Similar to search engine optimization (SEO), hyperlocal keyword strategy is doing the same type of optimization, but for smaller, more focused locations. While local SEO focuses on cities, regions, or districts, hyperlocal SEO presents localities such as towns, streets, neighborhoods, and locations near landmarks.
Hyperlocal keyword strategy targets prospective customers in geographically restricted areas–sometimes within just a few streets or blocks–with the intention of targeting people who are conducting “near me” searches on their mobile device. The benefits of hyperlocal marketing are clear, as the search journey is easier for potential customers. Furthermore, it is easier to compete with other businesses using niche hyperlocal search terms–thus resulting in potential increased revenue.
To implement hyperlocal keyword optimization, businesses must ensure that it is easy for Google to understand how their business is relevant to hyperlocal searches. Key steps include:
- Setting up a Google My Business profile
- Reflecting hyperlocal terms in the on-page content
- Using schema markup to include address, phone number, hours, and map data
Why Hyperlocal Keyword Strategy Matters
Hyperlocal keyword strategy is critical to SEO success because Google rewards these sites by increased localized rankings, including highlighting them in the map ‘3-pack” listings.
More specifically, individuals have been using “near me” searches more and more over recent years. Data from Google shows that these types of searches grew in volume by 130% year-over-year between 2014 and 2015 alone. Furthermore, additional data from Google demonstrates that local searches without “near me” or other location indicators (such as city names or zip codes) have grown 150% faster than searches that include “near me.” This data indicates that many users now expect Google to automatically take their location into account when presenting results. It is imperative for businesses to engage with hyperlocal keyword strategies in order to optimize their SEO performance.
Common Misconceptions of Hyperlocal Keyword Strategy
While the importance of hyperlocal keyword strategy is clear, there are a few misconceptions that surround hyperlocal SEO.
Myth #1: Setting a service area in “Google My Business” impacts rankings.
- Some people believe that if a company sets a service area to their GMB listing it will impact their ability to rank in all those areas. However, this is false. The only impact it has is that Google will show the business’s search area. It does not affect rankings in any way.
Myth #2: Keywords in the “Google My Business” impact rankings.
- There is a common misperception that people should “stuff” the GMB description with a lot of keywords. However, Google does not look at the description field for ranking purposes. Businesses should use clear, concise, and accurate hyperlocal keywords for the description field to find the most accurate potential customers.
Myth #3: Ranking #1 is the only important goal.
- Some businesses put so much effort into ranking at the top that they do not consider the optimization opportunities. The reality is that sometimes a business ranking #1 gets fewer leads and calls than the business ranking #4 if the lower ranking company has really taken the time to engage in hyperlocal keyword strategy and build out their GMB listing.
It is important to adopt a hyperlocal keyword strategy to draw in customers who are directly in your area, but also those who might be passing through. Hyperlocal keyword strategy can lead to big profits and the ROI of this strategy is something all businesses should take into consideration.