Local SEO helps your business target Internet users in your area, which is essential to creating a competitive, growing business. Nearly half of mobile users say they use their devices for research before going local with services or products, and that number is growing. In a Search Engine Land column, Chris Silver Smith discusses ten Local SEO marketing myths, some of which say your business doesn’t need to or can’t create viable local SEO. As Smith points out, neither of those things is true.
Outside of populating your pages with clunky keyword, city, and state combos such as “florist Dallas TX,” how can you drive content in a quality way that plays nice with search engines? One thing you can do is hire bloggers to create localized content using the following strategies.
Spin Local Stories
Google and other search engines like pages with well-written, meaningful content and one or more authoritative links. An easy way to create what Google wants is to hire a writer to discuss local news stories on your blog. Find stories that have at least one spin that’s relevant to your brand, let a creative content writer tell your audience a compelling and fact-based story, and link to the original news source for authority.
An attorney’s blog might cover news about court cases, relating the information to specific advice or action for readers. A cupcake company’s blog could include blog posts on local cooking contests or weddings with detailed information about how cupcakes played a role in the event. You can use stories about the local economy, events, or public figures to generate traffic, as long as you can find a tie to your services, products, or customers. Can’t figure out how local news relates to you? Hire a freelance writer to generate options for you.
Encourage User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a great way to fill your pages with local keywords, but you do have to manage it to avoid problematic verbiage or trolling. Open your blog to comments and ask your writing team to end posts with engaging questions to encourage interaction. Even better, create ways for users to contribute directly to in-blog content. The cupcake company used as a previous example could ask customers to send in photos of the company’s cupcakes at events. Posting a photograph with a fun description and city/state tag is a great way to boost Local SEO.
Channel Local Pride
Content about the local sports team, school, or culture is a great way to draw the interest of local readers and increase SEO. Offer a promotion if the local football team wins and blog about it, include a positive human-interest story about a local resident, or highlight the grand opening for a nearby business that isn’t your direct competitor. Ask writers to convey a sense of community pride, as your audience will relate to that and it makes your web presence more personal.
For the best results, mix all three types of local posts with expert advice, entertaining links, and information relevant to your niche. It’s important to provide Local SEO while giving your audience a reason to come back to your site or visit your business.
Sarah S creates SEO content for local, national, and global businesses. She can write with an expert voice in industries such as healthcare and data security, but her favorite pieces involve human-interest stories. She thinks people are weird, awesome, and interesting.