Local SEO uses different algorithms compared to your standard search engine optimization campaign, confusing many health benefits business owners looking to maximize their local traffic. Thankfully, our experts have created a guide on how to get ahead in the competitive local SEO game. Below are seven techniques guaranteed to increase your organic search engine traffic and ultimately provide a much-needed boost to your bottom line.
1. Research Related Keywords
Anybody who has ever done anything related to search engine optimization is probably tired of thinking about keywords, but we assure you that they are a necessary evil if you want your campaign to produce results. Unlike other platforms that tell you keywords are essential without explaining how to use them, we’ll walk you through the process.
The first step is to download Google’s AdWords tool and set up a campaign. Next, type your website’s URL into the provided keyword tool. This brings up a list of the keywords associated with your business and website.
On the left-hand column, you will see a list of “Ad Groups” from which your results above are derived. Manually delete any that do not pertain to you, and you should be left with between five and 15 groups of words that you’re looking to rank for.
Finally, highlight each group and ensure that your website has a page optimized for those terms. If you don’t have one yet, create them as needed using the guidelines below.
2. Construct Landing Pages For Search Phrases
Keywords work best if each page on your site only focuses on a few of them, so it’s best to have multiple landing pages instead of one gigantic one. First, identify which page you want to associate with a particular group of keywords. Examples of this in the health benefits would be “dental benefits”, “health benefits,” and “employee benefits.” Then, optimize the page you selected by including the relevant phrases in the following five places.
- A. Meta Title
- B. Meta Description
- C. Actual URL
- D. H1 Tag
- E. Body Content
These are the areas Google looks for keywords in, so including them in all five locations should increase your SEO substantially.
3. Acquire Local Citations
There are three primary factors considered in local SEO rankings: time in operation, links back to your website, and reviews. The first element is mostly outside of your control, so let’s focus on the other two starting with backlinks.
Local SEO demands a specific type of link called a citation that includes your location. The best way to get these is to create a profile on local online directories such as Google My Business. Make sure that all of your listings have the same NAP (name, address, phone number) information, as even an insignificant discrepancy such as writing out “avenue” versus abbreviating it “Ave.” can be enough to confuse Google.
A variety of powerful tools are available to help you get these citations, including White Spark and Moz Local. Alternatively, YEXT offers an automated directory solution if you would prefer to do it yourself. However, we have noticed that professional services such as Moz Local consistently deliver better results than trying on your own.
4. Building Editorial Links
Citations are a good start, but all of their links include “rel=nofollow,” programming language that prevents Google from following that link to crawl to your site. We need Google to find you, so editorial links are required as a roadmap.
The best way to get these is to perform a quick Google search on “Guest Contribution Health Benefits,” where “health benefits” is the name of the field you’re in. You could also search for “Guest Contribution Dental Benefits.” The resulting websites should all allow guest contributions, enabling you to write content containing your links to them.
Any links provided in your author’s bio are likely to be of the “nofollow” variety, but the actual articles you contribute will not. Therefore, make sure to include relevant links in every post!
5. Social Media Signals
It isn’t enough to merely post on social media: you need to use it to build valuable relationships with your target market. First, you need to start by providing quality content. If you’re not, the tips below cannot help you.
Once you have quality content, you can retarget it toward your local target audience and use the provided advertising tools to rack up likes, comments, and shares. This interaction tells Google that people are talking about your health benefits business, boosting your reliability for the keywords you identified during the first step.
6. Obtain Reviews
User-generated content such as reviews is the final thing considered in your local SEO performance. The best way to get positive reviews is to just ask for them, providing your Google+ and Yelp pages to make it convenient for your customers to do so. You can find additional review sites to recommend by adding the word “review” to the keywords you are trying to rank for.
Google values positive reviews very highly, so adding them to your online resume is sure to boost your SEO performance.
7. How Are You Doing?
Finally, you need to track your SEO so that you know it is working as intended. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools are both great ways to segment your search traffic. What are your customers searching for? How often do they make a purchase? Affirmative answers to questions like these serve as reliable indicators that the campaign for your health benefits business is going well!