How to Update Your Website for Local SEO
Local SEO is super effective, but also takes some effort to perfect. It entails things like social media, Google My Business and reviews, but one of the most important pieces is the state of your website. Optimize your website to attract customers to your offline services.
Chances are that most visitors who find your website through organic search will land on your homepage. Your homepage should be visually clean and clear and shouldn’t include excessive text. Many small-business websites include sliders, but this is actually not ideal, as it is just a distraction that most people don’t click on, anyway. Instead, choose one image and write a few sentences that clearly explain what you offer, including some relevant keywords. After that introduction, place a bold call-to-action so that visitors can move to the next stage (depending on your services, this can be something like “Book a Consultation” or “Call Us Now”). Really, you want to be ranking for your service pages, so the main objective of the home page is to be simple and guide to the next step.
For every category of services that you provide, you’ll want to have a specific page describing what it is you do and links to related pages on your website. Since search engines rank specific pages and not general websites, you want to make sure that your “Home Renovation” page isn’t competing with your “Commercial Renovation” page, because chances are that someone looking for information on home renovation doesn’t care about commercial, and vice versa. To achieve this, each service page should act as a cornerstone or pillar page. A cornerstone page should have a lot of textual content (between 300-900 words, or more) describing the service in all its details and keywords. This will help search engines pick up what you’re trying to rank for, as well as visitors find the information that they’re looking for. This page should include internal links to related web pages and blog posts. And just like the homepage, every service page should have a call-to-action displayed prominently. Underneath that, include some testimonials to make a great impression on that potential client.
I’ve said this many times and will continue to say it: it is imperative that your website looks and performs just as well on mobile as it does on a desktop. Read this to see how much local search depends on mobile optimization. Also, read here about structured data. It’s a way to change your website’s coding so that search engines understand better what you provide, and therefore tailor your web pages’ search engine results to include more relevant information - it will help your local SEO by providing location information directly in the results page. Include customer reviews directly on your website so that visitors know they can trust you, and so search engines know to lead people similar to your reviewers towards your website. Last but not least, don’t forget about keyword research. Find out which of your pages are ranking the best and how to improve them. It makes a much bigger difference to move from Page 3 of Google to Page 1 than it does moving from Page 10 to Page 4 (no one looks at Page 10 or Page 4, so why waste the effort?)
Let us know how your local SEO campaign goes!
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Chaya Lencz is our marketing associate at AbilitySEO. In addition, she is currently a student at University of Baltimore's Merrick School of Business.