Local, geo-targeted SEO has become the Holy Grail for digital marketers. Google’s landscape is increasingly turning towards the geographically relevant, often automatically boosting search engine results based on their physical proximity to the user. Even historical searches can have an impact on the location of the data shown — search for “zoos in Wisconsin” and then “restaurants” and you’re very likely to get restaurants in Wisconsin. But how can you quickly boost your local credentials?
Maintain Your Google+ Listing
It probably goes without saying, but in order to promote your company, Google first needs to know where you are. But your business listings are more important than just that. Google has been steadily moving towards a “knowledgebase” format for years now, attempting to provide information and answers rather than simply return websites. Google no longer wants to give a search engine results page when you search for “New York plumbers,” it wants to give you a formatted list of plumbers in your area. By updating your listings with Google, you can integrate yourself with this format.
Build Your Content through Buyer Personas
In order to bring in local customers, you need local content. But what do your customers really want to know? One of the easiest ways to figure it out is to create buyer personas. Use your demographic information to create a picture of a specific buyer. Create an inventory of buyers that represent your key demographics, and then tailor your content to them. If your product is being developed towards a 20 to 30 year old sports fan demographic, you know that you need to cover local sporting events.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Hyper-Local
The more niche your content is, the better it will rank. If you service five areas, your content has to be targeted towards those five areas — not just your city or your state. The more hyper-local your content is, the more likely you will be to draw an audience and to prove to Google that your website is relevant.
Keep Your Eye on the Competition
When geo-targeting your content, your competition is more important than ever. You should always keep an eye on what your competition is doing and what spaces they are competing for. If your competition is already entrenched, you may not want to go after their leading keywords — you may instead want to create an entirely different focus for your content, at least while you build authority. Knowing where your competitors are helps you determine where you should be.
Don’t forget that the best SEO works with the search engine rather than against the search engine. Google wants to provide your customers with the best data — so you should want to provide your customers with the best data. By keeping your information up to date, creating relevant buyer personas, and drilling down to niche markets, you should be able to rank high wherever your customers are.