Transcript For The Benefits of Local SEO – 147;
Jesse Dolan: Without a focus on local SEO and your business isn’t going to get found for searches that originate from or contain your geographic location.
Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan. We’re going to be talking today about local SEO. Imagine that, right? But no, specifically the benefits of local SEO and why it’s important to talk about local SEO, not just SEO in general. So I want to start off by sharing a graphic that Sue and I use often for a webinar presentation that we’ll give on a regular basis. And this is kind of cheesy, I know, but it’s the definition of SEO. And so what it says here is SEO, search engine optimization, the methods used to boost the ranking or frequency of a website and the results returned by search engine in an effort to maximize user traffic to the site, right?
Now, the key takeaway here in little red arrow is pointing towards methods, right? Because when we think about SEO, we don’t think about what it does, we think about what it is or the question behind, the question here, right? So when we think about SEO, we think about the methods to boost rankings and traffic to the site. And really at the end of the day, the thing that we care about here is the methods, right? That’s bar none the number one thing that we’re worried about. And I think when we talk about methods and then apply the local aspect to it, that’s where the nuance is here. So what makes local SEO different than SEO is the local, the geographic location, the backyard, right? My town, my city, things like that. And if you’re not going to be adding those geographic keywords to your methods and your tactics for how you’re going to optimize your website, then you’re not going to get found for local.
And the key thing about local SEO is this is what’s going to allow you to be shown for searches that originate from or contain your target geographic area. What do we mean by that? So originate from. If I do flower shop near me, right? Google knows where I’m at with some precision depending on if I’m on mobile or where my IP address is, whatever, but I don’t have to define a geographic location in my search query if I do like near me or in my town or whatever, right? So if you are not optimizing your website and your business to let Google know where you are located and where you serve, then it’s going to be hard for Google or other search engines to kind of pull that relevancy in, right? Like if I’m looking for something near me, if Google doesn’t know where this business is and if the business happens to be near me, it’s not going to get shown in the results, right?
So you want to be optimizing yourself to be relevant to the area that you want to serve in your own backyard for those near me to type searches. Now, that’s, again, in the category of searches that originate from this geographic location, okay? Even if people don’t use the phrase near me, and you can do this as an experiment on your own, you can just search for flower shop, flower shop near me, you should get pretty similar results, especially if you’re on mobile. You don’t have to put that geo designation in there. But then when… And both of those, again, are like originating from the geolocation you want to serve, right?
Now, the other part is when a search contains the geolocation, right? So now if you do flower delivery in Minneapolis, you may get some different results of flower delivery, flower delivery near me, and flower delivery Minneapolis. And the interesting part about something like flower delivery Minneapolis is pull back for a second and think about your business. If you are a business, particularly if it’s like a business to business product or service you have, or when people are maybe either from out of town doing searches or people are out of town doing a search in that location, right? So let’s just say if I have a child away at college and their car breaks down, they’re like, “Dad, what do I do? I got to get my radiator fixed,” whatever, I’m going to be like, “All right, where are you?” Whatever, Austin, Texas. All right, radiator repair, Austin, Texas. I’m not in Austin, right? So this search is not originating from Austin, but I’m putting Austin, Texas in my search query to kind of narrow down the results. I want to see radiator shops in Austin, Texas.
So the important part where to underscore that is usually when somebody’s searching for something in that city but they’re not located physically in that city, right? It’s not originating from that city, there’s a bit of urgency or a bit of they don’t know the local area. They don’t have little black book or contacts or know the good ole boy network or the good ole girl network, if that’s even a phrase, it should be a phrase, and they are going to do a Google search. From a marketing standpoint and applying local SEO to this, we definitely want to be found for those searches. That’s somebody who needs something and doesn’t know who else to contact. That’s your opportunity to make a great first impression to capture that business and not have somebody else get the business of course, right? So again, that’s an example of a search containing the geographic keywords, but not originating from that geographic area.
The good part about local SEO is if you’re doing it right, you should be able to get traction on both of those. You don’t have to optimize with keywords of near me on your website, right? If you let Google know where you’re at and where you serve, then it should be able to ascertain that you do serve this area and you’ll show up for near me searches or just flower shop searches when it’s in the area that’s relevant to you. Likewise, somebody does a search from Chicago, maybe they’re looking to get flowers delivered to their significant other in Minneapolis because they’re away. If they’re searching for flower delivery Minneapolis, again, if you’re doing it right, you should show up there as well.
So that’s a quick distinction on kind of two different ways that local SEO comes into play for us and some things that we have to be aware of because there’s a slightly different intent and maybe purpose, right? For both of those different searchers. Again, the good news is if you’re doing local SEO the right way, you should be accomplishing that.
Hey everyone, just a quick message about our free SEO audit tool on localseotactics.com and we’ll get right back to the show. If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, go on out to localseotactics.com/freeseoaudit, or look for the yellow button up on the top right corner, click that. And it’s going to take just a couple seconds. You enter in the page that you want to optimize, what you’re looking for the audit to score against, enter in that page, enter in the keyword you’re looking to get optimized for and enter in your email address, click the button, and it’s going to take a few seconds and then it’s going to send you off a PDF report via email.
It’s a great report. It’s going to kind of give you an overall score of some vital SEO areas for that page and for your website at large even though it’s auditing this page. That’s going to tell you some of the good things that are happening, some of the bad things that are happening too, and give you basically a checklist of some of the things that you need to show up and what you can do to improve your SEO for that page for that keyword that you’re auditing. Now you can use this as many times as you want. You can do multiple keywords, multiple pages, multiple keywords on the same page. You can even use this to check against your competitors, right? If you want to do a little reverse engineering, see how they’re scoring for a certain keyword, what they may be doing good that you’re not and some things to improve there. So lots of different ways to use it completely free. Again, go on to localseotactics.com/freeseoaudit, or look for the yellow button in the top right corner of the website.
A couple things to think about when we think local SEO, again, the geolocation part of it here is where we’re drilling down into is what does that even mean? In my example, I’m using cities, Austin, Texas, Minneapolis, but it doesn’t have to just be a city. You’ve got cities, towns, unincorporated areas, smaller towns, things like that, but then also you have counties or down in Louisiana, parishes. You have states. If you’re serving a number of cities or areas within a state, I would definitely also optimize some pages on my website for the state, not just for the city, right? To kind of draw some relevancy to that as well, particularly if your service is something that isn’t just within a three mile area where your business is located. So go after the state.
Region, whether it’s Midwest, Deep South, West Coast, right? We kind of have these slang references to the overall regions. Now I’m talking at larger United State regions there, but within your state. I’m in Minnesota here, right? So we have the North Shore up on Lake Superior. That’s a region. You can optimize for that. If people are searching for that, then you can optimize for that and be found for it. Neighborhoods, right? Particular developments neighborhood kind of pocket areas, whether they’re actual names or even slang names, right? If you’re not sure if something even registered, it’s like, is that like a real neighborhood designation, real quadrant for my city? Google search for it. If you do a Google search, let’s say for Minneapolis, Minnesota, Google should give you a result that shows where Google has a graphic on the map that defines the Minneapolis area. It understands Minneapolis and this is the geographic kind of zone for it. So whatever your slang things you’re thinking of, just do a Google search. And if Google can stand what you mean and show you some results, then you’re good there, right?
So a couple more. Zip codes, right? That’s like a definitely defined area, the zip code, something Google’s very aware of, and also area codes. Now, if I missed anything, hopefully this kind of has your brain thinking how do you define your geographic areas? It’s all going to apply win and doubt. Just do a test on Google to see if it registers with Google if they understand what you mean when you type this thing in.
Okay, so that’s your geographic areas. Now, what the heck do you do with that? On your website, you’re going to want to make sure you’re building out content talking about those areas. Wherever it’s relevant to you, you’re going to want to mention that city, that state, that region, things like that. Mix that into your content. We’ve talked before and we have episodes about location pages, targeting cities explicitly with a page that’s optimized for that city plus a service keyword or a product keyword, things like that.
And don’t be afraid to multiply content on your website. Let’s just say I have two cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, then you have three or four products and services, you can have a page about radiator repair Minneapolis and a page about radiator repair St. Paul. Those pages can be very similar, but they are unique and different. They have different URLs, different content, different headlines. As long as you make them unique enough, there’s no problem. That’s not like duplicate content or anything like that, but you’re going to want to build those out and be specific to those locations just like you’re specific in your products and services that you’re building out as well.
The other thing you can do is on certain pages have lists like here’s all the cities that we serve, right? Here’s all the zip codes we serve. Don’t mash all the stuff into the bottom of all your pages and be super spammy. It’s not going to work. That’s going to be bad content for you, but you can build out pages and pockets of information here like in kind of pages within that same chapter, right? Tell a little bit of that story to Google about the locations that you’re relevant to.
So with that, kind of in summary, again, what are the benefits of local SEO? That you’re going to show up for people searching for things where the search originates in the area you’re serving or when it originates from outside but contains those keywords. You’re also going to get that benefit of if you’re doing this properly for local SEO, that also means like your H1 let’s say on this Minneapolis radiator repair page, you have the word Minneapolis and radiator repair on that page probably high on that page. So from a conversion standpoint, right?
If you are ranking and get that traction for your local SEO, when somebody clicks on your page and visits your website, they’re also going to see Minneapolis radiator repair. Hey, I’m in the right spot, right? So it spills over from SEO into UX and conversion and ultimately gets you the business, which is what we’re here for. We’re not just here to rank high, we’re here to grow our businesses, right?
So there you go. Hopefully that helps explain kind of what local SEO is. By no means is that end all be all definition of local SEO or all the things you should do or all the aspects, but we’ve been having some conversations lately around this topic and I thought it would be a good one to share with everybody and shed some light on it and hopefully open you up to maybe a few veins of thoughts there.
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