As a property manager, you likely rely on local audiences – whether somewhat or heavily. A robust website will certainly assist with that and earn you search engines’ favors, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) matters. However, its local SEO subset specifically will attract local audiences more effectively, as is its express goal. Of course, it comes with its own challenges too, so here we may help by highlighting some of the best strategies to improve your local SEO.
Which local SEO strategies should you avoid?
But first, let us briefly address some strategies you may best avoid or suspend, if you’re using them.
At its core, local SEO champions the same qualities SEO does – which you may find in our SEO series. Namely, transparency, authority, and search intent relevance and value to the user. The primary differences lie in how it achieves its goals through Google My Business (GMB) and in its location focus.
Understandably then, most black hat and questionable strategies that SEO warns against will also jeopardize local SEO. Anything spammy is a no-go, consistency is key, and so on. To highlight the main ones to avoid before we delve into advisable strategies, consider the following 3:
- Keyword stuffing. Much like with regular SEO, keyword stuffing should be avoided. In local SEO, this typically manifests in footer keyword stuffing, where one might use location keywords and zip codes. Search engines perceive this as a way to trick them and will thus penalize you for it.
- Location page content duplication. Similarly, businesses will sometimes duplicate content across different location pages with only minor modifications. While this practice saves time, search engines also frown upon it as underhanded. Moreover, this may result in “keyword cannibalization”, where different pages compete for the same keywords.
- Claiming locations where you don’t operate. Finally, especially when GMB radius targeting applied, some businesses would claim location pages for areas they didn’t operate in. This, too, is a tactic that will incur penalties and rarely yields results, so you may best avoid it entirely.
Strategies to improve your local SEO
That said, which local SEO strategies do work? Starting from the basics and progressing from there, here are our 7 picks for your consideration.
#1 Properly set up your GMB profile
First and foremost, a robust, optimized GMB profile will spearhead any local SEO efforts. In brief, for text economy, you should:
- Sign up to GMB if you haven’t; it’s free and very effective
- Create and claim your business profile
- Add accurate Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) information
- Leverage local keywords where appropriate
- Link back to your website
For a deeper analysis of the signup and optimization process, along with step-by-step guidance, you may refer to our GMB article.
#2 Perform a local SEO audit
Next, if you have an established local SEO strategy in place, you may perform a local SEO audit. Depending on the agency or professionals you work with, this may help reveal such shortcomings as:
- GMB oversights and mistakes
- NAP inconsistencies across listings
- Poor keyword research
- Low local authority
- Underperforming local content strategies
If you’re only now getting started with local SEO strategies, you may postpone this step for later.
#3 Create local content
Third, it is local content itself that will largely determine your efforts’ success. To create content that will organically improve your local SEO, you may start with local keyword research. With it in hand, you may begin crafting locally valuable content like:
- Local history and sights. While likely harder to fit into content strategies, such content truly stresses your business’s “local” aspect. It also organically incorporates local keywords, which directly assists your efforts.
- Tourist and new resident information. Similarly, “welcome to our town”-type content for tourists and newcomers can serve similar purposes. As a property manager, you may rather easily use such content as subtle entry points to your sales funnel.
- Local news and events. Finally, you may also cover local news and events for the same purposes. If you hold, sponsor, or participate in such events yourself, this type of content can also serve as great promotion.
#4 Build local links
In turn, such content will help you build local backlinks, improving your local SEO tremendously. In much the same way as backlinks build authority for general SEO purposes, local backlinks build local authority and relevance.
To build local backlinks, you may try such strategies as:
- Use the skyscraper technique. Coined by Backlinko’s Brian Dean, this technique calls for top-notch content authoritative websites in your field will want to host. It may strain your content production strategies, but it will be well worth it.
- Contribute to local sites. Similarly, you may contribute User-Generated Content (UGC) to local sites. Backlinks acquired this way will typically be NoFollow, but they will still entice local audiences.
- Leverage local influencers. Finally, you may work with local influencers to enhance your reach and acquire more backlinks. If you have a robust social media marketing strategy in place already, that’s all the better.
#5 Post on GMB and incentivize reviews
Finally, as regards GMB itself, you may leverage its features for maximum efficiency. It’s essentially a social media profile, in practice, so using it as such will further enhance your local SEO.
Consider such practices as:
- Cross-posting. Much of your social media content can very well fit into GMB; cross-posting appropriate content will provide costless engagement benefits.
- Business updates. Similarly, much like with social media profiles, your audiences crave meaningful content. You may thus use GMB to provide business updates like changing hours and events, right where they matter most.
- Incentivizing reviews. Continuing the similarities, reviews are the proverbial lifeblood of your business’s image. Remember to actively ask for reviews and swiftly and meaningfully respond to them; positive reviews will boost your local SEO, and your reactions to negative ones will inform your image.
#6 Ensure mobile-friendliness and optimize for voice search
Next, you may return to your website content, as your GMB profile will funnel traffic to it. With these strategies in place, it’s now imperative that you optimize it for mobile users and voice search alike.
First, to explain why the two overlap here, consider the following statistics:
- Roughly 97% of people who use online search, look for local businesses.
- Some 76% of consumers use voice search to look for local businesses at least once weekly.
- Approximately 78% of mobile local searches prompt an offline purchase.
In brief, mobile users increasingly fuel local SEO – and embrace voice search as they do so. Thus, especially now that mobile traffic surpasses desktop traffic, these qualities can truly improve your local SEO and final revenue.
To address both, you may start with the following practices:
- Adopt a mobile-first design philosophy; clean, simple UIs perform best for desktop users too
- Adjust your keyword choices and phrasing to cater to natural speaking patterns that voice searchers would use
#7 Leverage social listening and monitor your efforts
Finally, you may now begin looking for ways to further improve your local SEO through long-term insights. Here, you may primarily ramp up your efforts through practices like:
- Organic feedback collection. First, you may use feedback collection platforms to gauge how well your online presence meets your audiences’ needs and tastes. From reviews and comments to customer support queries, you may acquire ample actionable feedback.
- Social listening. Next, you may employ social listening to monitor social media discussions that don’t directly mention or address your business. You may listen for your business name, of course, but also key industry terms and competitors’ names and offerings.
- An eye on analytics and local SEO audits. Finally, you may keep a close eye on Google Analytics, page insights, and any other analytics tools you may use. In turn, especially if your efforts underperform, you may consider further local SEO audits to uncover and address potential shortcomings.
In summary, local SEO is becoming increasingly valuable as audiences shift to local searches and follow up with offline visits. As a property manager, seeking to improve your local SEO may be as wise as it is imperative. While brief, this list of strategies should hopefully help you in this endeavor.
If you need further help, feel free to contact us and see what PMW can do for your local SEO!