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If you want to win at local search engine optimization (SEO), but you don’t want to depend on content marketing, you can do that! There are other techniques you can use to succeed. For instance, you could switch your focus towards usability and building a community.

Try these strategies to attain high local rankings in the search engines:

1. Consider building a community.

Perhaps you’re good at bringing people together. You could create a forum or build your social media presence devoted to the needs of your prospective customers. As this community grows you can then send your audience towards your offers.

2. Use a brandable domain.

If you go back a few years, everyone was trying to build their websites on domain names that exactly matched their keywords. This worked for a while, and you could rank these websites near the top of the search engines with very little effort.

● Nowadays, things have changed and brandable domains are the way to go. When you create a brand, you create a unique presence for your business, essential when attempting to rank locally.

3. Build an intuitive, responsive website.

Even with the free web-builder software available today, there are still plenty of local businesses with poor websites. Sometimes it’s best to pay for an expert (hint, hint!) to create a professional website – especially if you want to outrank these poorer websites.

● A responsive website is essential to ensure that the website works on all devices. These days, most web traffic comes from mobile devices, so you must make your website mobile-friendly in addition to desktops.

4. Use on-page SEO.

To rank highly, it’s important to optimize your website. Ensure that each page on your website is optimized with a title, heading tags, and properly labeled images. Choose keywords that are appropriate for your website.

● Forget about trying to rank globally, but instead, look at adding local place names. For example, “restaurants in Chicago” instead of “restaurants.”

5. Speed up your website loading time.

Website loading time is a ranking factor that many website owners fail to address. If your website is slow to load, users will click off it quickly. This high bounce rate will have a negative impact on your SEO efforts.

6. Verify your business with Google Business Profile.

If you want your business to appear on Google Maps, you’ll need to verify it with Google Business Profile. Think of this way, by having reviews, up-to-date contact information, and business hours you are improving the experience for potential customers to find YOU. Once you’ve done this, your business will have a greater chance of appearing on the map on the first-page search results.

● Since we’re talking about Google Business Profile, content shared on social media has become really important. It’s become so important now more than ever before sharing your page on social media will align with social and search.

7. Build local citations.

Citations are when your business name, address, and phone number are listed on the web. These citations help to boost your visibility on Google Maps and the local search results. The more of these your website has the better your website should perform.

● Be consistent with the wording across all your listings. If you are not consistent, it may harm your overall visibility.
● Check for spelling errors, abbreviations, or wrong phone numbers.
● You get an extra brownie point if you can emphasize a Chambers of Commerce membership in your local community.

8. Earn reviews from customers.

Encourage your customers to publish reviews of your products or services. These reviews help to build trust in the search engines, plus you will be building trust in the general public too.

Did you really think we’d leave you with only 8 tips?
Bonus! Participate in your local community. We didn’t really want to leave you hanging. So we thought we’d give you a sprinkle of a little bit more guidance. The more you participate in your local community, the more digital PR for you and your business. How do you participate? It’s simple!

Sponsor! You know all those sponsors that you see at events? You can do that too! Sponsor events whether it’s in-person or online!
Partner with a non-profit
Have a volunteer day in your organization
Appearing in your local media. This is a good way to create inbound links, earn some press, and brand awareness.

If your aim is to succeed at local SEO, you won’t need to focus too much attention on content marketing. When you focus on these local SEO techniques, you can beat those competitors who invest heavily in content. Let us know if you use any of these strategies (or discover any new ones). Drop us a line through our contact form.

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You’d be surprised, local search is powerful and if you own a small business, you’re in luck! This is the perfect guide for you!