5 major on-page optimizations for local SEO

When most people think of local SEO, they tend to default to Google Business Profile, local citations, and backlinks.

When trying to get “near me” results, these are definitely helpful.

However, on-page optimization also plays an important role in the signals sent to search engines to influence your local rankings.

On-page SEO helps you rank higher in organic results and also in MapPack results.

Here are five on-page optimization tips to help boost your local visibility in search.

1. Ensure that your NAP is consistent

NAP is an acronym for name, address and phone number.

These three simple pieces of information can make or break your local SEO strategy.

Make sure these pieces of information are prominently displayed on your site. The footer is a great place to house your NAP because it will appear on every page.

Even better, linking it to your Google Map.

You can also display your NAP on service area pages and on your contact page in the body.

Consistency is important. It’s important that this key business information is the same anywhere potential customers find you online — and anywhere Google may use it to compare to ensure its accuracy.

This helps crawlers and bots connect the dots between your Google Business Profile, website, and other local citations across the web.

Don’t get lost in fine details like abbreviations when spelling street names. It doesn’t really matter as long as you pick one and stick with it.

2. Beautify your content on the page

Your site’s content is an opportunity to show both your customers and search engines that you are the authority in your area for the service you provide.

Include specific details such as landmarks and street names, as well as the services you offer in that area. Explain why the customer needs your service in that specific area.

The more you seem to belong there, the better the user experience for your customer.

Think as your customer thinks.

If you were looking for your service near you, what terms would you use?

Can you include the local metro, the city, or even the neighborhood?

The answers to these questions will help you decide what type of content you need and what keywords to include in that content.

These keywords will help you target both mixed searches [dentist in Chicago] and GPS-based searches [dentist] While sitting in Chicago.

This is where “near me” searches come in.

Google matches the user’s location (using IP or geolocation) with sites serving the area near the user to provide these search results.

You can optimize these keywords on the overall service pages or on target pages created specifically for the target service and service area.

Using the example of a dentist, let’s say you provide teeth whitening services throughout the Chicago and southern Wisconsin areas.

In addition to the main teeth whitening page, you may have individual teeth whitening pages in Chicago, Evanston, Milwaukee, and Racine.

Each of these pages should be highly targeted and optimized for that specific site.

Don’t be shy here. This may be the landing page for many site-based searches.

Really tell your customer why they should trust you enough to click on the next page or your CTA.

Don’t forget to do your research.

Customers who live in an area will know the common terms and things that are indigenous to the area.

If you come with half-baked info, they won’t trust you to be authentic and really care about their local area.

3. Improved head tags

We know that header tags are important when it comes to SEO.

If you haven’t explored this topic yet, be sure to check out this resource on best practices in using header tags.

By creating local service pages, you have just created additional real estate to generate highly targeted header tags including local keywords + your services.

Having great header tags gives both your site visitors and crawlers a basic idea of ​​the general structure of the page and what to expect as they read the content.

Be careful not to put keywords in the header tags only as this would be unnatural for both visitors and crawlers.

Make it relevant.

4. Internal linkage

Use the power of internal linking throughout your site to educate both your customer and search engines that you are available to serve customers in that local area.

As you add city names to the content on the page, you can use them as a link to service area pages.

You can also get a little creative and create widgets, menus, and blocks with links to multiple areas of your service on top level pages for a bit of SEO optimization.

This could be in the form of a “Central Areas We Serve” block which includes the name of the metro, a picture of the area, and a short snippet.

Then the text is linked to the site page.

Screenshot of AFSrepair.com by author, January 2022.

5. Domestic Business Scheme

Schema markup can help give search engines a better understanding of your site.

The Local Business Planner type includes important and relevant information such as addresses, reviews, opening hours, social media accounts, service area geographs, and sections in code that may not necessarily be present in the content on the page.

This tells bots and crawlers all about who you are, what you do, where you do it, and why others trust you without piling it all up on the page.

This also gives you more control over the information you post there rather than relying on search engines to discover different resources around the Internet.

How will I know if this works?

Once you have everything optimized and ready to go, you’ll want to see if this is really having an impact on your local SEO strategy.

There are many tools available but we will take a quick look at some of them.

Local Search Results Tools

There is no such thing as looking at SERPs directly unless you can look at the SERPs in a simulated environment that simulates the local area you are targeting.

This is exactly what you can do with local search results tools like Local Falcon, Merkle, and BrightLocal.

With these tools, you also have the option to view Google Maps, select options like desktop and mobile, and get an exact level like that of a zip code.

GIF of the local hawk showing the results of the GMBSnapshot from Local Falcon, January 2022

Geogrid local ranking tools

Geogrid local classification tools like Local Falcon and Local Viking are more straightforward and monitor map results within a specific area.

These tools are great because you can actually schedule periodic scans that will take a snapshot of your results and keep a record of how well your site is doing locally on Maps all the time.

Since these checks also depend on keywords, it is also an effective way to monitor improvements within content and title tags.

Google Business Profile Analytics

There is no such thing as getting information straight from the horse’s mouth.

When you make improvements, if successful, you should see an enhancement in your Google Business Profile metrics, whether that’s clicks to your site, calls, or requests for driving directions.

As your visibility increases, you should naturally see an increase in traffic.

Remember when optimizing for on-page local SEO, keep it simple and relevant to your business.

Once customers see that you offer what they’re looking for on the site they want, the rest is natural.

Your job is to make sure that you provide them with the correct information.

Even with rapid changes in the local SEO space, a strong on-page strategy is a winner for you and your customers.

More resources:

Featured Image: MaDedee / Shutterstock

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