Local pages are an effective medium for marketing your business through the World Wide Web. With local pages, you can promote your brand, services and products, bringing them to the attention of people within your locality at the exact time they are looking for them.Local pages and local SEO work hand in hand with the help of a variety of tactics such as; online reviews, high page ranking on search engines like Google, and being in business directories such as Yelp, Bing Places for Business, Yellowbook, Google My Business, and so on.
You’d be surprised at the millions of customers that run local searches every day with the hopes of finding the best businesses and service providers in their locality to satisfy their needs. If you are one of these businesses, you can increase your chances of being found and visited by potential customers within your area with the help of local pages.
With local pages, you can optimise your website to rank better and target your local potential customers. Even if your target customers are in the vicinity or outskirts of your locality, local pages can still help get their attention and drive them towards your business. With effectively-written local pages that are optimised for searches in your area, your potential customers will have an easier time finding your physical business premises and patronising your services.
We can’t delve into local pages without first having a clear understanding of what local SEO is. If you run a local business, such as having people visit your offices regularly for services, or run a shop, you need to optimise your website so that people will be able to easily find your real world address. That is, instead of focusing on just being easily found online, local SEO makes it easier for your business to also be found offline.
Generally, optimising for local SEO is easier if your business actually has a physically traceable address and an actual office. But, even if you have a physical office, you can’t optimise your website for local SEO without the right types of content. This is where local pages come in handy. That is, your primary tool for boosting local SEO is your content. This involves you writing a lot about your area and mentioning your area in your content.
By taking such an approach to creating content, you can drive more traffic to your website as well as physical traffic to your local business. There have even been cases of people seeing a significant rise in local traffic simply because they mentioned some neighbouring towns in their content. However, you can do better when it comes to local search engine optimisation.
To get the best results from your local pages, you need to first understand what local SEO ranking factors search engines, such as Google, use. By understanding these factors, you will have a better idea of what is required to successfully optimise for ranking in local search results.
Below are ranking factors relevant for local pages’ optimisation:
Which of these factors will be most relevant in your mission to boost your local SEO will depend on the nature of your specific project. But the more factors you satisfy, the higher your chances of getting the best possible desired results from your local pages.
Now that you have an understanding of local content, here’s how to ensure you generate effective local pages:
Geo-targeted pages are more effective when they have quality content of at least a thousand words. This is because a thousand words are just enough for all your local keywords, and also long enough to provide context and relevance for users. If your local pages are less than a thousand words, search engines may consider them to be too brief and so may your visitors. And, if they are longer than a thousand, your content may come across as spammy.
It’s not absolutely necessary to write exactly a thousand words, but that figure should be the minimum for all your local pages. It will provide your visitors with enough information to interact with, getting conversions, and getting best SEO results from your local pages.
Keywords that are city-specific play a vital role in helping your local pages rank. The quality of your keywords can also make the difference between the success or failure of your local content. So, you should take advantage of tools such as KWFinder for local keyword research. By integrating highly sought after keywords in your copy, search engines will find your local pages more relevant and authoritative, while audiences are more likely to find your content useful.
If you want your pages to rank in nearby cities, try researching different city-specific keywords and add them to your copy. This will increase not just your local ranking but also your ranking in the outskirts of your area and might even attract customers from these neighbouring areas.
With updates such as Hummingbird and Panda to Google’s algorithm, it has become crucial for your local copy to have a conversational tone. The need for conversational content stems from the fact that voice search is on the rise. Voice searches have an easier time finding content with a conversational tone because the voice search is typically conducted in a conversational manner. Furthermore, readers generally prefer written content with a conversational tone as it makes for easier and more engaging reading. This puts this type of content in optimal position to rank well in a semantic search.
You can keep your local content conversational by mentioning current happenings and events, as well as promotions in your locality. Ensuring the conversational tone of your content will increase its friendliness, and local flavour, all of which are features your local readers will find attractive. It will also help search engines read your content as being helpful and relevant.
Local searches are frequently changing. To ensure that your website is perceived as accurate, current and relevant, you need to add fresh local content on a frequent basis. Also, be sure to keep all local updated details stated in your local content. These details may include your NAP (name, address, and phone number), as well as your opening and closing hours, and business specialties.
Your fresh content can also include your latest sales, promotions, and campaigns. If a customer is able to find your hottest stuff on your website before it is showcased on any other platform, he/she will have every reason to keep checking back on your website for fresh offers. Also, for Google, keeping things fresh is a sign that your business is still very active and open for business.
Your local pages can be as creative as they need to be but there’s also a technical aspect to them. Optimising all aspects of your local page content will increase their ability to rank well in search results. Your optimising should extend to headings, title tags, meta descriptions, URLs, and alt text to give you an added SEO boost.
You can get the best results by inserting your local keywords into your title. Also add your local keywords in all your URL, meta descriptions and all your headings. This will help your content rank highly in local SERPs.
Local pages have a variety of benefits for a business, ranging from increasing chances of sales and success in the business’ target market, to boosting the image and brand of a business. Also, since there are more local and mobile searches occurring nowadays, quality local content will help build a connection and relationship with customers (potential and active) in your locality by providing them answers to questions and assisting them with locating services.
This means that businesses that deliver quality local pages are successfully satisfying customer needs and keeping themselves at the forefront of the minds of their potential customers. This increases the trust that not just customers, but also search engines such as Google, have in the business in question. Increased trust equals increased ranking in local SERPs.
If improperly used, local pages can result in duplicate content and even search engine penalties. But. if properly utilised, local pages can help effectively boost conversion and leads, as well as attract more foot traffic to your physical business location.
Below are three simple guidelines to create effective local pages:
In an attempt to target your audience, you might consider creating local pages that target different geographical locations and customers within them. This might not necessarily be the most effective way to proceed with creating targeted local pages.
Instead, target cities or regions that have, over time, proven to deliver the most customers and value to your business. But, it is important to verify that there is a market for you in the targeted region. If there is a market, you can begin developing local pages that will help you build meaningful relationships with the potential customers in the targeted area.
Avoid targeting too many regions, as this will lead to you likely duplicating content across your website while only switching out the locations you are writing for. Even if you don’t copy and paste, it will only result in the tedious task of your local pages writer having to say the same thing a thousand times in a thousand different ways. Avoid this, and instead be strategic in choosing which local pages you want to build out for which communities.
It is important that you create a positive and lasting first impression for visitors coming to your local pages for the first time. This means that the content of your local pages needs to actually be helpful. So, your local pages should showcase what it is your visitors need, or are at least interested in, and how your brand or products can help fulfil said needs. Your local pages should offer value to your visitors in the form of useful and well put together information. You can also add local statistics to your content to prove how effective and relevant what you have to say is to the plight of your local audience.
Also, avoid creating keyword-stuffed content that is difficult to read and not in the least bit engaging. If your local pages are unattractive or not useful to your visitors, you will have a high bounce rate and search engines will take this into consideration in reducing the rank of your website in search engine results.
Duplicate content is something both Google and visitors equally despise. If you think you are being clever by simply switching out the name of the state or city on each page, Google will not be fooled by your gimmick. So, instead of duplicating content, you should look to create pages of useful content that your visitors will actually find beneficial.
In order to accomplish this, you should build your local pages by taking into consideration the unique attributes of the location you are writing for and the people who live there that you are targeting. You can get the information you need by asking the following questions:
Use your local content to your advantage to appeal to your visitors on a personal and deeper level. Also, develop the reputation and credibility of your business by listing popular figures in the area, or provide customer testimonials or reviews from the area that show the quality and competence of your services. Mentions in popular local publications may also be useful.
Below are some of the best tools available for creating effective local pages. Some of the tools listed below can be used for free, while others charge a fee.
If you are looking for a powerful local SEO tool, SEOProfiler is something to invest in. You can use it to audit your website, for website page optimisation, identify strong and competitive keywords, as well as for identifying and removing bad backlinks. Using it might cost you a pretty penny but, if you are serious about writing quality local pages, it is a worthwhile investment.
The speed of your local pages will go a long way in determining their local SEO ranking. This is because search engines such as Google are well aware that the majority of internet users don’t have the patience for slow web pages. Slower loading speed equals higher bounce rate and less visitors, all of which will negatively impact your ranking. With PageSpeed Insights, you can effectively turn all this around as the tool can review load times of your site and also suggest how you can improve speed – all for free.
For your local content to deliver best results, it has to be of high quality. One of the indicators of high-quality content is originality. So, if your local pages contain unoriginal or plagiarised content, this will really hurt your regular SEO and local SEO rankings. With Copyscape, you can assess your content and verify that it is completely original. The tool will verify that you are not duplicating content from either outside or inside your website and will save you from being penalised by search engines. Basic Copyscape is available for free, but a thorough content checking comes at a fee.
This is a pay-to-use local listing management tool that’s also useful for finding the best places to list your business and boosting local SEO rankings. Other features include collecting online reviews and customer feedback, monitoring local search rankings according to city, discovering link opportunities and much more.
This is another local listing management tool. You can use it to claim and verify listing submissions, as well as a data aggregator for pushing listings and keeping your business visible. It can also be used to identify errors in your citations that may be negatively impacting your local SEO.
This tool can score the overall SEO strength of your website and give you insights on how to improve that score. Following these tips can have a positive impact on your local SEO. It also has an audit feature for discovering pages that need optimising.
You can use this tool to submit your NAP to local directories as well as manage and review your local listings. You can also use it to correct inaccurate data on available listings and refer to it as a comprehensive directory list.
This is a collection of tools that come with features ranging from the ability to compare the ranking of competing websites against yours on major search engines to monitoring online reviews.
This is very similar to Synup in that it lets you review analytics, monitoring, local listing management, and widgets. But, unlike most other local listing tools, Yext is automated. You can also use it to update your NAP information in real time.
You can use this to effectively build schema.org microdata thus making it easier for your site’s content to be identified and indexed by search engines. This increases your chances of showing up in relevant searches.
This is great for boosting and reinforcing your local SEO keywords. During keyword research, you will be able to identify how much traffic occurs for each specific keyword. You can also use this tool to discover fresh local keywords based on searches being performed by people in your area.
The best part about Google Adwords Keyword Planner is it is entirely free to use and can perform research based on geographic regions.
You can describe this as an SEO report card. You can get your report by submitting your website into the tool. UpCity will analyse your pages and score you out of a 100 in comparison to the pages of your competing websites. The tool is free, so you can use it as many times, and as often, as you like.
This tool will provide you with 40 different options on how you can effectively boost your local SEO rankings. You can pick as many options as you like and follow the tasks prescribed to optimise your website and boost your ranking. All this can be accessed and enjoyed at the customer-friendly price of free.
If you are in need of quality local backlinks, BuzzStream can help you fulfil your goal. It works by helping you identify and develop relationships with influencers in your locality with the aim of helping drive word-of-mouth traffic and increase your brand’s local awareness. The tool is also great for digital PR and content promotion.
This is a free local SEO tool that can help you audit and index your website’s meta data and HTML. It can also help you identify broken links that may be hurting your local SEO rankings. For Screaming Frog’s more advanced capabilities, you will need to pay a fee.
If you want your website to appear on page one of Google search results, you should check out Serplify. This web-based software is capable of automatically optimising, mass indexing, and syndicating your content. It will also add domains and locations you would like to rank for and add thousands of optimised unique pages of content for each keyword.
By offering you a detailed backlink profile for websites of your choice, this tool can improve your local SEO strategy. With Ahrefs, you will be able to see who links to your website’s local pages and what sort of anchor text they are using. The tool will also inform you of how strong your backlinks are. And, if you are a competitive person, Ahrefs can be used to see how strong the links of your competitors are in comparison to yours.
With the aforementioned local SEO tools, you will have a better chance of creating quality and high-performing local pages and content to boost your website’s ranking and online authority. You will also be able to measure your performance and tweak your pages as necessary for better results.
The written content of your local pages is important, but the links inserted them will also boost their quality and effectiveness, not to mention page ranking. Some of the best locally-relevant links include charities or schools that you’ve sponsored or volunteered with, groups you have hosted at your physical location, complementary businesses, and interviews or guest columns in local publications like newspapers.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can earn/build powerful links for your local pages. Below are some effective strategies for acquiring links to boost your local pages.
Local pages can be a great boost for local SEO and even your overall SEO. But, for best results, you need to make sure you avoid these common local content mistakes.
When it comes to local SEO, Google My Business is something you can’t afford to ignore. This is why you need to claim and optimise your Google My Business (GMB) page.
The important thing to know about setting up your GMB page and optimising it is you need to add the following:
Any business with a genuine physical address and office can list itself on Google My Business. If you have multiple business locations, each location can be listed differently on GMB, but be sure to indicate distinct details such as address and phone numbers.
Service area businesses, that is, businesses that don’t have a brick-and-mortar location and instead attend to customers in particular areas are also eligible for listing on GMB. Examples of service area businesses include courier services, plumbers, landscapers, and so on. If this is your type of business, when Google asks if you deliver your services to customers at their location, click “Yes”.
Getting listed on Google My Business to boost your local SEO is just the first step. You also need to optimise your listing by verifying your location.
To protect its users, Google goes the extra mile to ensure only legitimate businesses can list and stay listed on GMB. If you try to claim a Listing, you will have to verify your association with that business listing. To claim a listing, run a desktop search on Google for your business name. When the results appear, the business will be displayed on a right-hand side panel with a link asking, “Own this business?” Before you initiate the verification process by clicking that link, ensure that you aren’t signed in to Google personally. If your business account is signed in, that’s okay as it will make it much easier to share your listing’s access with employees of your company.
After filling out the basic information, Google will try to verify your address and phone number. If this is successful, Google will call to ask you to insert a PIN number on screen. If there is no GMB listed business using your business name, phone number and address, a postcard will be mailed to you within a week including details of how to verify your PIN.
Below is the primary business information Google will ask for when you try to claim a listing:
Then, there are your secondary business attributes which are required to verify your listing. These include: