Did you know optimizing for a search query like “boat detailing near me” requires a very different SEO approach than optimizing for fishing interest keywords like “best bait for saltwater dock fishing” or “best family fishing boats under 50k”?
It’s true—and if you’re a fishing business who wants to rank higher in search results and attract more local customers, it’s important to understand how to optimize your website and content for both local SEO and interest-based keywords.
But the world of SEO, and particularly local SEO, is a vast, complex, and ever-changing one. So if you’re a fishing business looking to make a splash in the SERPs, it can be tough to know where to start—especially when there are a-million-and-one other things on your to-do checklist.
If you want to bring in more local customers, you need to make sure your Local SEO strategy is on point. And, as your resident fishing SEO experts, we’ve put together a few tips to help you get started.
Here are 3 quick (well, relatively quick) tips to get your local SEO up to par:
1. – Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent across all your online listings.
This is critical for local SEO. Your NAP should be exactly the same on your website, as well as on any other online listings or directories where your business is listed. That way, Google will be able to easily verify your business information and list your business correctly in local search results.
While aggregator tools can be helpful for this, the best way to ensure NAP consistency is by manually claiming and optimizing your business listings on platforms like Google My Business (GMB) and Yelp.
Manual work is always more reliable (and you’ll have more control over your listings), so it’s worth taking the time to do it right.
2. Create relevant, locally-focused content.
Content marketing is always important for SEO, but it takes on a special significance for local SEO. By creating content about your local service area, local fishing spots, or anything else that would be of interest to people in your target geographic area, you can help your business show up in more relevant search results.
- Writing and publishing a thorough, informative blog post on the top 5 fishing spots located near your charter service could help you rank higher in search results for queries like “fishing charters near me.”
- Or, if you’re an outfitter, creating a blog post on the best lures for catching fish species in a specific river, inlet, or other water body near you could potentially help you rank higher in local search engine results in your area.
We get it. It may feel silly to write these kinds of things sometimes, but locally-focused content really does matter for your local SEO—as long as you don’t overdo it (or do it sloppily). This type of content can help send a signal to search engine bots (as well as humans) that you are an authority on fishing in your area, which can help improve your rankings for local search queries.
Tip: Don’t discount the relevance to humans—locally-focused content can also be a great way to connect with potential customers and build relationships that could lead to future business. Also, if your content is irrelevant to the humans who actually land on your site from the search engines, ranking higher in search results won’t do you much good, because you’ll just end up with a high bounce rate. Remember, the point is to catch visitors—not just bait them.
3. Geo-target your content.
Think about the places that you want to draw business from.
- Are you a boat detailer that wants to be visible to people searching for services in your city?
- Are you a tackle shop looking to draw in anglers from specific nearby towns?
- Are you a charter service that wants to attract customers near a particular body of water?
No matter what your specific local SEO goals are, you can use geo-targeting principles to improve your website’s visibility in relevant local searches.
Geo-targeting works a bit differently now than it did in past years; the most simple methods involve things like adding location-specific keywords and phrases to your website’s content, as well as tagging your location in social media posts (as long as your NAP is consistent—see Tip #1 above).
Example: If you’re a fishing guide targeting potential customers near Tampa Bay, you could include natural mentions of places like “Tampa Bay,” “Gulf of Mexico,” “St. Petersburg,” “Sarasota,” and so on in your website’s content, as well as tagging your location in social media posts.
Natural is the key word here—don’t stuff your content with too many location-specific keywords, or you could risk being penalized by Google. A few strategically-placed geo-targeted keywords is much better than repeating location names in an unnatural, keyword-stuffing manner.
Be careful with this: If you don’t stick to areas that are actually near you, you could end up with a lower local search ranking. In other words, don’t try to trick the algorithm by geo-targeting keywords for a city that’s a few hours away from you—it won’t work, and it could actually hurt your business in the long run. The name of the game is relevance, so make sure you’re only targeting keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business’s location.
Optimizing for local search can be a little bit daunting, but just like kayak fishing, it can be pretty satisfying once you get the hang of it. And like anything else worth doing, it takes some time and effort to get things just right.
There are many, many other SEO tactics and strategies that can help improve your company’s visibility in local search—far outside the scope of this single blog post.
But by focusing on the three tactics described above, you may start to see some small improvements in your local search rankings. (And you can always check out our other blog posts for more digital marketing tips for fishing businesses).
Like fishing, SEO is ongoing; it’s not a one-time event. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, optimizing your website for local SEO can be an incredibly rewarding way to attract new customers and grow your fishing business.
Just remember to be patient, and to keep your eye on the prize—after all, the biggest catch is always worth the wait.
If you want to speed up the process, or if you need help with anything related to local SEO, web design, or any other type of digital marketing for your business, feel free to contact us—we’re always happy to help a fellow fisherman out.