Why do you need Local Content for your SEO? Because you need to attract local search users if you want to grow your customer base. To do that you need to rank higher than most, if not all, of your competitors, so customers see your business when making their purchasing decisions.
Content marketing is an underutilized but highly effective tool in your local marketing mix. Adding local content to your websites such as blog posts, local guides, seasonal events, and video helps you get found on search, demonstrates your local expertise, and puts your business in front of a highly targeted regional audience of potential customers.
Local Content For SEO
Not only should local content be part of your local SEO plans, but SEO should be part of your local content strategy. Search engine optimizing your content affects how high your content appears in search, so it goes hand-in-hand with successfully leveraging local content for higher visibility for your business in search engine results.
Well written and optimized local content also affects whether search users will click through to your website. Engagement with your content and getting people on your website is the ultimate goal, but getting eyes on the links that lead to your website is where you need to start.
Benefits of Local Content Marketing
Beyond fluffing your website and showing off your expert knowledge, local content marketing has clear benefits. Local content helps search engines know exactly what services or products you provide to your area, which gives you the opportunity to rank your business higher in search results. Additionally, with local content on your website you can take up more real estate on search engine results pages to a hyper-targeted audience – at the top, where it counts – at the exact moment they are looking for exactly what you sell.
Let’s look at some stats on content marketing:
- The most commonly used content mediums for B2C marketers are social media (96%), pre-produced videos (76%), and illustrations/photos (67%). Content Marketing Institute
- There has been a 69% increase in audio/visual content usage for B2C marketers from 2018—2019. Content Marketing Institute
- 51% of content consumption derives from organic search. Kuno Creative
- 87% of consumers want more videos from brands. Hubspot
- 97% of consumers and online marketers report that video helps customers understand their products. Wyzowl
- 47% of internet users read blogs daily. Statista
Creating a Local Content Strategy
Creating local content should be part of the marketing plan of any small or local business looking to rank higher in local search results and grow awareness of their brand, products, and services.
Here are basic local content tactics you can use to build a local content strategy:
Find Highly Relevant Local Keywords
Keyword research is one of the most important of doing local search engine optimization for any business. If you aren’t using the right local keywords – the words people use when searching for a business like yours – then all your SEO activities are useful.
Google is in the business of giving search users the best results so they can stay the most used search engine in the world. Optimizing your local marketing lets you cater to your targeted audience’s specific needs and search queries, which Google rewards with higher local search rankings.
Every month, people visit 1.5 billion destinations related to what they searched for on Google (Google). And 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day. Finding your local keywords lets your business get a tiny piece of that action.
- Google Search Console (“opportunity keywords” found in performance report)
- Google Autocomplete
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Soovle (keyword suggestions from multiple sites you can download .csv)
Here’s an overview of how to do local keyword research:
- Identify your industry and location using your buyer persona to determine the most common phrases and terms people use when searching for a business like yours.
- Do research on your competitors by doing a simple Google search and look at what they are doing to rank high in search – including what local keywords they are using and where they are using them.
- Scroll to the bottom of the first page of Google search results and take note of the “Searches related…” section. If Google is suggesting it, it’s because they are the words Google KNOWS people are using for similar searches.
- Use the “People also ask” and “Videos” results on search results pages for local content ideas. Google is providing this information because searchers are interested. Create content to give local searchers what they are looking for.
- Use Google Trends to get better insight into your chosen keywords’ performance and regional interest. This example is for roof repair:
Who knew? “Roofing” is killing “roof repair” and should be the main keyword.
And apparently “Roof Repair” isn’t working for SEO in Montana like it is in Oklahoma.
If you’ve got a budget and need concrete data from a done-for-you keyword software, these are the best options:
Use Your Blog as a Home for Local Content
You’ve got a website, and now you need a blog. Blog content gives you more website pages where you can use your local search engine optimized content to get your business ranking high and highly visible to a targeted audience.
Get more local traffic by:
- Answering the questions people are asking.
“Is a leaky roof an emergency.”
- Focus your content on local issues.
“Preventing Leaky Roof Damage During Hail Season.”
- Including the areas you serve, your address, and content information in the content.
“Roofers Roofing has served greater Dallas and all of Collin and Denton County since opening our offices at 7000 McKinney Street, Dallas, TX in 1987. You can find us at the corner of McKinney Street and Hwy 380 or give us a call at (972) 555-5555 with your roofing questions or set up a free inspection.”
Partner with Other Local Businesses
Take your local content marketing a step further and partner with other local businesses to build off each other’s brands for increased exposure to a larger audience.
Partnering to include links to other businesses on your website, social media, and ad space and them doing the same for your business widens the audience of people exposed to both your business. And don’t underestimate the power of the recommendation implied in providing the shout out.
Building backlinks (where other quality websites link back to your website) is a ranking factor in your search engine optimization. Not only do you get more eyes on your business, but Google sees that you’re part of a trusted network of local businesses and are a reliable result for search queries.
Maintain a Social Media Presence to Promote Content
You’ll need somewhere to promote your local content for it to be truly effective, and social media is the easiest and cheapest (free) option. Create business accounts on the social media networks where your customers hang out the most. Hairdressers are going to find their people on Facebook and Instagram, while business consultants are going to get more of their people on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Do a quick Google search on the best social media platforms for your industry and then get active. First, by optimizing your account, which means fill in all the information it asks for, supplying quality photos, and ensuring your location information is clear and correct in your “about” or “description” section. There should never be a question about what area you serve.
Social media can become a beast to handle, but don’t spend a lot of time here. Just make sure you post every new piece of content you have and use this space to keep customers in the know on sales, deals, events, and announcements.
Build a content calendar and event schedule
Pick a calendar (paper, Google, Outlook, Trello, whatever you're comfortable with) and schedule out blog posts, social media posts, and all your content at least a month in advance.
Most local service industries are predictable enough to map out your content for the entire year and just get it done. Think about the seasons, holidays, and events coming up and swipe examples of the type of content you want to create.
Scheduling your content helps you be proactive instead of reactive and provides a grand-scheme view so you can maintain focus during the content creation process.
Thinking About Using Local Content for SEO?
Content marketing doesn’t work for every local business, but if you would pay to advertise locally, then local content is the most effective way to distribute and maintain a constant online presence that is promoting your business 24/7.
With properly optimized local content you can provide value, whether education or entertaining, to the local community. Add a few local content activities to your marketing, and you will create connections with neighbors and local customers that bigger, chain businesses wish they had.
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