You’ve claimed and optimized your Google My Business page. You’ve created citations and directory links on local sources. You’ve done all the basics for optimizing your business for local search, but you’re still not ranking #1. What gives?
If you’re in a highly competitive market, you need an edge beyond the basics. That’s where local SEO content comes in. It is much more time consuming, and as a result, there aren’t as many businesses willing to invest the time and resources to do it. That also makes it a big opportunity for you.
Content has been king in the SEO world for a while now, and it’s equally true for local SEO. However, it’s not so easy to write great local content that will have the most impact for you.
Local SEO Content Tips
If you want to take your local content to a new level, it’s worth knowing all the tricks of the trade. It’s important to follow the best practices when it comes to the research and types of local content to write. Here are 9 of the most effective tips to help.
#1 Follow What’s Hot in Your Area
If you’re going to be regularly writing content designed to interest your local audience, you need to know what’s interesting to them. Following what’s “hot” in your area can become an invaluable way of researching ideas for local content.
Follow people and organizations in your community with a large following online. Scan through local pages and groups on Facebook in your area to see what people are talking about. Check the locally trending topics and news on social media.
Use what you find to plan out topics and content pieces that are relevant to the area and to your business, but also things that your local audience will like. Eventually, you’ll get a strong feel for the heartbeat of the area around your business so you know what content to write.
#2 Expand FAQs into Content Pieces
Having a frequently asked questions section, or more than one, on your website is a great way to provide to questions that your customers always ask. If they ask you in person, there’s a good chance people are also asking it on Google.
Take those FAQs you have on your website and see if you can expand them into larger pieces of content. One of the big new trends in local SEO is voice search, and one of the most common types of searches people do is asking a question.
If you have good quality answers to popular questions that your business can answer, you’re more likely to both rank higher or even get a featured snippet. So when people in your area ask that question online, your business will appear at the top of the search results pages.
#3 Write up Customer Case Studies and Interviews
Reviews and testimonials are hugely important in the online world. This is true both from a technical SEO perspective but also because of how important they are to convince someone to go to your business instead of a competitor with fewer reviews or lower scores.
From the technical perspective, if you have good quality case studies and interviews with local customers and clients, that content can show up in search results. So when people in your area Google the name of the person or business profiled, you will get awareness and maybe traffic from it.
Case studies and interviews are an extension of that. Case studies specifically outline how your business helped a customer, with the full context and backed up by data. Interviews can act like an expanded testimonial. Both of these can help greatly improve your local content.
#4 Write About Local Events and Activities
Local events, festivals, and other public activities in your community are always one of the better sources of local content. This is especially true when it is relevant to your business.
If you are a sponsor, speaking at, or participating in the activity, then you can write about your involvement and where people can find you. You can turn it into a marketing event, and offer people coupons or discounts if they stop by your store.
Even if you aren’t participating, it’s a good idea to tie it to your business if you can. For example, if it’s related to your industry you can give tips to people who will be attending.
#5 Target Related but Non-Competitive Niches
If you’re running out of ideas for content that directly relates to your industry, you can branch out to related industries that you don’t directly compete with. This is also a great idea for finding a way to invite other local authors to write for your blog or vice versa.
For example, if your business is a type of health clinic, you can write about any topic related to people’s health and wellbeing—nutrition, recipes, exercises, yoga, mental health, sleep habits, and so on.
Or if you sell products of certain types, you can write about topics related to the industry the products came from. If you sell technological devices, write about new trends in technology. Even if you don’t sell the things you write about, you’ll establish yourself as an authority in that niche for the people in your community.
#6 Explain What’s Unique About Your Business and Services
When people are searching for your type of business in their area, you need to have content that shows off why you stand out. That can go a long way to convince someone to try your business before any of your competitors.
If you are a restaurant, do you make your food a certain way? Do you offer vegan options? Does it use locally-sourced food? Are you a fusion restaurant that takes types of food and makes them with a twist?
The other thing you can write about is what services do you offer that no one else does. Are you a pet store that offers a delivery service? Are you a tech product store that offers diagnostics or repair services? Do you have a better exchange, warranty, or quality guarantee than others?
It’s always good to let customers know what extra value you can offer them that your competitors cannot. That means you need to have content about all of it so people are aware.
#7 Use Schema Markup
Schema markup is an absolute must for any type or level of SEO. For your local SEO content, having technically-structured content means that search engines will be better able to understand the focus of your website.
For your local content, this makes it easier for search engines to understand the geographic focus of your business website. If you have content that uses local keywords for the region, city, town, or even neighborhood, it’s good for the search engines to understand that.
That way, whenever someone in those geographic areas makes a search related to your business, the search engines will know that your content is highly relevant. It does not directly help improve your local SEO rankings, but it does help establish your relevancy for local searches.
#8 Include Local Keywords & Phrases in Content
If you are writing any content on your website, the best thing you can do as a local business is to add in local phrases and keywords. It can be something as simple as adding the name of your town, city, neighborhood or region. You can also mix in phrases, slang, and sayings that only people in your local area use, especially if they’re somehow relevant to your business.
If you can, make sure to include them in your meta titles, headings, anchor text, and other on-page SEO elements. Those send strong signals to search engines about the local relevancy of your website.
This is especially important if your local area uses specific phrases for a product you sell. You don’t want to be using terms or phrases people in your local area don’t use, even if your keyword volume research shows higher volume for more generic words.
#9 Guest Post on Other Local Sites
One great way to get more awareness and backlinks on other local sites is by writing guest posts on blogs based in the same area. It’s a valuable method to establish your authority and expertise among your local audience.
You can offer to write something that both caters to your business’ niche, but also in a way that is locally relevant. You can also cross-promote with them, so they also write something on your blog that’s relevant to their niche. That can help you fill out more optimized localized content on your site.
Putting It All Together
As you can see, there is a lot of work involved in launching an effective local SEO content strategy. Using the tips above, you will be able to research good local topics, structure the content for search engines, add localized keywords to increase its geographical focus, and reach out to other local sites for guest posting.
It might be a lot of work, but it’s the most effective and advanced method of local SEO that will help you gain an edge on your competitors.