Maybe you’re a blogger whose posts are relevant to a specified geological area. Or, more likely, you’re a business owner who uses a blog on your business’s website for extra SEO juice. Either way, it’s critical that you understand the best ways to make sure that your blog ranks highly in local searches.
Local SEO differs from general SEO because it targets searchers who are looking for products, businesses, and services within a specified area. Adding a blog to your business’s website can accomplish more than you might think. Here are just a few examples of why you might want to utilize blogging:
- Blogging encourages local news outlets and other businesses and publications to link to your content, building your authoritative links
- With a blog, you can target additional keywords than what’s being targeted on your website
- Your business’s blog is a softer approach to earning the trust of your email subscribers and social media followers than direct marketing and can be used to provide valuable content to keep followers engaged with your brand
So how do you optimize your blog for local SEO? Here are our top four tips.
Do keyword research and optimize your content to include them
Target one main keyword phrase as well as two to four other keyword phrases to use strategically in alt tags, meta descriptions, and blog post content. Look for high-volume, low-difficulty keywords with a high click-through rate opportunity to get the best results. To rank higher in local search results, you’ll want to target location-based keywords. For example, if you own a roofing company that is based in Denver, then ” Denver roofing company” is likely to be one of the keyword phrases you’ll want to target.
Include images or videos in your blog posts
High-quality blog posts with a visual content rank higher in search results than posts without images or videos. Videos, in particular, are favored by search engines, especially Google. Even if you simply include relevant video content within your posts (with the video owner’s consent, of course) you are potentially boosting your blog’s rankings.
If you can create YouTube videos to add to your blog posts, you can do even better. Be sure that the video content included on your blog is highly shareable. Also, try to make it as linkable as possible, meaning that other websites will want to feature your video and link back to your site. Creating videos for your posts can do all of the following for your blog.
- Build high-quality links when your video is referenced or used on other websites
- Increase the likelihood of your post being shared on social media platforms
- Increase the amount of time your blog’s visitors spend on your site
Check out your competition and make your posts more valuable than theirs
Figure out who else is ranking for similar content and whose similar content has a lot of social media shares. You’ll need to take a look at these posts and decide how you can create a blog post that adds to this conversation and goes above and beyond what your competition has offered in their post. If your blog post is uniquely valuable, it’s much more likely to be perceived as high-quality by search engines as well as by your website’s users. You can use free tools like Buzzsumo to find successful blog posts in your industry that are ranking for your location.
Begin by publishing short, targeted posts and post frequently
Quality over quantity, but you can maximize the impact of your business’s blog by posting often. To make this easier on your business, keep the word count around 300-600 words per post. If you can consistently publish valuable posts that are relevant to searchers in your area and to your industry, you’re well on your way to increase your business’s local search rankings.