Search Engine Optimization - 23 Nov 2021
Location Keywords: What They Are, Why They Work, and How to Use Them
The internet may be a big place, but nearly half of all Google searches come from users looking for local products and services – if you are not capturing some of that market, you’re missing out on a massive revenue stream.
How Location Keywords Help Customers Find You
Search engines like Google have pretty accurate information on where users are located; the trick is connecting those users with your business. That’s what location keywords help achieve.
Keywords make it easier for search engines to understand your website and determine whether it is a good match for a given search query. For example, someone might search for “appliance repair Port Moody” or simply “appliance repair”; in either case, location keywords help narrow down a general search and deliver results near a user’s location – even if they haven’t included a location in their search.
Local keywords also give smaller businesses a chance to compete in the communities they serve. While national brands might include some keywords for larger cities, they probably aren’t targeting smaller neighbourhoods.
So, while your businesses may already be using industry-related keywords to draw in internet traffic, incorporating location-specific keywords can help extend your reach among local consumers and rank your business higher on local SERPs.
Getting the Most Out of Location Keywords
Using location keywords to capture a larger share of local searches isn’t a giant leap from your current SEO strategy; it may just require a little fine-tuning.
Location Optimize Your Google My Business Account
Not to be confused with a Google Business Profile, your Google My Business listing is a separate tool that allows you to control the information users see when searching for businesses in your category. If you already have a GMB account, it’s time to update and ensure you gather all the Google Maps and local traffic possible – and if you don’t already have a GMB account, it is time to create one, pronto.
Creating a GMB account is free. However, as this profile is extremely important to your search engine rankings, many businesses opt to have their GMB listing professionally done. There are several sections that all need to be meticulously filled out. In addition to your basic business information – company name, address, hours of operation, contact information, website – there are also more detailed sections like attributes, products, and services information, and Q&A sections to complete.
If you already have a GMB account, check your address information tab. This is your opportunity to add up to 20 service area locations to your business profile. You don’t need to have a physical address to include multiple locations on your account; if you provide an in-home service or offer delivery, additional locations can be added to your GMB listing.
Here’s more on why your business needs a GMB account: Simple Ways to Boost Website Traffic (That Won’t Break The Bank)
Adjust your Keywords for Voice Searches
Voice searches are growing at an exponential rate, particularly with users between 25 and 49. According to recent data from Bright Local, 46% of smartphone users use voice search to find local businesses at least once a day.
Voice searches tend to be longer tailed and typically include a who, what, when, where, why, or how. This means that your content and keywords need to be optimized for verbal searches, not only typed queries. For example, where someone may type “sushi restaurant Burnaby” they may say, “what’s the best sushi restaurant in Burnaby.”
Feature Local Content
Consumers like dealing with local businesses, and one of the best ways to attract local attention is by creating content tailored to that community. Armed with your location keywords, you can write blogs, create videos, or feature images relevant to that specific city. A landscaper, for example, could write a blog about how North Vancouver homeowners are keeping their lawns green despite water restrictions and another on tree trimming targeting Coquitlam.
Setting up location-based pages and featuring local content on your website can be hugely beneficial if you serve more than one region. This strategy will not only get you noticed by local residents, but your business could end up improving its ranking over multiple locations.
Where to Include Location Keywords
So, where should you be including location keywords? Everywhere. But you need to do it in a way that doesn’t compromise the quality of your content. Balancing keyword optimization and quality can be a challenge, but that’s one reason why there are so many professionals who create SEO content for a living.
In addition to your blogs, your chosen location keywords should appear in your title tags, META tags, throughout your website content, headers and sub-categories, and page links.
Boost Your Backlinks
Backlinks are a crucial local search results ranking factor. A study by Moz found that link signals were the single most important factor in determining localized, organic search position, and Google even confirmed that links are one of its top three ranking factors.
A backlink is a link from one website to a page or piece of content on another site. It signals to search engines that your content is valuable; it’s like getting a giant internet thumbs up. The more outside approval your content gets, and the higher quality the source, the higher your website is likely to rank on SERPs.
There aren’t many ways to cheat backlinks; your best bet is to earn them by focusing on writing quality content. However, there are ways to help boost your backlinks (assuming you have backlink-worthy content to share). You can partner with other local businesses to write a feature guest blog and utilize content formats that tend to generate links, like why and what posts, infographics, videos, and “skyscraper” pieces that cover just about every category for a given topic.
Sometimes, it’s even possible to gain backlinks from businesses that have moved, changed URLs, or no longer offer a service. It may take a bit of professional digging, but if local businesses in your area have abandoned a resource, it’s fair game.
Whether your business is just starting out, you’re looking to expand into a new market, or you want to grow your local customer base, a targeted SEO strategy should be a part of your operation. The previous points are just a few ways Nirvana helps its clients gain more local exposure. If you’re interested in reaching more customers, reach out to Nirvana Canada, we’re an established web design and SEO specialty firm with local experience.