If your local business has a physical store or serves a specific area, adding local service pages to your website is non-negotiable. And, in order to reach your ideal customers through search engines like Google, you’ll need to optimize them for local SEO.
Writing great local service page copy is tough, though — it can take a great deal of time, effort, and research to get it right. So, I’m going to take you through some of my top tips for writing fantastic local service page copy that will help you reach your target customers and get more of them through your door.
If you’re not sure you have the time or skillset to write your own copy for these web pages, you can also choose to outsource the task. At Loganix, we provide local SEO services for a wide range of SMEs just like yours. We’re well-versed in creating high-quality and optimized copy that ranks, so we’re here if you need a helping hand.
Now, let’s take a look at what you need to know if you would like to do the best possible job yourself!
What is Local SEO and Why Should You Focus On It?
So, what is local SEO, and why should you care about it?
Local SEO is an area of digital marketing that can help to make your website more visible through Google’s local search results. Essentially, if someone in your area searches for your services and adds “near me” or mentions your town or city, you want to ensure you pop up as one of the top results. This typically won’t just happen on its own, though, so you need to have a strong local SEO strategy to outrank your competitors.
Brick-and-mortar stores like restaurants, bars, law offices, bakeries, or grocery stores all need to be using local SEO tactics to attract the right customers. But the list doesn’t stop there — generally, if your product- or service-based business serves customers in a specific area, you need to be harnessing the power of local SEO.
Creating optimized local content, both for your service pages and your blog or knowledge base, is a huge part of improving your visibility for local searches. When written well and properly optimized, your content will give search engines a better idea of where you’re based, who you serve, and what you offer. This will make it much easier for the likes of Google to send the right people your way, and will get more of your ideal customers through your door.
So, let’s delve into how you can send the right signals to Google through your local service page copy.
Identify what people are searching for with local keyword research
First things first: in order to write local service page copy that’s going to help you show up on relevant search engine results pages, you need to know what your target audience is actually typing into Google. You can then weave popular words and phrases into your copy to increase your chances of ranking for them. And, you can find out which local search terms you need to be targeting through keyword research.
Head to a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner and type in words or phrases that are related to the service you’re looking to write about. You’ll then be given a list of relevant keywords, along with their levels of competitiveness — or how hard they’re going to be to rank for — and their monthly search volumes, which show how often they’re searched.
Just remember that you’re looking for keywords relevant to your geographical area, so you’ll also want to include details like the name of your state, town, or city. Depending on how far you would like your reach to stretch, you may want to target keywords that mention locations in your surrounding area, too.
Find out which keywords your local competitors are ranking for
Once you’ve done your own research and identified which search terms you would like to target, it’s also worth looking into which local keywords your nearby competitors are already ranking for. This can help you to spot any gaps in your existing strategy and give you a better idea of which phrases you might find it easier to improve your visibility for.
Keyword research tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer can help you to discover which keywords your competitors’ local service pages currently rank for. Simply input a URL you would like to analyze, and you’ll quickly be given a list of keywords your competitor is doing a good job of targeting. Again, you’ll be given their monthly search volumes and levels of competitiveness so you can make an informed decision about which ones you should also target.
Just like you did when conducting your preliminary keyword research, look for phrases that are particularly relevant to the copy you’re looking to write, and that have impressive metrics. You can then look to weave these into your local service page content, too.
Carefully incorporate the keywords into your copy
Once you’ve decided which keywords you’re going to target on which service pages, you’ll want to weave them into your copy subtly so it still reads naturally. Not only will copy that’s particularly keyword-heavy frustrate your website visitors, but Google also frowns upon keyword stuffing and could dock your rankings as a result. So, focus on getting the most important and relevant keywords in, while ensuring all of your copy still reads well.
You also need to be strategic about where you place your keywords for the best results. Your most important local keywords should be incorporated into your page titles, headings, meta descriptions, and throughout the body copy where appropriate. This will make it much easier for search engines like Google to rank your service pages for the related queries, as they will have no questions about what you do and exactly where you’re based.
It’s a good idea to mix both short and long tail keywords into your local service page copy for some variation, too. For more information about what this means and how to do it, make sure you check out WordAgents’ guide to long tail vs short tail keywords and how to use them.
Don’t forget to include relevant internal links
Internal links are designed to send your visitors from one page of your site to another. And, as well as being helpful for consumers, they’re also important for SEO. This is because internal links give search engines more context about your business, the structure of your site, and which of your web pages are the most important.
When writing the copy for your local service pages, you need to be looking for opportunities to add internal links to related web pages. Here are some tips that will help you get the best results:
- Use appropriate anchor text, linking keywords that relate to the page you’re pointing to
- Try to send the most internal links to your most important pages — these will typically be other local service pages
- Only include internal links that are going to provide real value for the reader
- Always make sure any pages you’re linking to and from are related
Use these tips to incorporate relevant and valuable internal links into your local service page copy and your Google rankings should improve as a result.
Always add a meta description to your local service pages
A lot of website owners fail to write unique meta descriptions for their web pages, but it’s an important step in improving your click-through rate, and therefore your SEO.
A meta description is a snippet of up to 155 characters that should summarize what content visitors will find on a particular page of your site. It will also show up below your page title in the search results when people find you through Google, and can have a huge impact on whether people choose to click on your site or not.
Your meta descriptions should include the primary keyword that you’ve chosen to target on the respective local service page, and you should ensure that they’re all unique. It isn’t your meta descriptions themselves that will have an impact on your SEO, but the effect they have on your click-through rate will. That’s why writing a description for each of your local service pages is such an important part of optimizing your website.
You’ll want to compose compelling and easy-to-read descriptions that will tell your target audience exactly what they can expect to find on your local service pages. This will draw them in and ensure they’re satisfied when they land on your website.
Optimize your local service pages’ URLs
Finally, along with the on-page copy of your local service pages, you need to ensure you’re optimizing their URLs. A lot of website owners make the mistake of ignoring this step and just sticking with the URL slugs that are automatically generated by their site builders, but optimizing them can make a huge difference for your local SEO.
Here are a few best practices for optimizing your local service pages’ URLs:
- Make them descriptive but concise
- Separate the words using hyphens
- Include your primary keyword
- Add your location
Using these tips when optimizing your local service pages will help to give you the best chance of ranking well for relevant queries.
If you run a local business, you need to ensure that you’re optimizing your service pages to rank for local search queries. In this article, I outlined how you can do just that. I covered how to conduct local keyword research, get inspiration from your competitors, incorporate your keywords into your copy, and more. All of these tips will help to give you the best chance of reaching your ideal customers on the most appropriate search engine results pages.
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