One of the advantages of the web is you’re not limited to local searches in any way. You can visit websites hosted in Romania, buy stuff from a store in China, and spend your day reading American blogs. Ideally, your blog should be just as global, with an audience from all over the world. However, there are times when it makes sense to keep things a bit more local.
Using ‘local’ SEO, you can target users in specific locations. Although that usually translates to fewer visitors, it also means there’s a lot less competition when it comes to search engines.
In this article, we’ll go over the differences between local and regular SEO. Then we’ll break down four tips to help you rank your blog locally. Let’s get to work!
What is ‘Local’ SEO?
The whole point of SEO is to get your blog in front of as many eyes as possible. To do that, we target keywords with decent search volume, where you can beat your competitors.
That’s the bread-and-butter approach to SEO. However, for some types of blogs, you may want to use an approach that focuses on location.
Let’s say, for example, you have a blog that focuses on reviewing restaurants and bars within a specific area:
Trying to rank for keywords such as ‘restaurant reviews’ wouldn’t make much sense in this case. Instead, you want people to find your blog when they look for terms such as:
- Best places to eat in XYZ
- What the best restaurants are in XYZ
- Where to get drunk in XYZ
The common denominator, in all those cases, is the location parameter. That same approach also applies if you offer services or sell products locally. It’s much easier to make a sale to customers who are physically close, so it makes sense to focus your efforts on targeting them.
A Quick Guide to Improve Your Blog’s Local SEO (4 Methods)
Improving your blog’s local SEO is all about focusing on the right audience. Let’s go over some ways you can do that!
1. Set Up a Listing on Google My Business
If you use Google, then you’re already familiar with business listings. When you look up local businesses, they’re the little widgets that show up including all the information you need, including reviews:
Anyone can set up a Google My Business listing. It’s great for local SEO purposes since it enables people to get your contact information, opening hours, and check out reviews, all at a glance. However, we’re talking about local SEO for blogs, so setting up a listing only works in one of these circumstances:
- You run a blog as a way to promote a local business.
- You sell products or services through your blog.
What you can’t do is set up a business listing for a blog that doesn’t engage in any type of business. If you fit into one of those two earlier categories, then go ahead and sign up on Google My Business.
2. Optimize Your Metadata for Local Searches
When we talk about a website’s metadata, we’re referring to its page titles and meta descriptions. The more engaging and relevant your metadata is, the more likely it is that people will click on your pages within search engine results.
If you’re going to target a local audience through your blog, your metadata needs to reflect that. In practice, that means making sure you include the locations you want to target within both elements:
One common question when it comes to local SEO is how specific you want to be about location. When it comes to metadata, it’s usually a safe bet to focus on either cities or neighborhoods. The more competition there is for SEO at a local level, the more specific you’ll want to be about location, which brings us to the next method.
3. Add a Location Page to Your Blog
Once more, this approach only applies if you run a business that operates alongside your blog. If that’s the case, then your website should also include a location page.
Location pages tend to be very straightforward. Here’s what you want to include in yours:
- Embed a map that shows your business location.
- Contact information and operating hours.
- Your address, in full, on top of that embedded map.
One approach that works well for local SEO is including a simple blurb within your location page when you mention its address. For example, instead of writing down “221B Baker Street,” you might say, “Joe’s Eatery has been a staple of 221B Baker Street, in Marylebone, London, for decades.”
That tiny bit of backstory enables you to include your business name alongside the address, which is better for SEO.
4. Target Local Search Terms
Ultimately, SEO usually comes down to keywords. If your blog content targets terms people are looking for and it’s better than the competition, it should outrank them.
The same applies to local SEO. Depending on where you do business, the competition may very well be non-existent. I’ve seen blogs and stores get away with absolutely terrible websites that manage to rank in the first results for searches.
Whether you’re using blogging as a way to promote your services or you just want to focus on a local niche, you need to target the right keywords.
The easiest way to do that is to take the search terms you’re already using and add locators to them based on which areas you want to focus on. Basically the same thing you do with your metadata, only on a larger scale since we’re talking about entire blog posts.
Focusing on local SEO is not something that works for every blog. Usually, it only makes sense if you provide some sort of service or sell products. In those cases, you can use the blog to promote the business, and local SEO helps you put content in front of people in your area.
If you want your blog to feature prominently on local searches, you need to change the way you approach SEO. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
- If you provide a service or have a physical store, set up a listing on Google My Business.
- Optimize your metadata for local searches.
- Add a location page to your blog.
- Target local search terms.
Do you have any questions about how to improve your blog’s local SEO rankings? Let’s go over them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.