It’s 2017, which means it’s time to upgrade your local SEO strategy!

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Most local SEO agencies will give you a standard response to improving your local rankings in Google Maps such as verifying your Google business listing, building relevant citations, etc…

But in 2017, these fundamental strategies may no longer be enough!

In today’s article, I’m going to show you a local SEO strategy that’s relevant for 2017, and one that goes beyond the local SEO fundamentals that you’ve been reading about.

LSI:  Latent Semantic Indexing

what are LSI keyword phrases

Ref:  Image from GoBloggingTipc.com

Perhaps one of the greatest advancements in Google’s search algorithm is the move toward topical relevance.

Topical relevance goes beyond specific keyword phrases, and looks to the overall relevance of a particular topic.

One look at the organic rankings for Wikipedia pages will give you an idea of the power of topical relevance.

Today, Google uses LSI technology to determine the overall authority of a page based on topical relevance.

So instead of focusing on just one keyword phrases, Google looks at the content to see how many other “topically related” terms or phrases are used throughout the content.

LSI & City Pages for Local Business

For any business looking to rank in Google for locally targeted keyword phrases, you’ll more than likely need to implement city pages into your marketing strategy.

City pages takes you beyond just your Google business listing for local SEO.

Read more:  Website City Pages:  How Local Business Gets Found in Google Search in Surrounding Cities

With GMB / Google Maps listings, you are limited to only one primary business category and only one specific address or location.

But with city pages, you can now target any combination of product or service and metro area.

Local SEO Surrounding CitiesFor example, let’s say my business is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

I would obviously want a Google business listing verified for local Google Maps rankings.

But what if I also wanted to reach customers in the hundreds of other cities between Fort Lauderdale and Miami, as an example.

Or better yet, what if my business is actually located in a small city somewhere near Fort Lauderdale, where my Google business listing is verified, but I want to reach customers in Fort Lauderdale?

This is where city pages comes into play.

And when you create city pages in your website to compete in Google search in surrounding cities, you need to create pages that have a lot of authority.

For your city pages, the more LSI related keyword phrases your content mentions, the more likely it is that you’ll produce a high quality page that will rank well in Google.

How to gather up LSI keyword phrases for your local rankings

The tool I use for LSI research is LSIgraph.com.  You simply enter your targeted keyword phrase into the search bar, and LSI graph will give you a whole list of topically related keyword phrases.

LSI Graph Local SEO Keyword Phrases

These are the keyword phrases you can now use throughout your city page content.

When using the LSI graph tool for planning your city pages, you do not want to use city names in the tool.

For example, let’s say I’m a car accident lawyer in Chicago and I’m wanting to create a city page targeting Naperville, IL., a suburb of Chicago.

I would turn to the LSI graph tool and enter only the phrase “car accident lawyer”.

You do not want to enter “car accident lawyer in naperville”.

The reason, if you use the metro area in your LSI graph tool, you’ll get a lot of keyword phrases that you absolutely do not want to include in your content, such as direct competitors.

Let me show you can example of what I’m talking about using the keyword phrase “car accident lawyer”.

When I enter this keyword phrase into the LSI Graph tool, here’s what I get:

  • auto accident checklist
  • geico what to do in an accident
  • youtube auto accidents
  • car accident with no police report
  • auto accident
  • accident lawyers
  • auto accident checklist pdf

These are all high quality, topically relevant keyword phrases that I want to use throughout my city page.

But if I include my targeted city name along with the keyword phrase in the LSI graph tool, here’s what I get:

  • steven b levy lawyer
  • chicago car crash lawyer steven levy
  • steven levy lawyer naperville
  • personal injury lawyer naperville
  • illinois accident lawyer steven levy
  • steven levy attorney

See the difference?

If I include the metro area in the keyword phrase, I’ll end up with competitors that I probably wouldn’t want to include in my content.

In summary:

So when you use the LSI graph tool to create your list of topically related keyword phrases, make sure you only use your core keyword phrase related to your topic or business category.

Creating Long Form Content for City Pages

There’s been a ton of research that proves how long form content ranks better in Google search.  However, the content must be great… because great content does not always equal long form content (ref: Moz).

So when creating your city pages, it’s imperative that you take the long form content approach, but do so with high quality content.

Luckily, when you write content that includes a lot of LSI related keyword phrases, you’ll typically end up with 2,000 – 3,000 words of content quite easily.

Using LSI Keyword Phrases as Sub Titles

The way to use LSI keyword phrases to help build out long form content is to use unique LSI keyword phrases as sub titles in your content.

Let’s look again at the LSI list above for “car accident lawyer”:

  • auto accident checklist
  • geico what to do in an accident
  • youtube auto accidents
  • car accident with no police report
  • auto accident
  • accident lawyers
  • auto accident checklist pdf

Looking through that list, and it’s only a small portion of the entire list generated by the LSI graph tool, you’ll quickly see some great sub titles that you can expand upon in your content.

I could easily include sub titles such as:

  • Youtube Auto Accident Videos
  • Car Accidents With No Police Reports
  • Auto Accident Checklist

Under each of these sub titles, I would then use approximately 500 words or more to dive deeper into each section.

Youtube Car Accident Videos

People love watching this stuff…

For the “Youtube Auto Accident Videos” section, I could include several relevant Youtube videos.  This would also help improve the relevance of the city page since it now includes media rich content.

For the “Auto Accident Checklist” section, I could easily include 5 or 10 points that make up an easy to use checklist or guide.  I could take this one step further and put together a free guide that people could download in exchange for their email address…. and now I’m building our a targeted email list!

The point is, as you implement your LSI related keyword phrases, use them to drive your sub titles and then use content to dive deeper into each topic.

Using this strategy, you can easily come up with 2,000 or more words of content for your city pages.  And your content will be full of high value topically related keyword phrases (LSI keyword phrases).

2017 Local SEO Strategy:  Conclusion

In my experience, locally targeted businesses want to reach customers who are located outside of where their my Google business listing is verified.

However, you cannot go around verifying your business in Google Maps in all of the surrounding cities where you want to reach customers.

So instead of trying to spam Google Maps, you can take a more strategic approach and create high quality, highly relevant city pages to reach those customers.

We’ve been implementing city pages for clients in mass here at Bipper Media, and in some cases, our clients are ranking #1 in Google in their surrounding cities within a matter of days.

Of course, this always depends on the city size and level of competition.

But when focus on creating a high quality, highly relevant page of content, you dramatically increase your chances of reaching the top search results in Google.

And this applies to virtually any combination of product or service, and surrounding metro areas.

Grow your location & domain authority, get found fast in search, and get more clicks, calls, & customers for your business.

Call Bipper Media today: 706-363-0335