The way people find information today is changing. Depending on where you are in the world, the way people search for information can vary. But no matter what kind of searcher you are targeting, you can optimize your website content to perform well and ensure you are presenting the right information to the right people.
Often, businesses don’t actively think about local search, but these days, it’s impossible to ignore. With more than 84% of travelers searching for local information before or after their travel plans, it’s clear that people are interested in what’s going on nearby. When someone decides to search for local restaurants, for example, they probably have a pretty good idea of what they’re looking for and don’t need to waste their time scrolling through pages of results.
Conversely, if someone enters the name of an amusement park in the search bar and is overwhelmed with results, they’re probably not going to end up at the best park. To optimize your website for the local search market, you need to take several steps, start with content, and then build links and marketing material throughout your site. Doing this well will help you stand out among your competitors and make your site a priority when it comes to prospective travelers.
Step one: Begin with content
While it would be great to have the resources to design and build a completely user-centered website in a matter of weeks, that’s not the reality for most businesses. Even for those that can afford it, it’s a huge undertaking to completely rebuild your entire site, from the ground up. That’s why many businesses, especially those who are just starting out, rush to create content for their site. But if you want to ensure that your site is going to be effective, you need to take your time and do it right.
When someone comes to your site to look for information, the first thing they’ll probably do is check out the content, including the headlines, the pictures, and the text. Make sure that these are all three consistent and of high quality. After reading the content, they’ll probably flick through the rest of the website, looking for more information. If you want to optimize your site for the local search market, you need to have high-quality, authoritative content that will draw potential visitors to your site. To do this, you need to begin by creating a strategy, and then you need to start investing in content.
Step two: Build links
When someone discovers your website, the first thing they’ll probably do is look for other websites that are related to your niche. With a little bit of research, they’ll find your competitors and determine which ones are the most relevant to their needs. At this point, they’ll either be a direct competitor or they’ll be in an adjacent niche. In either case, you want to establish yourself as the go-to source for the information they’re looking for.
To do this, you need to begin by seeking out relevant websites and requesting to be included in their author network. You can also seek out bloggers who are already successfully covering your niche and invite them to write for your site. In both cases, you’re looking to create authoritative content that will allow you to rank well in search engines.
Step three: Generate leads
Once you’ve got a good amount of content published on your site, you can begin to think about generating leads. To do this, you can either use a tool like Google Adwords, which we’ll get to in a moment, or you can manually enter your content into a number of relevant places. For example, if your niche is web design, you could enter your articles into the Google search bar, as well as the blog directories of large platforms like WordPress or Shopify.
If you want to generate leads using Adwords, you’ll want to identify relevant keywords and enter them into the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. From here, you can create ads that will display when certain words or phrases are searched. The great thing about this method is that you can target the ads at specific locations, like San Francisco or New York, and at specific times, so that they only appear when potential customers are searching for the information you provide. One critical step here is measuring the effectiveness of your campaign.
In addition to Adwords, you can also use other tools like Google Remarketing, which we’ll get to in a moment, to manually enter your content into relevant places. The advantage of this method is that you can find the exact spots where your content is being displayed and measure the results of your efforts. With both of these tools, the key is to continually test and analyze the performance of your campaigns to determine what’s working and what needs to be changed. If you want to generate leads, you need to make sure that every element of your strategy is working in unison to achieve the best possible results.
Step four: Measure success
The last step in the optimization process is to measure the results of your efforts. To do this, you need to look at two factors: the amount of leads you’re generating and the number of conversions (i.e., the proportion of those leads that are becoming customers).
To begin with, you need to set a goal for your efforts, determine how you’re going to measure your results, and then set a period of time to determine whether or not your goal has been met. Setting a goal for your SEO efforts is a critical first step, but without a clear idea of how you’ll know if you’ve hit it, it’s hard to determine the next step. For example, you might want to set a goal of doubling the number of leads generated by your site over the next six months. But how will you know if you’ve reached this goal?
With these questions in mind, you can begin to set up some measurements to determine whether or not your goal has been met. For example, you could use Google Analytics to track the number of visitors to your site, the countries those visitors are coming from, the pages they visit, and more. From here, you can determine the number of leads generated by your site, as well as the number of conversions (i.e., the bounce rate).
These are just some of the things you can do to effectively and efficiently optimize your website for the local search market. If you want to read more, here are some fantastic tips from the experts at MarketingCharts.
Creating the right content is an essential first step to getting your website off the ground, but it’s also important to build links and generate leads if you want to be taken seriously when it comes to search engines.