In this week’s Princh Library Blog, guest writer Amber Martin shares 7 essential tips for optimizing the local SEO of your library. Enjoy!

Building a powerful digital presence is crucial for any establishment – and libraries are no exception.

Libraries are valuable resources for communities that go beyond books and provide events, digital resources, workshops, and much more. At the same time, according to SEO data, location is a factor in 46% of all searches, which shows the importance of local search marketing for Google searches.

Continued growth of your online library visitors and online traffic can help with increasing the relevance and awareness of your library. One way to enhance the SEO growth of your library site is to use local SEO.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the search engine optimization of a business’s online presence to improve its visibility in local search results. It is targeted to a specific region, town, or neighborhood, making it easier for local internet users to get access to information on the website.

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Why Does Your Library Website Need Local SEO?

Local SEO is one of the key instruments allowing libraries to build successful virtual connections with their communities. Below are a couple of factors that make it so critical:

Local outreach. Local SEO ensures that a library’s offerings come up when local people are searching. For instance, if someone in your proximity searches for “libraries near me” or “public library near me,” your website will be the first to appear. As a result, registration takes a rise, and people start participating in the activities you promote.

Resource accessibility facilitation. Local SEO optimization assures that your library’s website remains accessible to your targeted audience. Because of local SEO, your library website can become the place they desire for local records, workshops, and experts. It also helps to establish a good and stable relationship between the library and its visitors by showing what’s available.

Boosting funding and support.  High rankings and reviews in local searches can bring your library immense value almost for free. All you need to do is optimize the library page(s) to align with local searches, which will help make it visible to the local community. This may help you attract more financial support, assistance from the local government, and community endorsements.

Getting Started with Local SEO for Library Websites

To increase the search visibility of your local library website, you need a good strategy. This is how to enhance your local SEO in seven easy steps.

Local Keyword Research

The local SEO for your library portal is built by proper local keyword research. Aim to find searchable words connected closely with the place, services, and community interest of your library.

Using a tool such as a keyword generator by SE Ranking will show you the competitiveness of your potential keywords and give you suggestions for other keywords you can target. Below are some ideas to kick off your search:

• Choose keywords that stand for other activities in your community apart from reading books. For instance, if your library provides a 3D printing workshop series, you should concentrate on such keywords as “3D printing classes near [landmark]” and “[library name] teen tech workshops.”

• Consider the activities and programs that your library provides. Mention phrases like “[name of the neighborhood] book club” or “[name of the library] genealogy workshop for beginners.”

• The majority of local searches are performed in a colloquial language. Attempt to include modifications such as “best place to borrow books near me” or “borrow books in [town name].”

Content Optimization and Technical SEO

Your website’s content refining is essential both for SEO and the overall library digitization.

• Begin by getting the titles, meta descriptions, and heading tags optimized with the right local keywords.

• Make your content both informative and aligned with immediate users’ needs. Patrons should be able to find specific books and resources fast and easily.

• Develop efficient filters and categories that will enable users to filter by genre, author, publication date, or format of the book (e.g., ebook, audiobooks).

• Perfect your website’s search function to predict the user’s query and provide their results in a timely manner.

• Focusing on technical SEO aspects like page speed and good internal linking techniques can significantly improve rankings.

Optimize for Mobile

Due to the widespread use of mobile browsing, designing for a smaller screen is essential. This includes making sure the text doesn’t get small or require zooming, the links are clearly understandable and easy to touch, and the site loads quickly on different devices.

Make your website fast on mobile data connections. This requires employing image compression, smart coding, and caching mechanisms. Slow website loading will irritate users and increase bounce rates — customers will leave your site before finding the information that they need. So consider replacing a large image file with a small card layout — it displays more content in less space and is easier to navigate.

Think “tappable,” not “clickable”. Web buttons for desktops tend to be small and fiddly for fingers on a touchscreen. Employ oversized, well-marked buttons for actions, like “Contact Us” or “Reserve a Book.” You may also consider providing click-to-call functionality to phone numbers, enabling visitors to simply tap the website and connect with the library.

Building Local Backlinks

A mixture approach of getting backlinks from local-based and authoritative media can greatly improve your local link building.

Libraries are centers for community interaction. It’s always good to consider hosting event sponsorships or local meetups — that way, apart from building community relations, you’ll earn local links from their websites.

Partner with local businesses and organizations that serve the same audiences. An example would be to co-sponsor an author event with a bookstore. A link to the website of your library with information on the program and online registration could then be placed on the website.

 

NY Public Librarys Event Announcement Featured On The Event Aggregator

Source

 

Most local chambers of commerce, city government websites, and community event calendars have online directories. Make sure your library is included in these local directories with correct data such as address, phone number, and website URL.

Finally, don’t limit yourself to traditional institutions. Collaborate with local bloggers who specialize in applicable topics. Provide them with an expert who will also write exclusive content for a blog post, which will get a valuable backlink and reach a relevant local audience.

Toggle the Power of Public Relations

Local PR is all about producing news reports of forthcoming events, new books, and unique library services. These reports can be shared with local newspapers, community radio, and relevant blogs.

Another approach is to get in touch with local influencers, who can be book bloggers, homeschooling groups, etc. You can provide them with exclusive material or access to tests of services in return for their promotions of your library. For example, you might collaborate with a nearby book reviewer to compile a “top summer books for kids” list, which would include titles that your library has. This leverages the influencer’s audience to portray your library as a useful community resource.

Responding to Reviews and Ratings

Think about the modest but effective method of asking for reviews and being responsive to feedback. Businesses that have higher Google Business Profile ratings are trusted by 74% of consumers, and these reviews make up 9.8% of all local search ranking considerations.

Encouraging clients to provide a review of their experience after attending the library is an important move towards improving your visibility. Reply to all feedback, positive and negative — it shows customers that you value their experience and opinion and further strengthens your library’s image as a customer-focused one.

Claim and Optimize Google Business Profile Listing

 

GBP location pages and a preview of NY public libraries

Source: Google Search

 

Google Business Profile (GBP), earlier known as Google My Business, is a platform for defining the online presence of your library in Google Search and Google Maps location pages. Using this free tool, you have the ability to provide visitors with your online library business name, address, phone number, working hours, pictures, and customer testimonials.

Optimizing your GBP listing means you need to include pictures, geotag your photos, remove duplicated listings, add your products or services, and keep your updates coming.