Long-tail Keywords Go a Long Way for Brands in Local Search
As a brand marketer, you’re likely familiar with the value of long-tail keywords in your local search strategy. Long-tail keywords are typically less competitive. They tend to better reflect the natural language people actually use as they search for solutions to their problems.
The popularity of voice search means that long-tail keywords are only growing longer, too. According to a study by Ahrefs, long-tail keywords make of up an estimated 85% or more of all online search queries.
In fact, 96.54% of all search queries in the U.S. have less than 50 searches per month.
*Study done by Ahrefs after analyzing the trends of 1.4 billion keyword queries
But where do long-tail keywords fit into your local search strategy, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of locations? Individual store managers, franchisees or owners may lack the expertise and technical knowledge to execute effective search campaigns at the local level. What’s more, they’re often so pressed for time that they are only able to maintain a bare minimum search presence.
Most SEO campaigns at the brand level begin with marketers seeking out relevant, high volume keywords for search engine optimization and performance tracking. This strategy has been the solid foundation of any general or local SEO campaign since the conception of search engine optimization itself.
So, how can you empower your local managers to take advantage of long-tail keywords, as well?
1. Give Local Managers the Tools Needed for Local Search Optimization
Long-tail keywords are defined by having three or more words in a search query. They make up the majority of searches done online. Brands can see big gains at the local level by providing tools and infrastructure that help local stakeholders use more of these long-tail keywords with critical local relevance into their web content.
These are the people who are on the ground, involved in their local communities, interacting with customers day in and day out. They know what consumers are looking for. Moreover, they know the unique nuance and terms used in language in the local area.
Empower them without relinquishing brand controls with permission-based web content updates, corporate-assigned user access levels, content scheduling and publishing, integrated local search reporting and more. You’ll find all of these capabilities inside Local Manager.
2. Use Local Pages to Improve Relevance and Search Engine Trust in Each Location
Make sure that your website contains appropriate SEO elements, localized content and structured data. This is so Google can understand the topical focus of your landing pages.
Local Pages give your stakeholders in each location the ability to add rich, meaningful local content on a regular basis. This can include text, photos, videos, events and promotions, and more. Additionally, Local Pages are responsive by nature, and include the proper Schema markup to help search engines evaluate each piece of content.
What’s more, local reviews are automatically integrated. This gives your consumers in each market valuable social proof to help influence their purchasing decisions.
3. Encourage Local Managers to Go Long
Well written, focused long-form custom content provides notable SEO benefits and can also provide more opportunities to optimize for long-tail keywords.
Long-form custom content provides Google with an additional SEO signal about a particular landing page’s topical relevance. Take a pet store brand offering multiple pet supply products, for example. Let’s say they specialize in aquarium products. The existing landing page copy only briefly mentions fish tanks and aquariums supplies. Moreover, there’s no mention of branded fish food, 50 gallon fish tanks or aquarium cleaning supplies.
Your location sells all of these products, and talking about them online will improve your chances of ranking higher for long-tail keywords around those products.
Don’t forget to optimize each visual and video element within your long-form content, as well. Use descriptive titles, captions or descriptions, and alt text for each element within your content. This helps search engines understand their relevance on various terms.
4. Keep an Ear to Voice Search
Your local managers and owners may not yet have the expertise to capitalize on voice search optimization, but it’s a critical area you can’t afford to overlook. Voice search queries are prone to be long-tail. Ultimately, this is due to the differences in the way we speak versus typing into a keyboard or mobile device.
Local Pages help support voice search optimization by giving your local managers and owners properly structured and marked up pages. Therefore, they can share their valuable local content. Encourage them to think of content from a user perspective, mirroring actual consumer questions in their copy, for example.
For example, they might include FAQs to provide one-to-two-sentence answers to common questions about products or services.
Agencies and brands alike can standardize local optimization efforts and empower stakeholders across markets with Open Local tools built for scale. Help your locations incorporate more long-tail keywords into their local content. This will improve local search rankings, visibility and ultimately foot traffic into stores as a result.
Want to learn more about local search strategy? Get a Free Local Audit from Rio SEO to discover the possibilities of what we can do for your brand and all of its locations.
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