Post by Caterina Merenda, Marketing Specialist, with insights from Erik Bergstrom, SEO Analyst
Brands should understand that local SEO can increase their rankings in the SERP, relevant to location-based search queries. For example, if a local Boston hotel optimizes content for local SEO value, it is more likely to appear in the SERP for location based searches, such as “hotels near boston” or “hotels in boston.”
1. Create a company page on Google My Business
All brands, particularly smaller businesses, should create a company page through Google. If a user searches for “hotels near boston,” a small hotel chain or bed-and-breakfast has a better chance of appearing in the search results, which would look like so:
When brands create a Google My Business page for their business, they should ensure that all information represented is correct (address, phone number, contact information, etc.), as this will make them easily accessible.
2. Create location-based content
Local content creation is extremely beneficial for SEO. To demonstrate, if a large hotel brand with multiple chains sought to rank for location-specific terms, creating new and fresh content for each of their locations would increase their chances based on the consumer’s query.
- Body copy: The body copy within each web page should contain information specific to the city where the hotel is located. To illustrate, if a hotel is located in Boston, the hotel website may provide pages dedicated to activities, festivals, museums, etc. By utilizing location-specific keywords within each page, Google will have a better understanding of the pages’ relevancy. Because of this, Google can retrieve the correct information for users based on their search intent.
- META Data: META data should be optimized by location. When consumers are searching for something specific, like hotels, they are seeking a specific location and usually don’t want to be led to the corporation’s homepage. If the consumer is shopping around, hoping to secure a reservation, providing META data that is specific to location, will make the process much easier for the consumer. To demonstrate, a <TITLE> Tag that isn’t optimized for location would look something like this:
Hotel Rooms | “Hotel Name”
Instead, brands can create a <TITLE> Tag that is location-specific, looking like:
Hotel Rooms in Boston | “Hotel Name” or Hotel Rooms | “Hotel Name” Boston
3. Create a mobile optimized website
To optimize a mobile site for local SEO, brands should focus on:
- Website design: This is a best practice across all SEO, not just local, but if consumers are searching for something on-the-go, they are much more likely to convert if the website is responsive and easy to navigate
- Inbound links: Leveraging inbound links from other local websites that share similar attributes to your business will increase traffic and rankings
- Linking to Google maps: By providing a map with company information, users can easily access the location through their mobile device, leading them straight to the closest business location
- Location-specific mobile URLs: By creating mobile-specific URLs, brands can shorten the text, make it easier to read and add the location at the end, like so:
To conclude, to succeed in local SEO, brands should:
- Create a company page with location-specific information
- Create content relevant to location-specific search queries
- Create a mobile-optimized website, making it easier for searches to find and access branded content