On-Page Local SEO: Factors for Ranking

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves optimizing your site to rank higher in search engines. On-page SEO refers to optimizing the content on your site to help rank it higher.

Off-page SEO involves other sites linking to your site. Search engines see links pointing to your site as a sign of popularity. Therefore, they are more likely to rank your site higher.

We will cover on-page optimization for local SEO first.

Keyword Density

Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword is mentioned on a web page.

In our electricians example, we could mention the keyword electricians Loveland, CO 5 times in a 500 word article. Therefore, the keyword density for that keyword would be 1%.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

One of the main things to avoid with keyword density is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is mentioning keywords too many times throughout a web page.

For instance, mentioning a keyword 25 times in a 500 word article would be 5% keyword density. This is too much.

Google realizes that keyword stuffing is not natural and penalizes sites for doing this. This makes the site show up lower in the rankings and basically impossible to rank high (unless the content on the page is changed).

Another thing to consider is that the domain is also taken into account for keyword relevance. Thus, you need to be even more careful with keyword stuffing when it comes to an EMD or PMD.

Keyword Variations

Variations of the main keyword should be used as it looks more natural. Google’s algorithm is smart enough to relate these keyword variations to the main keyword. This is known as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).

Also, using multiple keyword variations can result in ranking for more keywords.

These keyword variations also make the article look more natural. If you think about it, electricians Loveland, CO does not look very natural. Therefore, a more natural way to use this keyword would be electricians in Loveland, CO.

Here are some keyword variations we could use for the electricians loveland co main keyword:
electricians in Loveland, CO
electrician in Loveland, CO
electricians in Loveland, Colorado
electrician in Loveland, Colorado
electricans in Loveland
electricians in Loveland
electricians Loveland
electrician Loveland
Loveland, CO electricians
Loveland, CO electrician
Loveland, Colorado electricians
Loveland, Colorado electrician
Loveland electricians
Loveland electrician

You would not use all of these though. For example, using 2 to 3 of these would be plenty.

It is also a good idea to mention the location by itself one or two times throughout the article. So for the example we would mention Loveland, CO (or Loveland, Colorado) one time and we could also mention just Loveland another time.

All of these keywords combined should only be mentioned 1% to 2% (5 to 10 times in a 500 word article). More than this is risking keyword stuffing.

Business Name

To make the site look more natural, you can use the niche and city as a business name for the website. So it could be the following for our example:
Loveland Electrician
Loveland Electricians
Electrician Loveland
Electricians Loveland

This business name could be mentioned a few times in the article to make it look natural. Keep in mind that it would also count as a keyword variation.

You will probably want to relate the business name to the domain name. So if we went with electriciansloveland.com, the business name would be Electricians Loveland. If most of the domain names were taken and we had to use lovelandelelectricians.com, the business name would then be Loveland Electricians.

Keywords in Header Tags

The title of the article should include the main keyword or a variation. Also, it is important that the title of the article is surrounded by H1 tags for correct on-page SEO.

Most web designers already do this, but there are some that may not. You can check this when you receive the files from your designer.

In the files provided by your designer, the homepage will be labeled index.html. Open this up.

Then scroll down and make sure the title is in H1 tags like below.
<h1>article title</h1>

For our electricians example, we could use one of the following as the article title.
Electricans Loveland
Loveland Electricians
Electricans Loveland CO
Electricans Loveland Colorado
Welcome to Loveland Electricans
Welcome to Electricans Loveland

You can use others also. However, be sure to make it look natural and include your main keyword or a variation.

Meta Title and Description

The meta title is the HTML code that specifies the title of a certain web page. It appears at the top of your browser for the site you are visiting.

The meta description is a short snippet that summarizes a page’s content.

Both the meta title and meta description are shown in Google’s search results like below.

meta-data

These also help with on-page SEO. Your main keyword should be included once in the meta title and once in the meta description.

The meta title and description are included between the head tags. You will give the title and description to your web designer to include on your homepage (the index.html file).

Character Limits

Google has a character limit on what will be displayed in their search results. Therefore, the meta title should be 60 characters or less while the meta description should be 160 characters or less.

You can use this site for counting the characters in the meta title and description.

Another thing to include in the meta title is the phone number for the site. Some people see the phone number listed in the meta title and call without even visiting the site.

The or | symbols can be used to separate the terms in the meta title. In addition, this helps the title stand out in the search results.

You should also include other keywords in the meta description to possibly rank for more keywords.

Example

Below is what the meta title and description could look like for the electricians example (with the head tags included):
<head>

<title>Electricians Loveland CO | 555-555-5555</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”Experienced local electricians Loveland, CO providing residential and commercial electrical contractor services. Superior customer support at affordable prices.” />

</head>

There will be more information within the head tags but this gives you an idea of how it will appear between the tags.

Again, make sure all of your sites do not look the same. You should use different formatting for the meta title. So for our example, it could be something like below instead.
Electricians Loveland CO – (555) 555-5555 – Fast Service

Geo Meta Tags

Although it is debatable how much Google pays attention to geo meta tags, it doesn’t hurt to also include them in the header. Below is an example with the geo meta tags included:
<head>

<title>Electricians Loveland CO | 555-555-5555</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”Experienced local electricians Loveland, CO providing residential and commercial electrical contractor services. Superior customer support at affordable prices.” />
<meta name=”geo.country” content=”US” />
<meta name=”geo.region” content=”US-CO” />
<meta name=”geo.placename” content=”Loveland” />

</head>

As you can see, the geo.region is the state (in country code-state abbreviation format) and the geo.placename is the city name.

If you are promoting a different country, you need to search in Google how the geo.region tag is formatted for that region of that particular country. Otherwise, you can simply remove the geo.region line and not include it.

NEXT: Off-Page SEO

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