One digital marketing tactic that should be discussed (and implemented) more frequently is hyperlocal SEO. But, what exactly is “hyperlocal SEO?”
Utilizing hyperlocal SEO tactics on your website starts with the page copy itself. Area-specific keywords and phrases signal to Google that your business and its service area represents a particular neighborhood, specific community name, or region included on the page content.
Living and working in Chicago, we know that the city is broken down into neighborhoods each with their own individual names. These neighborhoods have their own identities, their own prominent streets, and unique landmarks. This is content that if woven into a local landing page, makes it a hyperlocal SEO landing page.
Search Engine Watch defines hyperlocal SEO as the following…
In a nutshell, ‘hyperlocal SEO’ is doing the same kind of optimization, but for smaller, more focused localities such as neighborhoods, towns, streets, and spots located near well-known landmarks – rather than ‘local SEO’, which would normally stop at cities, districts, or regions.
This is a great way to summarize what it means to implement these tactics: think of it as one level deeper than your standard local SEO.
For instance, when creating content for a hyperlocal landing page, you don’t want to stop your local references at the city-level. Instead, you want to describe the specific neighborhood in which the location exists. If possible, go even further to weave in unique neighborhood names and nicknames into your meta tags.
Another successful hyperlocal tactic is to mention well-known intersections, options for customer parking, and even notable landmarks that are close to your business. Just think of how you would describe the area as if your neighbor asked you for directions on how to get there. You wouldn’t just give a specific address, you’d use phrases like “near the park,” and “around the corner of (insert business here)” to get your point across.
If you want to drive the point home even further and strengthen your hyperlocal page, you can include images of everything mentioned above with optimized and accurately depicted alt text.
Hyperlocal SEO tactics are used to give location pages an extra layer of optimization. If your business targets a very local clientele, say a nail salon in Lincoln Park, Chicago, then you’d want to implement neighborhood-specific keywords in your on-site copy.
It’s safe to assume that people are searching for “nail salon Chicago” on a daily basis. It’s also safe to assume that someone searching broadly for the search query “nail salons in Chicago,” might not be close to Lincoln Park. Therefore, they wouldn’t patronize your business if you optimized for (and appeared in) search results for that city-level key phrase.
The screenshot above illustrates the search volume for neighborhood specific keywords such as “nail salons lincoln park chicago il” that are much more relevant to your potential customers.
It’s important to note that you won’t see keyword volume within tools for every neighborhood in your area. However, tons of super local jurisdictions (depending on population) have phantom keyword volume. One way to check for this is to view clicks and impressions in Google Search Console. Trust your gut – create that page and view its ‘phantom’ data after a few weeks or months. Regardless of volume, using hyperlocal terms and neighborhood identifiers in your on-page copy, you can help your business increase its digital visibility for high-intent customers that are searching with hyperlocal identifiers.
The first step in creating a hyperlocal SEO landing page is to create a local landing page.
[For information on how to do that, you can reference this post on how to build local landing pages.]
Once a local landing page is built, you’ll need to incorporate hyperlocal information into the blog. Here are examples of hyperlocal information that will help with your in-depth optimization efforts:
As mentioned in the example above, consumers looking for products or services “near” them will include a neighborhood or a specific area within that city or suburb within their search.
In Chicago, neighborhoods are a large part of the city. For B2C services, many city dwellers are going to use keywords of convenience to find things nearby when they search for services online. Just as Chicago has tight-knit neighborhoods, New York City has its boroughs.
In both cases, emphasizing hyperlocal phrases and keywords on landing pages can be the best course of action. Adding both in this case, would make it hyperlocal and likely be the best course of action. Even specific areas that are nicknamed such as “north shore” referring to the suburbs north of Chicago by Lake Michigan are good to include if relevant.
Personally, I know that I have Googled something like this before, “food near Damen Ave and Fullerton Ave.” When I lived near this intersection but couldn’t decide what to eat, a blanket search like this would populate all the hyperlocal establishments near that intersection that sell food.
Finding a place located near this intersection helped me find a walkable place to eat at or order delivery from and dictated my purchase decision.
It’s also good practice to provide driving directions amid your location information, as well as information about nearby parking.
Parking in the city is a major hassle, if you own your own spaces, that could be a huge selling point. Either way, providing information like this is helpful for the user and great information for Google to crawl to learn more about your business and possibly add “attributes” to your Google Business Profile.
Adding landmark information can help in the same way as intersections do, by providing another local signal to Google about your business’s location. It also helps illustrate where your business falls in a particular neighborhood or region.
A landmark can be a famous building, such as a museum or historical site, or it can be a local park. When using landmarks as part of your hyperlocal SEO strategy, you want to include only ones that exist within close proximity to your business, and that are famously known amongst neighbors.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is a very popular tourist attraction, and a favorite among Lincoln Park locals. Someone walking through the park or visiting the zoo is likely to use a landmark related keyword when searching for a service nearby.
In the example above, landmark specific language can be helpful to reach online searchers who may not be familiar with street names or neighborhoods. If you sell coffee near the zoo, integrating landmark-based keywords can help bump your local business’ visibility by placing it prominently on Google Maps in the local search results.
Once you have this information researched and ready to use on your site, you can weave this hyperlocal content into your local landing page.
Neighborhood keywords can (and should) be put into your title tag, h1 tag, meta description and body copy.
We recommend adding the landmark and driving directions/parking content into the body copy of your page. If possible, include it closer to the top of the page so it can be easily found and read by the user.
Don’t forget to reiterate your business’s address, phone number, and even a contact form on these pages as well.
At DTC, we’ve been able to see great visibility and rankings improvements by implementing hyper local content on some of our client’s pages. Here are some hyperlocal location page examples:
Our client, IPX1031 has local pages on their site for the different regions in which they operate. These pages receive great visibility and drive a lot of traffic and conversions for the business.
However, IPX1031 has operations throughout the entire United States, and struggled to rank well in every single market where the competition is stronger. When we noticed the business was seeing less traction within Minnesota we built a hyper localized page with content specific to Minnesota.
Initial Page: The initial landing page for Minnesota was regionally focused. The page title covered a number of states including Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Pages such as this can rank for some state-specific keywords, but in this instance, the page wasn’t specific enough to Minnesota.
Improved Page: After researching and analyzing a solution, we created a new landing pages with state-specific content for just the Minnesota market with the following adjustments:
New Page URL: The URL for this new page had the Minnesota abbreviation in the URL, which is a good use of a local keyword (https://www.ipx1031.com/locations/name/tc-fair-mn/) and we removed mentions of the other states to focus on the state of Minnesota solely.
Hyperlocal Content: A key strategy in building this new page was to localize the page, so we added ground level content such as:
With these page specialization tactics we were able to break into the top 5 rankings for keywords such as “1031 exchange Minnesota.”
Another one of DTC’s valued clients has a location page for their bank in Chicago. This page is heavily tailored towards the neighborhood “Logan Square” and ranks very well for relevant Logan Square keywords.
On this page we included:
Liberty Bank has established themselves as a helpful community driven bank in the neighborhood of Logan Square and their local landing page reflects that image.
As a final word, remember to include the hyperlocal content on all of your location pages to rank for different keywords and send a stronger local signal to Google. Now that you’ve learned that local tactics can go a level deeper you can implement these changes on your own site pages.
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