Gain Visibility & Customers in Your Local Community
Local SEO is just as its name implies: the process of optimizing web pages so that they perform well in local searches. The best way to understand local SEO and its implications is to imagine yourself doing your own local search. Perhaps you and your significant other have dinner plans. You might ask Google, “what is the best Chinese restaurant near me?”
The phrase ‘near me’ immediately tips Google off to local search. Other tip-offs include ZIP Codes, town and city names, and even street names. Web users conduct local searches more often than you might think. That is why local SEO is so important.
Here at WebTek, we understand the value of local SEO. But don’t take our word for it. Open up your computer or mobile browser and search for something locally. If you use Google, you should notice a split page of results. The top section is known as Google Snack Pack. It generally contains three listings. Underneath is a section that lists all of the standard search results.
The difference between Snack Pack and standard results is monumental. Google utilizes Snack Pack to list the top three local sites according to search engine criteria. The top three. Everything else appears in the standard organic results underneath.
Given that the first couple of results in any search get the majority of the traffic, it is imperative that your website winds up in Snack Pack as often as possible. And if not in Snack Pack, at least within the first couple of standard results.
Google Snack Pack is relatively new. The search giant engine didn’t use to display anything like it. But Google is a business like anything else. It makes money on advertising, and advertisers want results. So it is in Google’s best interests to make sure users get the most relevant and useful links with each and every search.
Putting the top three entries in a separate section for local search accomplishes that. It gives users instant access to three sites guaranteed to be relevant. This makes users happy. Users click links, which ultimately makes advertisers happy.
SEO is our business here at WebTek. We specialize in it. In terms of local SEO, we work with companies in the Salt Lake City area to get them more exposure in our community. But we also work with companies in other parts of Utah as well as Texas, California, Ohio, New York, and all across the country.
Here’s what we can do for you:
Our keyword research can nail down those keywords that are likely to get the best results. We can then create content around those keywords.
Citations are small blocks of text that display your company name, address, phone number, etc. Citations are critical if you want your site to show up in the Snack Pack as often as possible. We place them on sites that will generate the best results.
Content development is as important to local SEO as standard SEO. Content drives traffic, creates brand awareness and loyalty, gives a website relevance, establishes industry authority, and encourages visitors to return time and again.
A company’s local reputation influences public perception. Through the use of social media, online review sites, and other tools, we help manage each client’s reputation so as to maintain a positive local image.
Though guest posts tend to reach well beyond the local audience, including local references can improve local search engine results. We make extensive use of guest posting to improve local SEO.
One of our primary goals for local SEO is to make sure customers in the local community find your site when they are looking for the services or products you provide.
Mobile searches have increased commensurate with mobile phone adoption. Mobile is so prevalent these days that Google revamped their search algorithms in order to roll out a mobile-first platform in 2019. That platform guarantees that mobile-friendly sites are given preference over non-friendly sites.
In terms of search, this is big. Local searches are likely to be conducted on mobile devices – especially when customers are on the go. Something comes across a person’s mind. He pulls out his phone and immediately conducts a local search. He is not content to wait until he gets to the office.
The prevalence of mobile makes it clear that website responsiveness is a key component in local SEO. If you want your site to make it to Snack Pack, it has to be responsive. It has to be mobile friendly and fast-loading. Otherwise, your site is not going to make the top three. And if it is not in the top three, there is no hope of making Snack Pack status.
There are other practices we can implement to improve local search results. Here are just a few of the on-page things we address:
Title tags do for search engines what the title of a blog post does for readers. They tell algorithms what a piece of content is about. We strive to create captivating titles with tags that include the content’s primary keyword.
Heading tags like H1 and H2 demonstrate to search engine algorithms how text is formatted. By including locally relevant keywords in those tags, we can improve local search results.
URLs that are short and sweet tend to perform better in local searches. Why? Because they are easier to recognize and analyze. Thus, we can help clients get a handle on runaway URLs that do not help improve SEO.
Another way we can utilize URLs is to include local terms. For example, a company that does business in a large metropolitan area can include specific URLs for surrounding towns, using the town names themselves. This does wonders for local search.
Meta-descriptions give search engines more relevant information. They appear in SERPs as blocks of text underneath each of the main links returned for a given search. We can insert local information that improves SEO performance and gives more information to the viewer at a glance.
Content development is an integral part of on-page SEO. The content on your site gives search engines a reason to rank it. Content gives web users a reason to visit your site. For that reason, we put a lot of effort into developing locally relevant content that keeps your visitors informed and the search engines coming back for more.
Link building is a time-tested principle that web developers have been using for a long time. In the local arena, links are especially important because they connect one local business to another. We put effort into link building via internal links, outbound links, and backlinks.
Internal links are those links on your site that point to other pages on your site. They are powerful tools for local search because they tie content together in a way that helps search algorithms make more sense of website data.
Outbound links are links that point users from your site to another site. The strength of outbound links is relevance. By linking to other sites that are in some way related to yours, you create relevance. That relevance increases page ranking by letting search engines know that you are not afraid to links to other sites.
Most important of the three are backlinks. What are backlinks? They are links on other sites that point back to yours. These are extremely helpful in establishing authority because they tell search engines that your site has a strong enough reputation to attract links from other sites.
Two of the best ways to utilize local backlinks are local business directories and ‘best of’ sites. If a TV or news outlet in your area publishes an annual best-of list, getting your company’s name on that list creates a powerful backlink that can boost your site significantly. You get similar results from listing your site on local directories.
Your business has to do well locally before you can think about expanding regionally, nationally, and globally. We know from experience. WebTek started as a local SEO firm serving mainly clients in Salt Lake City. Years after the fact, we now have clients from coast to coast. We started locally and built from there.
If your company is not competing in local search, it is time to change things. It is time to put more effort into local search in order to gain the kind of exposure that will eventually allow your company to expand. WebTek is here to help.
Our team has decades of combined experience in all things SEO. We integrate that experience with cutting-edge knowledge and skill to increase every client’s local exposure. If you are ready to go local, let us talk.