Targeting Locals with Pittsburgh SEO Strategies

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Have you recently started a business? Looking to target Pittsburgh-area residents and businesses with SEO?

If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to provide you with a collection of free Pittsburgh SEO strategies that will help your business to attract new customers through search engines.

Ready? Let’s go!

Utilize Location-specific Keywords

If you want to attract local customers through search engines, you have to use location-specific keywords on your website. So, for instance, instead of just referring to yourself as a plumber, you have to refer to yourself as a “Pittsburgh plumber” or a “plumber in Pittsburgh”.

By using “Pittsburgh” in your keywords, you alert Google as to the specifics of your location. That way, when someone in your area types “plumber” into Google, your business (along with others in your industry) appears in the search results.

Think of this as the application to enter the SEO contest. If you don’t use “Pittsburgh” on any of your pages, there’s no chance that your website will appear for location-based searches.

Another trick is to list out the specific locations that you service. For instance, you could say “We serve the Pittsburgh area, as well as Cranberry Township and Wexford.” This tells Google that you’re not just a general plumber, but one who is familiar with the local area.

You can even take it a step further and list out specific locations like this:

I am a plumber serving Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas:
  • Mount Lebanon
  • Castle Shannon
  • Brookline
  • Dormont
  • Scott Township

Doing so not only tells your potential customers that you service their area, but it also tells Google that you should be considered for people searching for a plumber in those areas.

Obtain Local Citations

When it comes to local SEO, local citations are of utmost importance. What are local citations, you ask? They’re spots on the internet in which your business information appears.

Most of these come in the way of business listing sites like YellowPages, Google’s Business Profile, and the like. However, they also come in the way of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as in the way of articles in various publications.

The core of each local citation is NAP (Name, Address, Phone). These are the 3 elements that must appear in each citation.

In addition, they must be consistent from site to site. If any information varies, search engines can become confused, leading to a drop in search engine ranking.

An example of a local citation would be something to the effect of “Mark’s Plumbing Service – 123 Fake Road, Pittsburgh, PA – (412) 519-5555”. Think of this as your online identifier. It’s a small snippet of information that validates your business’ existence and makes it familiar to Google and its counterparts.

Note, it’s not just about the number of citations you get. It’s about their relevance and quality as well.

Not only should you seek citations on the most reputable listing sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp but also on niche and local listing sites as well.

Build Backlinks

Local citations are vitally important when it comes to local SEO. However, backlinks are just as important.

Backlinks are links on other websites that lead to your website. The more local, relevant, and high-quality links your website receives, the more that search engines will see your website as an authority in its niche. The more authority your website is considered to have, the higher it will rank.

Keep in mind that getting backlinks is difficult. After all, you must find ways to get other websites to link to yours. Don’t worry! You have some options.

One method is to guest post on other websites’ blogs. From there, you can insert a link to your website at the end of the post, landing you an effective backlink.

Another method is to network and swap links with another business owner in your area. For instance, you would link to the other website in your blog while the other website would link to your website in its blog. Links from other local businesses and organizations are as good as gold!

There are a variety of other ways to get backlinks as well. Read up on the different methods or just utilize the services of a professional digital marketer.

Take to Social Media

Social media usage has nowhere near the SEO impact of backlink building and local citation creation. That said, it’s still important, as it provides necessary social signals to various search engines.

As such, your business should be on all of the major platforms if you can afford it. These include not only Facebook and Twitter, but LinkedIn and Google’s Business Profile well. You might even consider making use of Instagram.

Posting on these sites regularly will show search engines that your business is active online. This will help it to establish clout in the online world, leading to a better search engine ranking.

Optimize Your On-page and Technical SEO

It’s not just the content that’s on your website that affects its SEO ranking. How well your website functions is another ranking factor. Generally speaking, the more efficient your website is, the better chance you have of ranking.

Now, how do you improve website efficiency?

First and foremost, you need to optimize its load time. You can greatly increase your website’s speed by minifying your website’s code and shrinking the size of its images.

You also need to design your website so that it’s intuitive for the user. This includes increasing the visibility of the navigation menu, employing calls to action, making use of internal and external links, and implementing other principles of good design. Most importantly, there should be no broken (unreachable) links.

Mobile responsiveness is hugely important as well. This is what allows a website to be equally as usable on a phone as it does on a website or tablet. Considering that over half of online traffic comes from phones, responsiveness is vital.

Lastly, you need to think about how your website’s pages are organized. Crawlable site structure can give your website that final edge that puts it over the top. There are a number of theories about how web pages should be organized, but a good rule of thumb is to nest pages inside one another. So, for instance, when posting to your blog, you would ensure that every blog post page is nested inside of the broader blog archive page.

Need Help with Pittsburgh SEO?

Do you need help putting these Pittsburgh SEO strategies into action? Looking for a professional SEO service in Pittsburgh? Gosu Sites has you covered.

We’ll create and optimize your website to gain as much local web traffic as possible. If you provide services to customers, our team can help you.

Schedule time with us to discuss how we can apply our proven SEO strategies to your business!