Ranking locally is a struggle, no matter your location. Many of our clients provide services across the country, but want to rank locally in Minneapolis. Generally speaking, the rules for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are the same whether you want to rank locally or nationally, but there are some location-specific tips.
Ranking Locally vs. Ranking Nationally
Let’s take a step back and talk about the difference between ranking locally and ranking nationally. As Google has grown in sophistication, it’s gotten better about giving people the content they want to see. That includes recommending businesses that are closest to them versus national companies.
A local search ranking is based on a specific area (like Minneapolis). If I’m sitting in a café in Uptown searching for, say, “florist near me”, I want to see Minneapolis florists first in my search results. This is mostly based on location, but you may also notice results for companies that are a few miles away (this means they’ve improved their SEO, which we’ll get to in a minute).
A national search ranking is showing up no matter where a user is searching. In the florist example, you’ll likely still see massive national companies like 1-800-Flowers.com® appearing in search, even though they’re not local. While it’s everyone’s pipe dream to rank top page for all of your keywords no matter where someone is searching, it’s unrealistic for most companies. Generally speaking, companies that rank on national searches are massive companies with very large and depthful websites.
How to Rank Locally in Minneapolis
Have a Google My Business Page
Google loves Google, and especially their tools. If you want to rank locally in Minneapolis, you’ll want to start by creating a Google My Business page if you don’t have one, or optimizing your existing page if you do have one.
Google My Business is vital for local searches. You may not have heard of it, but you’ve definitely seen it in action if you’ve ever searched online for a local business:
Getting your Google My Business up to speed will greatly improve your chances for showing up in Minneapolis searches.
Use Local Keywords
This might sound obvious, but many people overlook this step. If you want to rank in Minneapolis, you have to use the word Minneapolis on your website. Let’s say one of the keywords you want to rank for is “florist.” Simply making an effort to change some of your “florist”s into “Minneapolis Florist” or “Florist in Minneapolis” gives you more oomph in your local rankings.
Revisit Your Website
If all else fails, there may be a deeper problem with your website. If it’s been a few years since your last redesign, it might be time to start from the ground up. Instead of relying on traditional, outdated web design, build your site using User-Centered Web Design. User-Centered Web Design (UCD) is an ongoing process that keeps pace with visitor behavior and changing SEO trends to ensure that your website stays at the top if its game. You can learn all about UCD by downloading our eBook below.
Ranking locally in Minneapolis is easy if you follow these tips.
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