How Do I hack Local SEO? Here’s Our Top 3 Hacks

The problem with SEO

The problem with SEO is that the “rules” are changing so rapidly that you can’t keep up with them. One thing’s for sure: the internet is going to continue to evolve and SEO professionals need to adapt. That’s why it’s always important to stay ahead of the curve, find resources and learn new things every day.

In short, “local SEO” isn’t the same as “global SEO.” Global SEO is what you’ve been hearing about in your online marketing classes. It’s the type of SEO that’s going to bring the most traffic to your website. The reason for that is because the rules of search engines apply worldwide. So if you’re a local business, chances are the rules and how search engines work don’t quite apply to your business.

Local SEO is a lot more specific. Local SEO is how you rank for your business within a specific geographic location. This means the rules of how to rank for a keyword within that location. For example, the keyword “chicken wings” in Philadelphia is going to be different than the keyword “chicken wings” in Atlanta.

So, how are you supposed to know what to do so that you can rank well on Google?

What is search engine optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or webpage in search results. The majority of websites on the Internet use search engines to find relevant content. To maximize their chances of ranking higher in search results, SEO professionals focus on optimizing the technical and navigational elements of a website.

When Google, Bing or other search engines crawl websites, they look for certain types of text, keywords and links that indicate relevance. These signals help search engines determine which sites should rank higher in search results.

Local Search Ranking Factors

Let’s talk about the factors that go into ranking for a keyword within a local search.

A quick look at Google’s Webmaster Central shows you that there is no direct link between rankings and the keywords that show up in the search results. However, a close look at Google’s algorithm suggests that Google values local search.

There are a few things that you can optimize for and this can help you rank higher in Google for local searches.

  • Have a website – this is obvious but it is a requirement
  • Make sure your website has a local address (no PO boxes) and local phone number
  • Claim your Google Business Profile and use the same address and phone number as your website
  • Make sure your website loads quickly
  • Have content that targets local keywords
  • Backlinks

Top 3 Local SEO Hacks

While a lot goes into local SEO and I didn’t mention them all, below are the easiest things that someone can do if you’re wondering – how do I hack local SEO?

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I’ve chosen the easiest things with the most return. You don’t even need to pay people to do these for you. Just spend a few hours total doing these and they could bring you leads forever.

Seriously, forever.

Google Business Profile & Google Maps

Google has made it super easy for us to find local businesses on Google maps and in Google searches. All you have to do is add your address to Google and they will start showing you results.

This is great for those of us who are trying to drive traffic to our local businesses, as well as those who need to get directions from somewhere. Or, by showing you in the 3 pack or local pack in the search results.

This is when Google shows 3 local business above the results with their location, reviews, and contact info. Getting in the local pack is Gold!

You can easily optimize your listings for local searches. These tips will help you achieve the best results.

  1. Head on over to Google Business Profile and claim or create your profile.
  2. Use keywords in your business description.
  3. Make sure that you use your exact address and physical location when optimizing.
  4. Get reviews. You’ll have to ask for them and we have a template coming soon!
  5. Add posts frequently.
  6. Add photos.
  7. Don’t keyword stuff.
  8. Be sure to add any relevant coupons or discounts you are offering.
  9. Be sure to add an email address and hours of operation.
  10. Don’t forget about the “local” keyword.

Choosing the Right Keywords

When it comes to optimizing a website for search engines like Google, you need to make sure that the keywords you are optimizing for are highly relevant. But this is easier said than done, because not every keyword will make sense for every website.

If you are a business owner, it is a good idea to look at what type of business you are in and what the keywords are that people are actually searching for. Once you know which keywords are going to bring the most visitors to your site, you can focus on making sure that your site is optimized for those keywords.

Create a list of all the keywords that you think your customers would use to search for your service or product. If you’re a dentist, you might want to look at keywords like “dentist”, “tooth extraction”, or “root canal”, and then use those as keywords for your site.

You should not focus on your business name or your name. You will probably rank for those with little effort.

In general, you’ll want to choose the keywords that relate to your industry and your services.

Optimize Content

After you’ve identified the keywords you want to target, you need to write content that matches those keywords and contains those keywords. This means avoiding keyword stuffing, which is the practice of using a large number of keywords within a short amount of space. This will likely result in your content being indexed, but it could also trigger a penalty.

If you can write enough content, you’ll want to create a page for each service and/or location you serve. Make sure that your target keyword is mentioned somewhere on your page. If you’re not targeting a specific keyword, you’re going to be spending your time optimizing a page for something that will never happen.

So, from the previous example, if you’re a dentist, you’ll want pages for tooth extraction and another for root canal.

Along with those content pages, you’ll also want a contact page, about page, and a great homepage. Be sure to mention your address and phone number in the footer and the contact page.

When you are first starting out, it is common to start with your target keywords and then expand from there. So make sure that you don’t start optimizing your site with the wrong keywords. This is especially important if you are working with a web design company.

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Author:
I've been making websites since I was a kid and now have over 20 years of experience building them for myself and my agency. I noticed patterns of problems that all business owners experience with their websites. Problems that most business owners don’t even know matter, let alone how to address. I built Pagemend to help people stay on top of their websites.

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