By Gabrielle Diepenbrock, Account Coordinator/Social Media Coordinator
Of course destinations want to draw visitors from across the state, country, and even the other side of the world. But what about the local visitor? Destinations should optimize their local search ranking and provide content to encourage leisure and travel within their local geographic region as well.
According to Search Engine Land, local searches lead 50% of mobile device users to visit stores within one day. While a destination isn’t a store per se, destinations that optimize their content for local searches, encourage locals to explore and spend more in the regions they live in.
So, how does one optimize local search rankings?
Destinations need to make sure they are listing key information (precise location, hours if relevant, and contact information). Producing key content/blogs is also a great way to make an impact on your local search ranking.
Search Engine Land has given a list of relevant blog posts that will help your local search rankings. Here are a few of the ideas they give:
1. Local news — Discuss newsworthy topics that are happening in your area
2. Local events + event guides — Talk about events coming up and provide guides with additional information
3. Local resource directory — Help locals find businesses and services they are looking for
4. Review local businesses/attractions in your area — Highlight cool attractions in your area that locals would be interested in
5. Interview local figures — Interview influencers within the community
6. List blogs — Give a list of the top restaurants/cafes/hikes/museums within your region that locals should go visit
Another crucial aspect of local search is review sites. Make sure you are encouraging visitors to leave reviews! Search Engine Land states that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations! Have the restaurants and attractions in your area be present on review sites like Yelp, Google+ Local, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, etc. These reviews usually show up high on local searches.
SEO is important. Make sure you optimize overall search and local search for your destination!