In this week’s episode, I’m continuing my series on Local SEO signals. I share the important elements that should be optimized on every page of your site and talk about the tactic of geo-optimization. Watch and learn how to optimize your site!
Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. This week, I’m going to show you how to optimize your site for better local visibility.
Last week, I talked about how your website content was a key factor in showing up when local customers look for what you’re selling. If you want to show up in searches for a particular search phrase, you’ve got to have a page about that concept on your site.
But it’s not just about having that content on your site, it’s about optimizing that content to help prove to Google’s algorithm that it’s relevant content. So today, I’m going to walk you through the various elements on each page that you should be optimizing.
Before I start, I need to clarify something – I’m going to suggest geo-optimization, which is the practice of including location keywords in your optimization efforts. It’s a bit of a debated topic among local SEO experts – some say it’s pointless, others say it’s a killer tactic.
I fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. For some verticals, attorneys, I’m talking to you here, it’s a heavily used tactic, and since everyone’s doing it, you won’t really see much of a difference if you do it as well. For other verticals, and many times, in locations outside of the US, it can be a huge difference-maker. If you’re the only one in your market doing geo-optimization, it can be really powerful.
The good news is – it’s easy to test. Try it with a few important pages – if you see a lift in visibility, it’ll happen quickly, and you’ll know it’s worth spending the time to do it on every page of your site. If nothing happens, again, you’ll know quickly, and you’ll know not to do it anywhere else.
So, that being said – I’m going to suggest it as I talk about each optimization element in case it’s a tactic that works for you.
Another caveat – I’m assuming you’ve already done keyword research here – you need to know which terms you should be optimizing for.
The first element to optimize is the title tag – it displays in the tab above where you type in the URL, and it’s what usually populates the blue link text when you show up as a search result in Google. The title tag is the most weighted SEO element on the page. You should include your targeted keyword phrase and your city. Never put your business name first – you’re the only entity named that, and you’ll always rank number one for searches of that phrase. Don’t waste valuable optimization space – if anything, include your name at the end of the title tag.
The second most important element is the H1 heading – that’s the big bold headline above your test. You should only have one H1 on the page – if you need other subheadings, use H2s or H3s. Your H1 should be conversational, and it should include the same targeted keyword phrase and city that you used in the title tag. It should be a one line summary that explains what the page is about – not just a word or two.
Obviously, you need your targeted keyword phrase and city in your content on the page as well. If you’re writing unique, relevant, and localized text like I talked about last week, you’ll already be good here. Keep in mind, there’s no such thing as a magic “keyword density” number – you don’t need to stuff that phrase throughout the page – if it’s conversational, you should be good to go.
Image alt text is another important optimization element, and it’s one that most people overlook. Years ago, Google couldn’t tell what’s in an image, so alt text is a short description that’s included in the image embed code that’s meant to describe the image. Now, Google’s machine learning systems can pretty accurately tell what’s in an image, but alt text is still included in the algorithm. Include the same targeted keyword phrase and your city, and make sure you’re describing the image.
Pretty much every website platform out there allows you to customize the URL for any page on your site. Make sure you use dashes to separate words. If you include your targeted phrase and your city, your URL is more descriptive – it’s better for human users and for search engines. For example, most car dealerships have a used car page, and the default URL is usually something like dealership.com/searchpreowned. It would be much better for the URL to be dealership.com/used-cars-dallas-tx.
You should also optimize your meta description – it’s behind the scenes in your page code, but it’s the text that populates the couple of grey sentences under your blue link when you show up in search results. It’s like ad copy – you need to write something compelling, so you’ll be more likely to get clicks, and be sure to include your targeted keyword phrase and city. The meta description doesn’t have anything to do with ranking, so don’t stuff keywords in here – it’s much more important to write a compelling description that will get you more clicks.
And that’s it – those are the important elements that you should optimize on each page of your site. Don’t forget to test a few pages with the geo-optimization to see if it will help your site. If so, add it to every page – if not, you’ll still need to optimize these elements on every page, you just won’t need to worry about adding in the location keyword.
And that’s all the time we’ve got for this week’s video,
so you know what that means…
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.