How to Optimize Product and Service’s Website for Local Business
It may seem that positioning local business websites is way easier than those which operate nationally. However, it turns out that even a town with a population of several dozen thousand residents may be a place for several dozen dentists, accounting offices and law firms. Most of these entrepreneurs have their own websites and sufficient funds to hire an agency responsible for getting their web pages higher in browser rankings.
As we know, the so-called Top10 only includes 10 websites. Additionally Google more and more often displays substantially fewer organic results on the first page (most often only seven). Apart from that, the local results include websites similar to Yellow Pages or Yelp which successfully push local entrepreneurs out of the first page of the search engine. In effect, local SEO phrases can seemingly be less competitive for ranking than more general or national phrases. In reality, it often happens that some phrases can be qualified as the most difficult ones.
There is no surprise that you have to optimize your landing page as best as you can if you wish to position your website on the local market. SurferSEO.com is a tool which proves to be very helpful in this respect.
In first order: get to know your competition
To check the competitiveness of the industry in which you operate, you can simply use the Google search engine. All you need to do is enter phrases and name of the city/town or district in the search field. Next, you need to analyze the number of paid ads and websites in Google Maps. It is important that you analyze the types of web pages that pop up on first pages of the search engine results.
A lot of time and broad experience is needed to conduct such an analysis. It is therefore advisable to use SurferSEO.com, a tool that can take over all your work and additionally show you a wide range of data which you may omit or not check, deeming it as unimportant from our point of view.
Second: check the quantity and nature of your competitors’ content
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on optimization of a website owned by a fictitious dentist from Newark. With regard to cities, we suggest that you create at least several dedicated subpages with specific services, such as: teeth whitening, root canal treatment, braces, etc. As a result, you can strengthen the odds of being present on the first page of the search engine results -especially since queries like these are much less competitive than phrases as “dental office Newark” or “dentist Newark”.
The example below concentrates on the optimization of a phrase “teeth whitening Newark”. The entire process is repeatable enough so that SurferSEO.com tool can reproduce all the activities for other sections with the offer and the homepage.
After logging in to SurferSEO.com, enter a phrase of interest to you. In this case it is “teeth whitening Newark”. Next, select the location and click Enter.
Now the tool questions the search engine for answers to your query and about two minutes later you can see the entire analysis. To do so, simply click the button below “Filter by keyword”.
In effect you should see the first and most standard view showing the average number of words included in the descriptions of subpages which are displayed on particular pages of the search engine for the query: “teeth whitening Newark”.
Analyzing the diagram, you can see that pages that rank from 1 to 10 and from 11 to 20 have much longer descriptions than websites on further positions. Based on the data from the diagram, you can create a first text order which you hand over to a copywriter. This refers to a text, the length of which should range from 800 to 1000 words for this query.
Tip 1: If a website for which you want to order a text is a new website, I suggest ordering a text which is100-200 words longer. And this is because websites without history have to present themselves much better than websites which have been on the market for many years.
Tip 2: Some websites may falsify results and therefore it is important that you skip them when drawing conclusions. To do so, first disable averaging under the diagram. In doingso, disable the “Averages 10” option.
After the change is made, the diagram should show precise data regarding websites on particular positions. Next, it’s worth checking whether the results include websites which could distort the results. In this case there is only one website of this type. This refers to the website in position no. 5, which has a description of nearly 4 thousand words. Such results substantially deviate from the average. For this reason, you should skip this kind of website in your analysis. To do so, click the eye icon near the suitable website under the diagram.
After you have hidden the aforesaid website, the word count diagram can be found below. In this case, its removal has not changed the results considerably but there may sometimes be several websites which distort the results. Then it is necessary to perform such eliminations.
Third: analyze the appearance of competitors’ snippets
Another crucial thing is the way of optimizing your competition’s so-called snippets.
In short, snippets are the website title, meta description and URL, meaning the data which are displayed in the search results. That is why you should spend some time analyzing them.
To do so, browse competitors’ snippets in SurferSEO which can be found below the diagram.
Please note the fact that nearly all websites have optimized the title and URL for the phrase “teeth whitening”. This means that you also have to optimize snippets for this phrase. If you fail to do so, you will be a few steps behind your competitors.
In the menu on the left hand side you can find additional filters thanks to which you can analyze snippets of your competition carefully. We suggest that you click through all the available options because Surfer SEO can show you a lot of data in this respect.
Fourth: provide phrases which should be included in the description
Even fresh SEO specialists know that if you want to rank high in the search engine results in response to a specific phrase, you have to take care of the description in which the phrase is included. What is more, the phrase should be repeated several times in a text and – as far as possible – should be included in the headings as well. This is the so-called minimum optimization which everyone should be familiar with.
It may turn out however, that this is still not enough. Every day Google search engine robots get “smarter and smarter” and can recognize the theme of the text better and better. For this reason, it is important that you include as many phrases as you can in the text so that Google can associate your subpage with its content. Surfer SEO will come in very handy at this point.
In so doing, go to the “Common words” and “Common phrases” sections. You can find phrases and words which are most often present in the Top10 website descriptions displayed in response to your query in both sections. As a result, you can instantly see a list of phrases which should be used by the copywriter.
The fact of the matter is that several clicks can save a lot of time which you would have to devote to preparing guidelines for the copywriter. Apart from this,you can be sure that the additional phrases you choose will help you associate your web page with the subject of your interest.
The list of phrases you have received should be filtered and you should delete phrases which are likely to be redundant and useless. This is all about such phrases as “office hours” or “request an appointment”. It’s best to chose from several to a dozen additional phrases which best describe the customer’s offer.
Fifth: prepare a description and snippet for the subpage
Based on the data collected and analyzed by SurferSEO, you can prepare optimization-related guidelines for particular subpages and guidelines for the copywriter who will prepare the content for your website.
The most significant elements of the subpage with a keyword “teeth whitening service” are the following:
- title – “Teeth whitening in Newark %company name%” – the phrase you choose must be included in the title, and it should also be as close to the beginning as possible;
- meta description – this should be a simple and several-sentence text which contains the phrase and encourages users to visit your website. You can entrust the task of writing the meta description to the copywriter;
- URL – “/teeth-whitening/” – the URL should include the phrase without the name of city/town and must be as short as possible;
- H1 – “Teeth whitening in Newark” – here you have to include the phrase as well;
- description – guidelines for the copywriter below.
Guidelines related to the description for the copywriter:
- the text should be reader friendly;
- the text should be formulated in a way that a customer accepts it easily; if the customer rejects the text, positioning process will be delayed;
- the text should be about 1000 words long;
- the text should be divided into paragraphs and headings;
- the main phrase should be in the first paragraph and repeated at least 2-3 times further on in the text;
- the text should contain as many additional phrases as possible (selected from “Common words” and “Common phrases” sections);
- the main phrase and auxiliary phrases should be in the headings.
You can help the copywriter by providing them with the “Content Editor” function available in Surfer SEO. “Content Editor” is a tool which every professional copywriter should take advantage of. When writing, this tool checks which phrases have been used in the text and which have not yet been used. This serves as great help thanks to which a copywriter can be sure they do not skip any guidelines.
When such guidelines are ready, the copywriter should prepare a text which will provide substantial support in the website positioning process.
To sum up: a few additional tips for SEO specialists who focus on local businesses
Website optimization itself is not enough. You should not forget that website links are equally important and influence your position in search engine results. For this reason you should gain links from local sources. The best sources are the following:
- government bodies’ websites which frequently have a section with local companies;
- local media websites – ads in such places area really good idea and may help you win many new customers;
- local Internet forums;
- websites kept by local people who may be interested in the offer;
- partner entrepreneurs who are ready to place their website links on your website and in exchange share space on their website for your links.
In this article I focused on how to prepare content for particular landing pages. You should remember that Google also takes website usability into account. If the website loads too slowly oris not available in a mobile version, you can forget about high positioning in the search engine. Also, make sure the website looks good and proves the company is professional. If a potential customer visits the website which does not look trustworthy, they will surely opt for competitors.
The last two things you must pay attention to is presence in Google Maps and online reviews about the company. Thanks to Google maps, the company can be displayed above organic results in the Google search engine. For this reason, you should make sure you not only add a website, but also complete the profile so that it looks attractive to potential customers. Speaking of reviews, you must pay attention to what content is displayed in the Google results after you enter the name of company in combination with a word “reviews”. This is how users most often check a company’s credibility. If the reviews are negative, you must explain the situation by referring to unfavorable entries.
What are other purposes of Surfer SEO?
Surfer SEO is not only used to prepare guidelines for ranking websites of local businesses. This tool most often serves to prepare guidelines for the website ranking process in response to difficult or very difficult phrases and when analyzing phrases, the positions of which are not satisfying.
Now Surfer provides a number of possibilities and can support your daily work substantially. Above all, this tool lets you save time which normally you would have to dedicate to “manual” analysis.
We are truly glad that such tool as Surfer SEO is available on the market, and we wish international success to the team working on improving its functions.
Search Engine Optimization Specialist at Verseo with 8 year experience. Involved in the optimization and ranking of large content websites, especially in the medical industry.