Alright, chances are that if you’re reading this post you are in the Local SEO game. If you’re a local business, meaning most or all of your business comes from customers living in within a certain area, then you are in the local SEO game.
Before stumbling across this article, I’m sure you already did a good amount of Googling on the best local SEO practices, but the truth is that everyone in the local business industry is already implementing those same tactics that you just researched upon.
One of the most undervalued and underused channel for local SEO is content marketing.
In this post, I’ll go over some of the ways you can leverage content marketing to supercharge your local SEO rankings and dominate Google in your area.
Always be blogging
If you don’t have a blog already, then you’re behind! You might be thinking, what should I put on my blog? What type of content should I write?
Yes, I know. It’s not easy, but start with local content and guides.
Think about it, if you’re in the real estate industry and you sell houses, that means that you are looking for customers that are looking to buy a house.
What are those customers searching for on Google? They’re probably typing things in the search bar like, “best real estate agent, affordable housing in San Francisco, how to buy a house in san francisco, and more..”
Start with putting yourself in your customer’s shoes to come up with topics that they are going to be searching for.
Now, it’s easy to get spammy listing lots of local content and that can hurt you as much as help you, but you certainly should talk about where you work and in some cases have specific pages with case studies for specific trade areas, suburbs, and neighborhoods.
Testimonials within your local content goes a long way as well.
Another powerful type of content that would work well are local event and attraction guides. People are always searching those up as well. Using your blog to take about community, customer, and employee-related local news is a great way to spice up your local content in very authentic ways.
Here are some brainstorming ideas:
- Local event write-up and coverage.
- Local news coverage.
- A story behind your local business
- Content centered on your industry and unique to your area, such as “How San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Laws Affect Retailers.”
- Answering local questions, such as “What are the Best Places to Shop in Washington, D.C.?”
Of course the list goes on and on..
Start small and expand the area slowly.
Optimizing your content around the best local SEO practices
By focusing content on local keywords and intent, you effectively narrow the competition and your reach to your target audience.
In addition to that, you want to implement all the best local SEO practices into play.
From my experience, the two most important steps to optimizing your website for local intent are making your website mobile-friendly and localizing your schema markup.
This might sound confusing to you if you are new to the local SEO game, but it’s quite important.
When producing content for local intent, it’s key to insert local keywords into title and meta description tags for local ranking. Your content will often focus on long-tail keywords to delineate your site topically and geographically. Try local service business listing titles like “Top Local Real Estate Agencies in San Francisco”
This will help Google index your content for San Francisco and local SEO-related searches. It’s also recommended to insert geographic keywords as close to the beginning of the tag as possible so it’s not truncated in search results. In this case, it could be San Jose or Silicon Valley.
Search engines are busy trying to adopt a consistent markup protocol to help use HTML code to properly identify things like businesses, reviews, addresses, books, movies and the like.
You can learn about the current popular markup for local businesses by visiting Schema.org.
Using proper markup for your address is kind of like handing Google your business card on a silver platter. It doesn’t look like anything to the naked eye, but Google spiders can be 100% certain what they are looking at when it comes to identifying an address on your web pages.
The good news is that you don’t really need to know anything about the underlying code to get this part right. Simply visit Schema.org’s Local Business NAP generator and fill in the blanks – The tool will produce the HTML code you need to add to your site in place of your current address.
When it comes to content promotion, social should be the primary channel, but high-ranking local landing pages will also provide a good opportunity for listicles and valuable local information. Blogs should be reserved for more topical content, such as local news events.
Link building is still quite important
Link building doesn’t just work for other industries. It actually works quite well for local SEO as well.
For example, many real estate companies benefit from listing local housing statistics on their websites. Why? Because those are shareable materials. People love to share those type of content and include a link in their own blog post.
It’s much easier to build links for blog post with statistics over something like “Top real estate agencies”.
Here’s a short overview approach you should use for local SEO content link building:
- Acquiring direct backlinks from local listing sites
- Writing research and statistic reports where people would link to and share
- Local guest blogging.
The goal is to create shareable content that people are willing to link to.
Be sure to optimize your pages and posts with local keywords in the following areas:
- Title tags
- Meta description
- Body copy
- Anchor text (linking to other content)
- H1 tags (Usually your headline)
- Bold and italics tags
- Alt text in images
Don’t forget to include rich snippets. By using rich snippets, you can help Google find geographic information, information about people in your business and reviews of your products and services. They essentially help users find your website when it references a local place.
When we think of local SEO, we often think of just the basics, acquiring local directory links and registering for Google My Business. While these are important, local SEO has many more advantages over broad SEO, especially with the continued rise of mobile search.
Content is still king!
If you’re looking for a content marketing solution that WORKS for local SEO, reach out to us at anytime! We’ll be more than happy to help! 🙂