What Is Hyperlocal SEO?
Hyperlocal search engine optimization focuses mostly on specific areas within a city. It often involves the term “near me.” For example, imagine that someone in West Los Angeles searches for a doctor’s office with location services activated on a device. To find the closest results, the person may search for “doctor near me.” Alternately, someone in another city searching for restaurants near the Santa Monica Pier without location services turned on may use “food near Santa Monica Pier.” By utilizing hyperlocal SEO strategies, businesses can rank higher, have a better chance of appearing in Google three-pack results and show up on maps. “Near me” and “nearby” searches have grown by a year-over-year average of 75%, emphasizing the importance of using hyperlocal SEO.
Local SEO vs. Hyperlocal SEO
Although local and hyperlocal SEO both focus on finding local services or products, local SEO is broader. For example, imagine that someone is searching for pizza in Manhattan, New York. Using the search term “pizza in Manhattan” may show results in the entire Manhattan borough. That is an example of a local search. If someone in the Tribeca area of Manhattan searches for “pizza in Tribeca” or “pizza near me” with location services turned on, the results would show the closest options. That is an example of a hyperlocal search. The key idea to remember is that local searches may include regions, districts or cities, and hyperlocal searches focus on neighborhoods, streets and smaller areas within cities.
5 Tips To Succeed With Hyperlocal SEO
Being successful with hyperlocal SEO involves ongoing competitor research and keyword monitoring. These are some key tips for boosting your hyperlocal position.
1. Study Your Nearby Competitors
There are free and paid keyword tools that help you identify what your top-ranking competitors rank for. Once you identify who your competitors are, you can learn about them by simply entering their URLs into some free SEO spider tools. These tools will reveal local and hyperlocal keywords. Once you have a list of keywords, you can use them in Google Keyword Planner to determine which ones are the most relevant and useful for your site. You can also use free or paid programs to analyze your own site for keyword conflicts and other issues.
2. Understand User Intent
Since technology makes it possible for people to have what they want faster today, searches reflect that. User intent refers to the goals of the searcher. If you can find insights into what people are searching for in your specific neighborhood with your products or services, you can leverage that knowledge to your advantage in content creation. For example, if your nail salon business is in a strip mall near several office buildings, you may find that the busy professionals in that area often look for products or services during short breaks. They may search for “quick acrylic nail filling near me” or something similar. The key is to understand specific user intent rather than general user intent for your product or service.
3. Add Structured Data
Google offers step-by-step instructions for this important tip in Google Search Central. You must add the required properties, follow the instructions, validate your code and test your work. Google highly recommends submitting a sitemap, which is useful for future updates and can be done easily with full automation for updates. Once you have this important information deployed, it may take several days for crawlers to re-crawl and re-index your site. This step makes your address, hours of operation, service delivery options and other useful information available to nearby searchers. Be sure to update your summary with any seasonal or holiday changes.
4. Optimize for Mobile Searches
If your site is not optimized for mobile use, make it your top priority to change that. Most “near me” or “nearby” searches are conducted on mobile devices today. You can add features that mobile searchers may need to choose your service instead of leaving your site and choosing another search result. For example, you can add a click-to-call button on your page to let searchers easily contact you.
5. Customize Site Content for Hyperlocal Locations
When you want to target more than one hyperlocal market, it is important to develop a strategy for each one. Study the market in each area. For example, if you have a pest control business and want to target nearby neighborhoods or towns within a metro area, you may need to alter wording for each one. Simpler language and references to coupons may appeal more to a lower-income market, and references to reliability and professionalism may appeal more to a higher-income market in a different neighborhood. It also helps to reference parks, landmarks or other notable places within your target areas.
Hyperlocal searches are especially important to consider since most people who use these terms are ready to make a purchase. In some cases, they may be driving and are ready to stop for what they want or need. Making yourself easily available and giving them the necessary information to make a quick decision is advantageous. For now, it is important to focus on mobile searches. However, keep an eye on voice search trends in the coming years. Since voice recognition is growing quickly, the possibilities of mixing languages and using long-tail keywords in specific vernacular are also growing.