We all know that blogging can improve search rankings, but how do you maximise those effects to rank highly in local search?
Incorporate city and suburb names
I’m sure that many of you already include your city name in your search engine optimisation practices, however it pays to stretch the net a little wider.
Think of individual suburb names and regions on the outskirts of your community that your business might be able to service. Your blog can then be used to allow for localised content. For example, you might highlight your business’ participation in upcoming community events, charity work or local activities.
You can also capitalise on local news events by writing posts about your thoughts on issues from the point of view of a local business owner e.g. mayoral elections etc. This helps provide strong signals that your business is active and relevant to people in those neighbourhoods.
Keep your blog under the same domain name as your website
As your blog’s rankings increase so to do those of your website. That is providing you have integrated your blog under the same domain name as your website (e.g. www.company.com/blog), as opposed to www.companyblog.com, or www.blog.company.com.
Before you implement some of the other local search practices mentioned for your blog, make sure your blog is embedded under your main website domain.
From a search engine perspective this is important, as links that are coming to your site are one of the strongest correlating factors for rankings in search engines. You need to ensure that the inbound links you are acquiring to your blog are gaining links to your business at the same time.
Use long-tail keywords
Whereas in previous years website owners could rank highly in local searches for short keywords like “Melbourne pet shop”, the advent of technology such as Apple’s Siri, and Google Now mean that mobile users in particular are now asking more natural questions of search engines, for example, “Where is the nearest pet shop?”.
This means that long-tail keywords beginning with questions such as who, where, what and when are starting to appear more prominently in search results.
Think of some of these types of questions that consumers might be asking relevant to your industry and brainstorm a couple of blog posts you could write in answer to some of these questions.
E.g. “How do I remove red wine stains from carpet?” might be a good post for a house cleaning service or “What is a natural alternative to refined sugar?” could be a post of benefit to a health foods store.
Keep your NAP consistent
NAP stands for name, address, phone number. Your NAP should be listed prominently across your website, blog, social media profiles and local directory listings. For optimum local search rankings, keep the formatting of your NAP consistent.
Engage in local conversations
It pays to keep your pulse on community conversations happening on other local business blogs. Spend ten minutes every few days reading blogs of industry leaders and keeping an eye on trending local hashtags. Remember to also leave comments and add your voice to the conversation. This is a way to build up your readership and expose new potential customers to your business.