Local search is very competitive and challenging especially if you have no physical premises. It seems like Google simply doesn’t want to show companies that aren’t physically located in the searched area. So, how can a business appear on the first pages of the search? Is it even possible?
Go for organic Sometimes the path of less resistance is the most profitable in business, especially when it comes to local SEO. While Google is improving their Places Pages, it still prefers surrounding those search results with organic listings that are relevant. As a result, you should have something useful that you can put on your page. For example, it can be:
- Local differentiation
- Data that gives you a competitive advantage
- Honest expertise
- Customer reviews for the chosen location
There are big local directories and sites like Yelp that work well with local search results. This means that even if you don’t have physical premises in the area, you can go head to head with local businesses for queries. The only thing you need to do is to create a page targeting the query, add links to it from other pages and then add external links that are relevant.
Boost the Geo-Signals on &off your site
While creating a specific page on your website for the target location is a good start, if you want to increase the rates, try adding case studies or customer testimonials about the work you have done in the target area. If possible, add videos and photos geo-tagged with the chosen location to your citation profiles and your website. It’s also worth it to spend some time getting relevant reviews that mention this location. Those off-site geo-signals often help beat the competitors.
Sidestep local packs by targeting high in the funnel
If you can’t fight competition in the same area your competitors use, go for the content gaps you can exploit. Analyze your competitors. They might not do everything perfectly well, but you can get some ideas to validate. Think about aiming for different areas where local companies haven’t developed their strong presence and where there are still more opportunities to stand out. If you’re thinking of targeting a different market, don’t expect immediate conversion. However, it also means you can build recognition and become a knowledge provider in the industry.
Get the level of granularity right
It’s important to perform careful research of your analytic data, understand what content gets more traffic and how you can increase your lead generation rate from that content. Examine the keywords and see what people usually search. At some point you may even think that you don’t need location pages at all.