites Launch A Page has created and optimized to target very specific things in very specific locations.
Depending on the type of business, we structure your local seo campaign in a way that seems natural for your business while achieving optimum results. We would not use the same strategies for a local ice cream shop as we might for a multi city accounting firm.
To start off with an example, I am going to use one of our most recent website development projects. It is still far from finished and has a lot of room for improvement on the SEO side of things but it can help to better illustrate what I mean.
The website is found at Zionviewrv.com. This website is designed to direct customers looking for an RV site in St, George, Ut, Hurricane, Ut, Springdale, Ut, or anywhere else close to Zion National Park to click on a link to book an RV site.
When you look at their website you will notice a few things right off the bat. On their homepage there are multiple instances of “rv park”. There are also location specific keywords in just the general context. These keywords will provide the backbone for the rest of our targeted campaign.
Create supporting articles for Local SEO
After creating the main homepage we need to create supporting posts or articles. These are used to back up our basis for google to rank us for those keywords.
In the Zion View RV website, we have structured this as more of a tourist information site. We provide a list of restaurants, attractions, rental places, hikes, galleries, and things to do near to Zion, Hurricane, St. George, Washington and Springdale. We link each of these to their google maps directions page. This provides validity that we actually want to discuss these locations. We then create a specific article that discusses many aspects of that attraction.
The articles we create are anywhere from 600-1800 words. These articles are used for two purposes. Number one, to help Zion View RV customers navigate the area. Number two, to provide a very geospecific network for the keywords in our website.
By linking from our website back and forth to the articles we create on these specific locations, it provided massive amounts of evidence that Zion View RV is in fact located near Zion National Park.
When we discuss hikes, rock climbing routes, restaurants and galleries at Zion National Park and backlink it to our homepage it creates a much stronger argument to google rankings that we do in fact belong at the top of google for an rv park near Zion.
This in a nutshell is local seo.
Let’s look at another example. We can use the website you are currently on. If you notice, we have a portfolio page on our website. This portfolio page is designed to showcase all of our work and provide a selling point to a potential customer.
While it does this job very well and provides a great look at to what Launch A Page is capable of, that is not its only purpose.
Each website has a title that includes the location for which it was created. Each article talks about the design inspiration and SEO needs of that specific industry or business while providing huge amounts of location specific authority for Launch A Page.
When we talk about how we had to create custom content for Splash Doctor to try to help them rank for swimming pool service in St. George, what we are really doing, is talking about SEO, and collocating it with our website company.
Local SEO does not have to be singular in purpose and useless information. To further illustrate our point we can use another local SEO example, Redwood Roofs. This roofing company like most of our service industry businesses uses a gallery of their recent work projects. This gallery includes photos, headlines, map locations and paragraphs discussing their roofing job in detail.
The article discusses the city the work was performed in. We talk about the climate of that city and the hazards and issues associated with that type of weather. Review the many different shingle types they had to choose from and what they ultimately selected. We then talk about repairs vs re-roofing.
All of these very topics are not only designed to showcase to their future clients their expertise in the business, but are designed to provide the local SEO they need to rank for the cities they want to work in.
Use Photographs to Boost Local SEO
Another item that is quite often overlooked in local SEO, is using local photographs to boost your relevancy. When you have a job, restaurant, rental company, or tourist attraction that is discussed in your business website, to provide local geospecific targeting, including a picture of that location can be quite beneficial.
There are three basic rules we follow when using photos for local SEO.
- The photo must be owned and original by the person posting the article
- The photo must be titled before uploading to target the keywords and location. For example a picture of a roof install in Santa Cruz might be titled “redwood roofs installed an asphalt shingle roof in Santa Cruz California.jpg”.
- The image “alt” tag must be used to tell the search engine crawlers what you want that image to rank for. We usually make the alt tag the same as our image file name to make things simpler
If you follow these three rules for uploading images, your local SEO articles will rank much higher.
Use headlines to show the focus of your article
The third and final thing a company can do to provide more authority in their local SEO is to use strategically placed headlines in their articles.
When you discuss a topic like the rv rental company near Zion did, of a restaurant to eat at. A good idea is to have an h2 or h3 html heading, that sums up the paragraphs. For instance. If you talk about eating a Murder Burger at Oscar’s in Zion, create a headline. Something that says “Go to Oscar’s for the best hamburger near Zion national park”.
This headline tells the search engines that this is one of the most important pieces of content in your article. It will help that article to rank for the keyword Zion National Park. This in turn adds validity to the site that posted the article. In this case it would be the RV park.
As you can see, local SEO is an incredible amount of work. Creating interesting, relevant content that is location specific for your company is absolutely critical. If a search engine thinks your content is spammy or just not worth their time, they will not even index your post. You will have worked on it for nothing.
Follow some of these tips and tricks in the local SEO world. You will see your website ranked higher than you ever though possible. It will rank not only in the organic search engine results, but in the google business listings too.