Best Practices for On-Page Local SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | September 24, 2015

On-page SEO is an essential element, not only in the process of securing better search engine rankings, but it also plays a substantial role in building a productive and efficacious internet marketing campaign. Every campaign begins with an online presence — the company website — and if the website is not properly optimized for user engagement and search engines, the chances of long-term success are significantly reduced.

Many marketing experts hold the position that on-page local SEO is one of the most important elements in the marketing and branding process. With the number of people who are performing local searches increasing exponentially, it is easy to understand why such gravity is given to effective optimization. Following are some highly effective best practices that will improve search engine rankings and customer engagement.

Place the Highest Priority on Content

It is important for companies to adopt a “content comes first” policy. The truth is that a website that has placed a substantial amount of energy into producing brilliant content will actually do well with or without SEO; however, bad content is difficult to overcome, even with SEO strategies and techniques in place. Not only will poor content turn off visitors, it will negatively impact the page ranking. The major search engines have algorithms that place an exorbitant amount of weight on the quality and relevance of content on websites.

There are certain criteria that help to qualify content as being good content. One of the first things that should be considered is originality. Whether the content being used is text, video, infographics, presentation, etc., it should be original, which means no rewrites or copies of original articles.

The content should be content that was published on the company’s website before being posted anywhere else on the internet. Additionally, visual content should be accompanied by text. Finally, the content should be relevant enough to grab the attention of your audience.

Descriptions, Page Titles, and Formatting

This would be considered SEO 101 by most experts; however, the simplicity of this strategy does not negate the massive impact that it has on the overall SEO campaign. When search engines crawl sites, there are certain things that are being read, including page titles, descriptions and the formatting. Page titles and descriptions are important because they reveal to the search engines what the page is about, so that it can be properly categorized. These elements of page design and development are major influences of how search engines index sites and pages.

URL Structure

This is one area where many companies fail to maximize the optimization process. The URL structure can be broken down into four separate parts that include:

  • Permanent links, which represent the URLs of each specific page. A good URL should not be more than 255 characters, and it should also use hyphens to separate the different parts of the URL.
  • Categories represent the manner in which pages are grouped, which is the best way to help users and search engines find exactly what they are looking as fast as possible. This is analogous to having a warehouse full of products that are not categorized and stored systematically, verses a warehouse in which every item is stored in relation to similar items.
  • Using a breadcrumb to ensure that users are able to navigate through the website in an organized and structured manner has great benefit to the overall user experience and search engine ranking
  • A user sitemap is also important to the process of enhancing the user’s navigation experience

Internal Linking

One of the most effective SEO strategies that most businesses fail to capitalize on is internal linking to pages on the site from other pages or content on the site. Not only does it have a massive impact on search engine rankings, but it also allows users to easily navigate to content that they find relevant. Internal linking for a company is like creating their own web.

Using best practices for on-page local SEO will allow business to bolster their search engine page rankings, while simultaneously enhancing the user experience for their visitors.