Semalt Explains How You Can Benefit From Local Positioning
You probably already know that having your own website is one thing, and its visibility in organic search results is another. There are many tactics to increase your visibility. One of them is local positioning. Find out why it's a great solution for small and medium businesses!
What is local SEO?
Local SEO includes all the activities related to on-site optimization that aims to be visible in a specific location. In addition, it includes a series of off-site activities aimed at increasing the visibility of the domain in organic search results for queries related to the selected location.
For the past few years, Google has been placing more and more emphasis on personalization and regionalization of search results. This is related to the Pigeon algorithm introduced in July 2015. In simple terms, it is responsible for ranking search results. It checks and analyzes key phrases in terms of matching local queries. Then, it displays the most relevant result in terms of the location (geolocation) from which the query was made.
How does local search work?
Based on factors such as IP address or GPS location, Google is able to determine the country, region, or city you are currently in. But that's not all! Google can even see the neighborhood from which you ask the search engine a question.
Based on these results, the search engine displays (for specific groups of key phrases) the results that are closest to the item from which you are searching. Yes, Google knows everything - it's terrible! But is there really any reason to be afraid?
Since Google processes location data in order to display results that are best suited to users' intentions/needs, - yes, this is great news! - you can use this fact in your strategy!
National positioning vs. local positioning
At this point, you have to ask yourself the question: is positioning on general keyphrases with a high volume of queries the best strategy for any type of business? And now, we will try to answer it by comparing national positioning strategies to local positioning.
Strategies related to national positioning allow you to promote the website and its products or services on a large scale. The strategy involves the use of general and long-tail keyphrases closely related to your store's assortment.
With their help, the search engine user searches for general information without specific preferences related to a given topic.
The main characteristics of general phrases:
- A large number of requests
- High competitiveness
- Low conversion rate
With their help, the search engine user searches for specific information related to a given topic.
The main characteristics of long-tail phrases:
- A relatively low number of requests
- Low competitiveness
- High conversion rate
Advantages of general positioning:
- + You can reach a very large audience
- + You can create visibility for groups of keywords that are relevant to each stage of the purchase funnel
- + You consciously build global brand awareness
- + You influence the amount of traffic obtained from the organic channel.
Disadvantages of general positioning:
- - You face a lot of competition
- - You may find that the traffic generated results in a low conversion rate
- - You invest a lot
- - Long wait for satisfactory results.
The strategy related to local positioning allows the promotion of the website and its products or services concerning a specific location. The strategy implies the selection of key phrases adapted to the products or services related to the geolocation.
Advantages of local positioning
- + You create visibility for groups of keywords corresponding to the last stage of the purchase funnel
- + You conduct SEO activities that do not require a significant financial investment
- + You generate satisfactory results relatively quickly
- + You generate traffic that often has a high conversion rate
- + You face relatively little competition
Disadvantages of local positioning
- - High positions do not guarantee you much traffic from the organic channel
- - You build brand awareness locally
- - You build visibility for a smaller audience
As you may have noticed, each strategy has its pros and cons, but how do you choose the right one?
How to choose the right strategy?
First, pay close attention to the specifics of your business. Answer these questions:
- Do you provide services in a specific location?
- In addition to an online store, do you have a stationary store?
If so, focus on the local strategy first. This can be more beneficial for you and in less time than doing general SEO activities.
Also, the specificity of the consumer group the offering is aimed at can help choose a strategy.
Let's say you run a business related to window and door sales (nationally) and replacement (regionally). In this case, focus on increasing the visibility of geolocation-based products and services.
Local SEO is your recipe for success. With it, you'll develop better positions for products like PVC windows in Kyiv and oak interior doors in New York. It will also help you apply tactics such as cross-selling and up-selling. You will offer website visitors not only products but also the entire website. For example, quick and professional editing, which in most cases will be necessary.
In this case, the local strategy may not significantly improve the number of organic sessions. On the other hand, it will certainly improve the conversion rate and the average shopping cart on the site.
Local SEO - where to start?
How do you promote a business in the local market? Here is a list of ready-to-use activities.
As with any SEO strategy, the key aspect of local positioning is choosing the right phrases. They will contribute to the visibility of the queries with which users search for information, products, or services on Google. The selection of the local key phrases itself is not complicated and is mainly based on the following scheme:
"Product / Service" + "Location."
Lawnmowers Kyiv | 260 requests per month
Key duplication Odessa | 4,400 requests per month
T-shirts with Kherson print | 1 000 requests per month
However, it should be remembered that in the case of a local strategy, there are more specific queries such as:
- near me,
- open until one o'clock,
- open on Sunday,
To manage the choice of keywords that generate local traffic, you need to use a keyword planner tool such as the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. Indeed, it is one of the most used tools by SEO experts. This tool has several features, one of which is designed to analyze the Google search program.
In addition to giving you real information on traffic-generating keywords, this DSD feature set also allows you to know the position of your sites in Google search, as well as the TOP pages and the keywords they are ranked for.
Moreover, the unique advantage of this DSD feature is its ability to analyze the competition. With this tool, you can easily identify the main competitors in the right niche, their keywords that attract traffic, and understand their promotion strategy. This way, you can save hours of work and have good results.
There are several other very useful features of this tool that I invite you to discover on demo.semalt.com.
Another important element is the proper optimization of the website and its content for local search results based on selected key phrases. When implementing a strategy related to local positioning, make sure that the most important key phrases as well as the appropriate city, district, or address are reflected in the website structure.
The most important elements to include are the:
- Page / subpage title as an HTML title tag
- Page / subpage descriptions as a meta description
- Page / subpage URLs
- Hx headers of pages/subpages
- Descriptions on the website/subpages
- ALT tags of graphic elements on the page/subpages
- Internal links between subpages of the website.
In addition, a very important issue in the case of on-site optimization is to have a mobile version of the website. No less than 61% of users contact a local business more often via a mobile website. This is a real must!
Check if your website is mobile-friendly by using:
Also, find out if its speed doesn't make it difficult for the user to navigate by using the Dedicated SEO Dashboard's Load Speed Check feature.
Localization - mobile version of the website
Of course, not all elements of On-Site affect the visibility of the website. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned elements are the basis for creating the best possible conditions on the website to enhance the visibility of local queries in the Google search engine. In addition to technical optimization, a necessary process is the constant expansion of the website with new content, for example via a company blog.
You ensure the correct optimization of the website. You constantly expand the website with new content. What happens next? It will be to focus on off-site activities that support the building of the website's visibility.
Link building activities
Acquiring new links from valuable topic domains is one of the most important off-site activities. This not only influences the position of the domain but also strengthens its authority and allows it to reach new users.
Where is it worthwhile to get good links from?
You should definitely focus on getting links from:
- Local thematic sites
- Regional general information services
- Local topic-based forums
- Attendees at local conferences, trade shows, or other events in which the company participates
- Local sites for universities and research institutes
- Pages for other local public institutions - offices, ministries, etc.
- PARP-type services
- Local websites related to the company's business
- Local influencers - bloggers, photographers, etc.
- Google My Business card
Another important thing you need to pay attention to is Google listing positioning.
When conducting local SEO activities, be aware of how your search results are broken down into geolocation-related phrases.
Organic results - local positioning
Optimize your Google My Business listing. You will increase your chances not only of better positioning in organic search results but also of being displayed in various mobile applications, for example:
- Google Maps
- Google Assistant.
If you don't have your Google My Business card yet, create one! But keep in mind that this is something you need to monitor constantly. Things like reviews and ratings given by these users can change from one day to the next.
What information should be filled in on the Google business card?
- Company name
- Address information
- Main contact phone number
- URL of the page
- Information like "we deliver products and provide services to customers"
- Opening hours of the company
Remember that the Google My Business listing is not the only place that will help you promote your business for local inquiries. To comprehensively support domain visibility, you should also add your business to Bing Places and Apple Maps.
Local SEO is a great tactic for small to medium-sized businesses. It works well in businesses where the competition is very fierce. In this case, getting high positions in organic search results for general key phrases is associated with significant financial expenses and time-consuming work. Local positioning allows you to achieve satisfactory results quickly.
Of course, the strategy related to local positioning does not limit the possibilities of further SEO activities related to national and even global reach. However, remember that the most important thing is to choose a strategy that will affect not only the visibility of your website but also the development of your business.
If you need to learn more about the subject of SEO and website promotion, we invite you to visit our Semalt blog.