Local SEO has historically been seen as the art of directory optimization, Google Business Profiles, and locally-run ads.
And while these methods are effective in getting you found in local search, they are just the tip of the iceberg of a successful local SEO strategy.
Content plays a bigger role in local SEO than you might think. Whether it’s optimizing your web pages for local terms or posting on local business blogs, content marketing can and should be part of your local SEO approach.
Here’s how to leverage content for your local SEO strategy and drive more visitors to your local business.
Localize Your Web Content
The first step in your local SEO content strategy should be to optimize your web pages for the local terms potential customers are searching for most. This requires keyword research to find the right terms for your local market.
Tools like Semrush allow you to discover geo-specific keywords users are searching for according to where they are seeking services or businesses.
This tool also reveals search volume and competition to help you select the right terms for your business.
For example, say you are a New York-based family lawyer looking to optimize your existing service and web pages. You can use keyword tools to find localized terms (in this case, “NY” + “family attorney”) for your website.
Then, you can find terms that are best mapped to Service pages on your website. For example:
- Home page: “new york family law attorney”.
- Divorce Law: “divorce law firm new york”.
- Adoption Law: “ny adoption lawyer”.
Optimize Your Local Web Pages
Once you’ve identified the terms you want to target, it’s time to optimize your content according to these search terms.
To do this, follow on-page SEO best practices on your web pages:
- Include your target keyword in the URL of your web page (exact keyword not required).
- Include your target keyword in the title tag of your website.
- Write a concise, informative meta description.
- Write useful, keyword-rich body content.
- Add images with optimized image alt text.
- Use H1, H2, and H3 headings throughout the page.
- Link internally to related pages on your website.
Each web page on your site should be optimized for a unique keyword (if applicable) to prevent several web pages from competing on the same term.
Be sure to choose a keyword that’s most relevant to what the page or post content is about.
Add A Detailed Contact Page
Your contact page provides valuable context to Google and users as to where your business is and what it’s about.
An unoptimized contact page is a missed opportunity to reach local users.
Your contact page should effectively yet concisely describe your business and where it is located. For effective optimization, it’s best to include:
- Your official business name.
- The address of your local business.
- Your business hours.
- Directions to your physical location.
- An embedded map to your business.
- Your business contact information (phone number and email address).
- A contact form for users to reach you.
By optimizing your contact page, you make it easy for users to know where you are and get in touch with you.
At the same time, this sends signals to Google to help its algorithm understand where your business is located, increasing the likelihood of you ranking in local search.
Write Local Content
Your web pages aren’t the only place for local content on your website. Your blog can also serve to attract local users who are interested in your services.
You can write about local events, local trends, scholarships, local business updates, and more to draw in your local audience. Get creative with your blog content to broaden your reach in your local market.
Consider writing local “Top 10” or “Best Of” lists relevant to your industry. Or, publish how-to guides for your location – for example, guides for tourists visiting your area. This can help you reach a local, relevant audience.
A Canada-based IT company, for example, decided to target local car dealerships by posting about local automotive events, IT trends, and more. They were able to expand their content marketing beyond their initial reach of small, local businesses.
Submit Guest Posts On Local Publishers
Guest posting is a common and effective content marketing strategy for driving links and traffic to your website. And guest posting can serve your local SEO efforts as well.
Conduct outreach to local businesses in search of guest posting opportunities. You may not always earn a link, but you can use their existing reader base to your advantage and drive even more local traffic.
For example, WestSeattleBlog.com and VisitSeattle.org are both local, authoritative publishers in Seattle that often publish content from local businesses and bloggers.
If you are a Seattle business owner, a feature on one of these sites could earn you some valuable traffic.
Write About Local Events And Activities
Chances are your local community has its own buzz about activities and events in your area.
This means people are searching for this content as well. This presents an opportunity for you to get in on the noise.
Is there a large conference coming to town? A sporting event that’s drumming up a lot of hype?
These are just two examples of possible content opportunities that could drive local traffic to your site.
Keep an eye out for local topics like:
- Sporting events.
- Networking events.
- Shows and concerts.
- Seasonal events.
- Speaking events.
- Local ceremonies.
Grow Your Local Audience On Social
There are billions of users on social media every year; chances are, many exist in your area. That means many of your target customers are already on Facebook, Instagram, and the like.
Promote your blog and website content on social media to engage followers and grow your local following. You can even join local Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups to target users in your particular area.
You can then share location-specific content to reach your target consumers. Follow local event pages and businesses to see what they are publishing to get people buzzing.
Suppose you are a digital marketer in Denver, Colorado looking to attract more local clients. You can write a blog post about an upcoming business event and share it on social to drive some additional traffic.
Then, find relevant Facebook groups to share your content.
Avoid Common Mistakes With Your Local SEO
You can create the best content in the world but if it’s undiscoverable by users, you won’t attract the local traffic you deserve.
That’s why while it’s best to follow the above tips to do things right, you’ll also want to avoid some common local SEO mistakes, as well.
These mistakes include:
- Not using local keyword targets in your content.
- Neglecting to earn customer reviews.
- Having an inconsistent name, address, phone number, and website (NAPW) information.
- Having no directory listings.
- Having no Google Business Profile.
If you are going to go through the effort of creating a local SEO content strategy, then make sure you tick all the boxes.
That way, your content will be set up to reach users across many platforms – not just Google.
Featured Image: Shutterstock/Visual Generation