Many businesses use search engine optimization to target certain cities or regions. But what if you are trying to attract customers within walking distance? In this case, general terms may not be enough.
Hyperlocal SEO can help you increase foot traffic in the neighborhoods you’re trying to reach with hyper-targeted keywords combined with on-site website optimization and other methods. Read on to learn what hyperlocal SEO is and how you can use it to attract more customers.
What is Hyperlocal SEO?
In a nutshell, hyperlocal SEO is search engine optimization on a micro level to increase online visibility to potential customers in a very granular way—down to a specific block or neighborhood in some cases. This is ideal if you are a local restaurant, mechanic, or other business looking to serve a certain area within a city, town, or locale.
You’ve probably benefited from hyperlocal searches yourself when searching for a specific type of business while on the go. As an example, if you happen to be in Boston’s financial district and are looking for a place to get a delicious lunch, you might search for a “cafe Boston financial district.” You can see from the results that there are several options in that specific part of Boston that you can likely walk to. These are hyperlocal search results.
Google has also been changing the way it displays results to offer more helpful information. For example, you can now see “Discover more places” when you perform a local search to see other options in the area related to your search.
As mobile search increases at a steady rate and search engines adjust results to cater to local searches, hyperlocal search engine optimization is increasingly important for businesses wanting to reach prospective customers nearby.
Tips to Help Your Small Business Rank in Hyperlocal Search Results
Now that you know how valuable this tactic can be to your local business, here are some tips to help you show up in mobile search results.
1. Determine the Best Hyperlocal Keywords for Your Business
Finding the best keywords for a limited area can be a bit tricky. We suggest a couple ways to get started with your keyword research. One way is to use Google Autocomplete. To use this function, simply open Google Chrome and type in a search query using the search bar. As you do so, you will see related search terms based on what you are typing in. These can be valuable because they reflect what terms other people are using when conducting a search related to yours.
Next, make note of Google’s related terms. After you type in a search term, scroll down to the bottom of the results to find more gems in the form of “Searches related to …”. Here you may find some terms that would be highly relevant to your business and location.
The Google Keyword Planner, which is found within Google AdWords, also provides a wealth of keyword ideas to help you get started.
If you want to take more of a deep dive into hyperlocal keyword research, Rand Fishkin, SEO expert with Moz, recommends a couple of tips for finding hyperlocal keywords for locations that don’t have a high search volume. See Rand’s video here for a detailed explanation.
2. Verify and Set Up Your Google Business Listing
This step can’t be overstated. Google pulls much of the information it serves from your business listing, so if it is not verified or filled out completely you are missing out on a huge opportunity (to put it mildly). Your Google Business listing will show your open hours, website address, reviews, photos, posts, location, and more. To start the setup process for your Google Business page, click here.
Be sure you are completely filling out your business information, paying special attention to:
- Description (including keywords)
- Service Area
The more information you can include, the more easily Google, and searchers, can determine where you are and what services you provide.
3. Incorporate Hyperlocal Keyword Terms on Your Website
Once you have determined the best keywords, it’s time to implement them on your website. Include hyperlocal keyword terms within your metadata, titles, headings, text, image alt text, and other places that Google will crawl to find out where you are located.
By implementing the three tips above, you are well on your way to standing out in hyperlocal searches. Once you have these basics down, you can focus on hyperlocal marketing with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and more.