Local SEO is a complicated game and something that many businesses still struggle with you might know a lot of different SEO strategies and tactics but tailoring them to a local SEO campaign isn’t easy. When you’re dealing with a local audience a number of lesser heard of SEO strategies also become more important.
Another difficulty is that SEO is forever changing what might have been a great strategy last month might not be a good one today. But we can help! Today we’re going to be taking a look at how local SEO is likely to be in 2018 and will examine the important SEO strategies you need to know about.
Citations have been a mainstay of SEO for a long time and that isn’t going to change in 2018, in fact, citations are arguably now one of the most if not the most important factor when it comes to Local SEO.
The NAP is now more important than ever and for those of you who don’t know what that means it stands for the name, address and phone number of your business on another website. Citations do come in many forms but hitting all three areas of the NAP is important, backlinks are good as well but not essential.
When it comes to building your local SEO strategy getting good high-quality citations should be one of your main priorities. You should also be aiming to expand the range of citations you get as well. Business directories and sites like Yelp are good starting points but one of the key areas for you to focus on for 2018 is variety.
A citation on a popular local blog or news website, for example, will do a lot of good. You should also try to get citations on industry related websites for example if your business is selling cakes then try to get citations on bakery or cooking related websites.
Everyone thinks of keywords when it comes to SEO and while they are still very important when it comes to local SEO citations can do so much. The right mention (especially if it’s the full NAP) can do a lot of good and turn a struggling local business into a huge local success. However, they can be tricky and if you get ot wrong first time it could have a detrimental impact on your local rankings so unless you know what you’re doing I would always recommend using a citation building service.
Reviews are a tricky one there is an element of risk that comes with reviews which can make them off-putting for local businesses. After all, if you have poor quality keywords or simply bad copywriting you can go back and change it can’t you?
But if you get a bad review removing it can be a lot more difficult if not impossible but despite the risks reviews, particularly online reviews are very important. Reviews build credibility and that is essential for a local business especially those in competitive industries. so, try not to worry one or two bad reviews are likely not going to be enough to sink a business.
That doesn’t mean you should be lax though you should always do your best to avoid bad reviews if you can. Two areas you need to focus on with online reviews is the positivity and the consistency the first point is pretty obverse isn’t it? But the second might not be. Only having a handful of positive reviews that are months apart isn’t going to do much to help your SEO ranking.
So, you should be aiming to get as many customers as you can to positively review your business. This might sound tricky but there are a number of ways you can do it. Offering an added incentive is always a good idea, but social media is also a great platform to use to encourage reviews.
Now we all know that keywords are essential in an effective SEO strategy and while they are equally important in a local SEO strategy as well there is a big difference. The title of this section is “local” keywords after all and there is an important difference between them and regular keywords.
Local keywords are words that your local customers will use this can be tied into your location, for example, your town or cities name or it could be local slang to give just a few examples. You should build your website’s content around these local keywords, so you can better attract people from your local community.
General keywords are still perfectly viable, but you shouldn’t solely use them you need to think about what your potential local customers will search for and then implement that into your content. And don’t worry if that means these keywords are getting overly long either because that isn’t always a bad thing.
Long-tail keywords aren’t often highly regarded in many SEO strategies especially those aiming at a more global audience however with a local SEO strategy they can be very helpful.
Long-tail keywords are just more often to be used by your local audience because they better reflect and match your local customer’s behaviour and therefore are much more valuable when it comes to local SEO.
Long-tail keywords have much less volume when compared to simpler more general keywords but the trade-off is that they will almost always have a better conversion rate. The right long-tail keywords are a local businesses best friend so don’t be put off and find a way to use them when you can.
A Well-Rounded Approach
The final tip we have for you as part of our guide is the importance of a well-rounded approach all too often local businesses will focus on only one key area of their local SEO strategy. You might see results quickly by using more long-tail keywords but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother with other areas like citations.
When it comes to a high-quality and successful local SEO strategy scope is very important certain parts might be more successful than others, but you need to do everything you can in order to get the best results possible.
Remember quality and consistency is key and there are a variety of analytic tools that can help you. Local SEO is a very different beast to traditional marketing so take your time and use a variety of strategies to achieve the best results.