Top 5 Local SEO On-Page Basics

Written by: Jason Bayless | June 23, 2015

For both SMBs and major corporations, local SEO has become an increasingly vital part of a comprehensive marketing strategy that delivers. The main problem is that many businesses and entrepreneurs are often spinning their wheels due to a misunderstanding of what constitutes good on-page SEO. If you want your web properties to rank well in the SERPs that are presented to local searchers using highly-specific queries, you’ll need to optimize your web pages. Take pains to do the following if you want your local SEO overtures to yield dividends in the long run.

Optimize Behind-the-Scenes Keywords

Firstly, coming up with a local-centric meta keyword regimen and sticking to it is one of the best ways to see quick results. Obviously, it’s best to make your title, meta description and alt tags jive with your content as closely as possible. Beyond that, you should pick specific keywords that can only relate to your local market and industry niche to stand out from the crowd. This will help Google and to a lesser extent Bing match your local content and site profiles with interested local consumers.

Use a Logical & Semantic URL Structure

People tend to forget about how important it is to make your URLs readable to human viewers as well as web crawlers. If you have a WordPress site, use a permalink structure based on relevant keywords rather than gibberish sequences of numbers. Web surfers will be able to tell at a glance what your content is referencing just by looking at the URL. This will also help search engines to better index your content and can provide a small but noticeable bump in SERPs rankings.

Produce Local-Specific Content

While this one is a no-brainer, many SMBs and even major league players fail to craft content specifically targeted at local consumers. For instance, a local construction company could write informational or how-to articles that take into account highly local factors like climate. Besides picking topics that are relevant to potential local customers in a certain area, it’s important to use an even mix of major and minor local keywords. As long as you’re not “stuffing” keywords and your content is topnotch, this strategy will pay off over time.

Create a Web of Internal Links

For the most part, link building is generally considered to be an off-page SEO tactic. However, internal links can help with on-page SEO if the links in question are logical, helpful and improve a site’s usability for the average visitor. That’s not to say that you should neglect a clear-cut navigation scheme or the practice of grouping content into categories that make sense. Just be sure to link to good content found elsewhere on your site from within a specific blog post or landing page when it makes sense.

Make Your Site Reliable and Responsive

These days, speed is going to make a real difference in the SERPs for sites that rely heavily on local business. Shaving even a few tenths of a second off of page load times can actually boost a site’s overall standing in the search results for a slew of queries. To ensure that your site is above-average in the speed department, use an SSD-based host with a reputation for solid network infrastructure. A CDN like CloudFlare can easily ramp up page load times with little effort or cost.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Like it or not, it’s unrealistic to expect that your on-page optimization tweaks will have an overnight impact on rankings. You should think of your evolving on-page SEO strategy as a sick plant that needs to be watered and fertilized on a daily basis. It takes consistent and conscientious effort on the part of a business owner or webmaster to make on-page SEO pay off handsomely. The tips we’ve covered here will certainly get you on your way to eventual local SEO domination.