Let’s be honest: sometimes small business/startup owners bite off more than we can chew. Especially when it comes to their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. While it would be great if our site was at the top of every Google search page from here to Timbuktu, it may be more practical (and effective) for us to focus on our neighborhood first. Focusing on content for local seo will greatly help your local search ranking.
That’s why local SEO is so important. And as long as you have the right strategy in place, you have a chance of topping Google Page One for searchers in your area.
But here’s the thing. Strategy isn’t just about the technical side. Value-added content must be an ongoing part of your site for anyone in your neighborhood to care about it. [Besides, you can only do so much re-engineering and tinkering with the technical bits of SEO before you go crazy anyway!]
Keep these things in mind when optimizing content for local Search Engine Results Page (or SERP) rankings:
Storytelling. Make some of your content a part of your brand story about how you came to be in the neighborhood, what you love about it, how you want to give back, etc. This not only helps your ranking online, it boosts loyalty in your neighborhood if people know you care about your community.
Get local with your keywords. Not only does it help you tell the story of your business, it helps Google know where you are, so they can give searchers near you relevant information about who you are and what you do.
Long-tail rankings. You can still use locally-relevant content to boost SEO beyond your neighborhood. For example: if your business is one of Chicago’s favorite retreats (because it’s outside of the city in a quaint neighborhood), mention that in your content. This opens you up to more generalized searches, without losing the local touch.
Create “local” content
Use “local” keywords. That’s all well and good. But what constitutes local content in the first place? Here are some of the most common examples:
Make an announcement. What’s new? A company milestone? New hires? Job openings? Whatever it is, whip up a press release about it. Then, no matter where else you send it, make sure it ends up on your website. [Most businesses do this with a Press or News sub-page]. Don’t forget to mention important dates and times, too.
Compare and Contrast
Think you’re the best design firm in Portland? Tell people, but be strategic. Include yourself in a list of other local design firms, highlighting what each company offers. Then share that in your blog. It’s a great way to get your content in front of people searching for competing services, without taking a negative attitude toward your competitors in your content.
News of the Day
Use the news of the day to connect with people in your area, and bump your way up in more local searches. Traffic or parking issues in your neighborhood? Share tips on how to avoid them, and solutions your business offers. [Don’t want to get stuck in Nashville’s 4 PM gridlock? Join us for Happy Hour instead!]
Whether it’s helping promote a local event near your business, or hosting/sponsoring one of your own, sharing content about local events is one of the most effective ways to boost your ranking online, and your authenticity offline.
Neighborhood specials and deals
Every time you advertise local specials, you’re putting location-specific content out there for searchers to find. Make sure you strike a balance and keep the content informative– don’t get too pushy. [Did you know our Houston location has Tuesday morning yoga? First class is free! You can sign up here.]
Trying any of those tips and strategies in your content marketing should give your Local SEO a shot in the arm. Of course, broader content is still okay. Just make sure that someone in your neighborhood can find you when they’re looking to do business. [Check out our SEO guide!]
Which of these strategies have you tried? Did it work?