Whether you own a shop, storefront, or online business in the city of Pittsburgh, your customer acquisition and marketing goals are the same:
- Stand out on the map for searches within your service areas.
- Find local customers and help local customers find you.
- Reach your local customers both in-person and on the web.
- Build a trustworthy, reputable online presence.
Local search engine optimization (SEO) requires strategic planning, analysis, and creativity. We’ll walk you through five key local SEO solutions that’ll boost your visibility and engagement with potential customers in Pittsburgh.
1. Target Local Keywords
Targeting local keywords is the first essential component of local SEO. The goal is to use long-tail keywords that relate to the type of services you offer as well as your geographic location.
For instance, if you own a local plumbing business in Pittsburgh, the keywords might be “local plumbers in Pittsburgh,” or “Pittsburgh plumbing services.”
Select relevant, high-volume keywords that your local customers will use in search queries. For further guidance, consider using a keyword research platform such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, or SpyFu.
2. Publish Local Website Content
Next, you’ll need to incorporate your local keywords into your website content. To start out, we suggest optimizing the existing services pages on your website. Your keywords should be present in your title tags, headings, body text, and image descriptions.
Remember that oftentimes, less is more when it comes to keywords. Keyword stuffing appears spammy, unnatural and makes for an unpleasant user experience. Not to mention it will make the search engines hate your site.
You’ll also want to take your content a step further by publishing locally targeted articles. Are you a real estate agency targeting homebuyers in the Pittsburgh area? Consider writing articles about the best restaurants in Pittsburgh or the top sports teams in the area.
Stuck on topic ideas? There are plenty of places you can look to for inspiration!
Visit Q&A Forums
Research online question and answer (Q&A) forums to see what questions users have about Pittsburgh. If you see the questions from different people, it’s likely that there aren’t good answers. This presents an opportunity to create informative content that meets their needs.
Stay tuned to the latest happenings in Pittsburgh through social media. With Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’ll remain up-to-date on local news and events that you can potentially write about.
Social media’s also a prime place to spread the word about your business website. Share your latest articles and respond to user comments in real-time.
Use a Tool
There are plenty of free tools out there that local business owners can take advantage of to generate topic ideas for their website.
The Hoth’s Blog Topic Generator makes it easy to find content ideas by supplying you with article titles and suggestions based on your keyword, industry, target audience, and desired outcome.
3. Use Business Directories
Online business directories provide search engine users with information about your business’s location, services, and contact information. Google My Business is the first directory you should get listed in because it has the largest reach.
You can register your Google account for free, create your business profile, and share your business website. You’ll then have the ability to promote your website on Google Maps, as well as Google Search.
We also recommend securing listings in the other well-known business directories:
- Angie’s List
- Apple Maps
- Better Business Bureau
- Yahoo! Local
You should research smaller local directories as well. These directories may include chamber of commerce websites, city-specific directories, and local membership directories.
If you still need help, a local SEO marketing company will place and manage your local directory listings for you.
4. Get Online Reviews
In today’s digital age, having positive online reviews plays a vital role in local SEO strategies.
Don’t have any reviews? Local customers may believe you’re unestablished.
Stuck with a bunch of negative reviews? Users will skip right over your listings in favor of more highly-rated competitors. Worse yet, bad overall ratings may cause your business listings to get dropped to the very bottom of the search results.
Many prospective customers will look at the feedback in customer reviews before they make a purchase. Businesses with positive reviews are seen as more credible and trustworthy. That’s not to say you can never get a negative review. It’s just best to stay above a 4 star average to show that you’re providing good service to your customers.
You can get started using online reviews for local SEO by encouraging existing customers to write testimonials for your website. Tell them how much you would appreciate their feedback and give them a couple of different sites that you’re listed on.
And don’t forget to respond to reviews! It’s a great opportunity to build brand loyalty and persuade other customers to leave more reviews. And more genuine reviews will generally help you rank higher.
Marketing your small business with online reviews is an all-around winning strategy.
5. Build Relevant Backlinks
Next, it’s time to build local backlinks to your website. A backlink is just the term used to describe when another website links to yours.
When building backlinks, always prioritize quality over quantity. Relevant, high-quality backlinks will drive customers to your website, boost your brand awareness, and increase your visibility.
Consider the following options to build a quality backlink profile:
Offering scholarships to local college students is a great way to get involved and give back. Educational institution websites (.edu) typically hold a significant deal of authority, trust, and recognition from search engines, so you can almost never go wrong with acquiring a local backlink from a .edu domain.
If you’re connected to other local businesses, ask if you can be featured in their next article or press release. With this approach, it’s especially important to ensure all backlinks are contextually relevant to the business’s readers.
You wouldn’t want to link to your plumbing business from an article about how to raise children, for example. However, a single link from a home improvement blog or even an interior design service might be enough to move the needle on your bottom line.
Sponsor Local Events
This link building approach is helpful for engaging with your community, fellow businesses, and prospective customers. Research upcoming events in Pittsburgh to get involved. Not only will you connect with local customers, but you’ll also spread brand awareness in a fun, social setting.
Just make sure you ask about the possibility of getting a backlink before you get in too deep.
Boost Your Business With Local SEO Solutions
There you have it — five key local SEO solutions to generate leads, connect with your target audience, and build new customer relationships. Your business will rank higher for local search terms, publish killer content, and engage with your community on a new level.
If you’re still in doubt, leave it up to the experts! We’ll help you achieve top positions in search results.
From directory listings and reviews to website content marketing, we’re the one-stop local SEO company for your online marketing needs.
Send us a message or book a meeting today to get started. We look forward to hearing from you!