Google is actively interested in improving local searches to provide local results. One way they do this is by prioritizing locally relevant results.
If you are a Utah based business you should be focusing on maximizing your local search rankings. This can have dramatic effects on your bottom line.
In this post, Ballard Branding will help Utah businesses understand some basics to increase local SEO.
We will be providing key tips for improving local search rank, and some of the challenges you may face along your way.
What is Local SEO?
Search engines (i.e. Google and Bing) us location as one of their key factors when ranking and serving up websites. They want to make sure that the search results will be most valuable to the user.
Being a Utah based business you want your name to appear when people search keywords that connect with your offerings.
Due to the localized nature of search results, your content must be created in such a way that search engines deem your content useful for local users that are searching.
Your content needs to be relevant to the specific geographic location that you provide service for.
Why is Local SEO Important for Utah Business?
According to Google, 46% of all online searches performed and nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to location. The most common search is to locate a phone number or address to for a specific business.
Other searches include looking for a specific service near the person searching.
Below is a quick search I did on my phone for web development in Spanish Fork. As you can see the search engine used my location, Spanish Fork Utah, to provide me a list of web designers that are near me. These Utah based web designers have produced content that makes Google feel they would be the most relevant results to my local search.
The shift that search engines have placed on localized search results makes it essential for Utah businesses today to focus on creating more locally centered content. You need to convince search engines that you are worthy to place in front of your potential local customers. You must do more than sprinkle a few local Utah based keywords on your front page and call it good.
The shift that search engines have placed on localized search results makes it essential for Utah businesses today to focus on creating more locally centered content. You need to convince search engines that you are worthy to place in front of your potential local customers.
You must do more than sprinkle a few local Utah based keywords on your front page.
Difference between a Local Utah SEO and Broad-Reach SEO
Google’s local search results now appear with a map and business listings. This appears for at least 93% of searches that have local intent. It is incredibly powerful for Utah businesses to make it on to this list.
The above image shows how powerful being on this list is. The listing includes the name, address, and phone number (this grouping of info is call NAP), a google map, google reviews, hours, website links, and directions.
When a Utah business focusses on local SEO, their business will cut through the clutter and become more relevant than other bigger national competitors.
Unlike broad-reach SEO, which is highly competitive, local SEO and quickly generate quality leads to people that matter to your business.
Rather than trying to focus on basic keywords, your local company can narrow its target to those people in Utah.
For instance, if a national company was trying to rank for “Cheap life insurance” you would have a leg up because you would focus on “Cheap Life Insurance in Orem Utah.” These key phrases have less competition and more weight with search engines looking to provide a quality local experience.
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Tips to Improve your Local Utah Search Rankings
If you are a small to midsize Utah business that is competing against larger organizations for google dominance…well that is going to be tough. Not out of the question but tough and expensive.
So start owning your local market.
Here are some numbers to consider.
- 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours
- 28% of those searches result in a purchase
That makes a big difference to your bottom line. So to ensure that people are finding your business, you need to use content marketing and local SEO techniques to crease your local ranking.
1. Make Sure Your Information is Right.
First, make sure all search engines know you are a credible business and understand what you offer.
- Optimize your title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and images with relevant local keywords.
- Optimize your content. Become an expert in the conversation of your town, city, and state.
- Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information is right and consistent.
- Make sure you have an amazing internal linking strategy. This provides ranking power to all of your webpages.
2. Claim Your Google Business Listing
Claiming your Google Business profile is overlooked by a lot of businesses here in Utah. Take time to claim your profile on Google Business. Make sure that you fill out all the great information about your company to help google and your users know exactly what you provide.
3. Get Listed on Utah Directories.
It takes work to get your name listed in online directories, but it is well worth the time.
There are paid services available that get you placed on directories a little quicker.
Whatever way you choose to get your business citations out there, make sure they all use the same contact information. If any changes are made to your contact information, make sure you change all of your citations.
What should be included in your citations:
- Local keywords
- NAP Information
- Hours of Operation
- Product or Service Offerings.
4. Research and Find Relevant, Utah Keywords
Using the right keywords in your content is vital for local SEO. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to search for keywords or phrases that are relevant not only to your business but to Utah. Go for high searched volumes with low competition.
5. Write Utah Focussed Blog Content.
The trick in moving up local search engine ratings is to post more local content.
Utilizes social platforms to get local content out will come in handy.
Search engines use social network analytics to see if you are valuable to your local community. Take the time to make a few quality local posts.
When you create a blog, you need to be committed to building great content.
If you are trying to improve your rankings, you need to write at least 4 new blogs a month, if not more.
Take the time to write to your local audience about things they care about.
The most common mistakes Utah companies make is always writing about themselves. Take time to write about your audience.
Here are a few ideas:
- Local Stories
- Best of Lists
- How-to articles
- Location guides
- Employee Stories
- Behind the scenes of your business
- What are you doing to improve Utah?
6. Local Customer Reviews
Take the time to encourage local people to review your business. Especially on Google. Then take those reviews and place them throughout your site. Google sees this as a key indicator that people around you value your business.
7. The Power of Social
If you have not got into social, WHY?
Search engines take into account your social engagement. Plus, being on social is the best kind of audience research that you can do.
Join relevant social groups in Utah. There are tons of them out there. Don’t just join, become an active part of the conversation.
Also, don’t just solicit your business. Add quality to any conversation in a quality way. Let people know you care about what is going on.
Tips When Using Social
- Use local hashtags
- Promote local events
- Take pictures in the community and share them.
- Include links to your website on your profile pages
- Use local keywords
- Ask thoughtful questions
8. Think Mobile Experience
57% of all U.S. online traffic now comes from mobile devices. Consider how you search for information. You pull out your phone while watching your daughter’s soccer game or while you are at a Utah Jazz game.
To state it simply, you need to make sure your site is mobile friendly for wherever your clients are.
9. Get Active In Utah
Community involvement is vital to your local brand.
- Become involved in your community.
- Take time out to rub elbows with great local causes.
- Take part in Utah city days that run throughout the summer.
- Get to know the people and let them get to know you.
Utah is perfect for networking, volunteering, and socializing. Attend community events and take plenty of pictures so you can share them on your social.
10. Make Your Assets Sharable
When developing content, make sure you come across as a Utah authority.
- Do your research.
- Write reliable information.
- Your content should be interesting.
- Make your content noteworthy and shareable.
- Let them know you are willing to help them solve problems.
Become part of the Ballard Branding community, by joining in the conversation. We will provide local marketing tips to help support your companies growth here in Utah.