While running your business from day to day, you’ve got a lot on your mind. Many small businesses, for this reason, don’t really have a local content marketing strategy. Although it can be difficult to carve out time for local SEO, it’s well worth the effort. If you have been paying attention to local search, working important local keywords into your website and offsite content, make sure you revisit your strategy often. There are new words and topics trending for local businesses all the time, so you can’t just set it and forget it.
The Evolution of Local Marketing: It used to be so simple!
At one point in time, light-years ago in marketing terms, it was enough to have a website and email address and to place a few banner ads in local off-and-online publications. These days, local businesses need to keep pace with Google and other search engine’s constantly-refined algorithms and SEO best-practices, make sure they have a presence on the latest relevant social media networks and more. Now that we all have little computers in our pockets and our location is at least semi-public, there is even more that local, timely and geo-targeted marketing can do to grow your business.
As a foundation for your local marketing efforts, your website must be optimized for mobile devices using responsive design, to ensure your look and functionality match the user’s device. Then, you’re ready to move on to the latest local marketing tactics to set your business apart for the pack. Check out this list of local content optimization tips and make sure you’re taking advantage of the new and repeat business that a good local strategy can bring:
- Claim your Google+ listing:
Fill it in and spruce it up so that it’s as interesting as your own site. This helps ensure that you show up correctly on Google maps too. You should have business profiles in all relevant local listings: Yahoo Local, Bing, Foursquare and MapQuest. All of these can help raise your search position.
- Check your citation information carefully:
Make sure the NAP (name, address and phone) information is consistent across all your business listings.
- Use local keywords wisely:
Mention your target geographic locations (as locals would) and nearby communities naturally. Use them in your image alt tags, page titles, heading tags, meta description and within your content. Use them in titles/tags for video (and images) you post on your site and YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, etc. Don’t do so unnaturally, as in everywhere all the time. Sprinkle local mentions in and include terms that locals use to describe your neighborhood, 5-block radius (hyper-local) or region.
- Use Schema markup:
Use this standardized markup to search-engine-friendly location information to your website, add star ratings to search results and more.
- Tie in with news:
Produce blog posts and social media content tying your business/industry in with local news. For instance, what does this news item mean for your customers? Or bring nation news down to your locality and industry.
- Give your take on popular local trends or answer local questions:
See what local topics are being discussed today on Twitter, for example, and create content tied in with the subjects. Give your POV on the subject or answer locals’ questions. You could be more direct and create content about why visiting/ordering from your business makes sense with the topic, but avoid being too sales-y, too often.
- Incorporate promising local search terms:
Check out your traffic sources and search terms that customers use to find you. Make sure to write content that reflects all the relevant terms—and you’ll improve traffic from those terms in the future.
- Rate the best:
Create content around the Top 5____ in Your Area. These can be the best of anything your community finds useful. You’ll spur discussion, get decent to excellent Google search rankings. You can also rate related non-competitive businesses–or even competitors–that you would use if your business did not exist. You’ll begin to show up in searches for those other businesses, if you don’t already.
- Sponsor local events or volunteer at local charities:
Or, as a secondary option, local chapters of nationals. You’ll likely get links to your site on the organizations website and/or from their blog, etc. You can also write about your experience, or your employees experience volunteering or discuss why you’re behind the organization. Sharing stories like this can also help to humanize your brand and attract like-minded locals.
- Track Results:
It can help to make content marketing oh so easy: To help you keep your local marketing strategy organized and performing up to its potential ClickMeter offers a full featured yet simple-to-use link tracking tool. This tool helps you track traffic and conversions from all the content you publish on the web ultimately helping you understand which content is the most effective.
Simple graphic design tool for creating infographics and more for your site, social media and print use.
Helps you create simple-to-share (and embed) lists.
Conversion tool that strips invalid HTML from your content created in Word for ease of posting online.
- 5 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid
- Great Places to Submit Your Blog
- The 50 Best SEO Tools
- Content Distribution Strategy: How to Promote Your Blog Posts
This blog post is about:
- Local content marketing
- Developing a content marketing strategy
- Content optimization
Originally published: June 27th, 2014.
Updated: October 31st, 2018.