Small businesses are at a serious marketing disadvantage compared to multi-national corporations and the big-box stores. They often just don’t have the resources, especially when it comes to online marketing.
This is especially true when it comes to Local SEO and geo-targeting customers. Moreover, a small business just can’t rely on the business listing results provided by Google, Bing, and other search engines. You need to write powerful Local SEO content to compete.
First, we must start with an understanding of why creating fresh content is important overall. HubSpot identifies blogging for business as the single most important tool for attracting organic (free) traffic. Without content creation, a business must rely on pay-per-click advertising for real traffic or hope that narrow search parameters will lead potential customers to you. However, content pages can provide continual traffic from organic search and social media.
Moreover, your content will help convert leads. When you write impactful content that is informative, useful, or entertaining, you build authority and trust. Granted, building authority is a bit of an intangible and difficult to measure. However, when a visitor finds the answer to their questions on your site, they are more likely to trust you and move into the sales process. These leads are more educated and informed, and the sales process is much more productive.
While many businesses understand the power of content creation, they find writing Local SEO content difficult. Inevitably, many times, a business will simply find a way to insert local keywords into otherwise generic information. Writing powerful Local SEO content must boost your position within search engine results pages, but it also has to be informative and useful to the reader. Therefore, Local SEO content relies on being uniquely valuable to local customers. This can sometimes be a little tricky.
How do you write content that is specifically appealing to your local audience? Sometimes this means you will have fewer topics to choose from, or you will need to become truly creative. Whether you are a law firm, car dealership, or an HVAC company, you need to mention your location. However, if visitors perceive your information as generic and spammy, this will negatively affect your reputation and will not help build your authority. So, this article will provide you will powerful tips for how to write powerful Local SEO content.
1. Know Your Customers and Target Audience
If you have heard this tip once, you probably heard it hundred times. This is the No. 1 recommendation, made by virtually every marketing expert, for writing effective content. However, actually pinpointing the right customers to target can be difficult. Effective content is not just material that attracts visitors and social shares. It attracts engagement from those most likely to buy or make a quote request. Don’t you agree?
Therefore, identify your vital few. In business, typically, roughly 80 percent of all sales are generated by around 20 percent of customers. While the actual percentages may vary slightly, these are the people who always buy their family’s automobiles from your dealership, and always use your service department for repairs. They are your regular salon customers, who seem to always be in your shop. Or, they are those clients who keep your law firm on retainer and regularly use you for advice and counsel. These are your ideal customers.
Use your knowledge, of your ideal customers, and create buyer personas. You may already use demographics to target paid advertising. Buyer personas take this idea a step further by creating fictional characters that you can interact with. This tool empowers you to identify needs and interests. For example, one buyer persona could be Susan, a stay-at-home mother of three who loves crafts and bingo. You will write content for Susan very differently than for Larry, a single 40-something who rebuilds classic cars. Does that make sense?
2. Select Alternative Topics
When you know and understand your idea customer, you can create content that appeals to them. Red Bull is a perfect example of a company who knows their ideal customer and makes effective use of alternative topics. Red Bull provides thousands of pages of content on motorsports, Grand Prix racing, video games, and more. What do any of these things have to do with the energy drink? Nothing. However, they are topics of interest to those most likely to drink Red Bull.
There are many topics available when writing powerful Local SEO content. If one of your buyer personas loves following high school sports, this is a good topic. A buyer persona who has children may find information about local children’s activities useful. The number of local topics is limitless, including local government, charities, music, arts, and attractions. While not all topics will work for all business, you will have many options.
Regardless, the idea of using alternative topics for writing Local SEO content is both for attracting potential customers and maintaining relationships with existing clients. The very best content strategies will focus on consumers at every stage of the buyer life-cycle. Not every blog post is written for the purpose of converting a lead to a customer. Some content is for attracting visitors who don’t know you yet, but look most like your ideal customer. When these visitors subscribe to your blog or follow you on social media, they convert from a target to a prospect. They then move through the buyer life-cycle until they are ready to buy.
3. Write for Intent Focused Search
Today, the big thing in search engine optimization is targeting micro-moments. Smartphones have revolutionized the way people use the internet, and one of the biggest changes is to online search. During the course of the day, people are grabbing their smartphone to meet their immediate needs and wants. In fact, recent research released by Google shows that 80 percent of people are using a smartphone for at least some of their internet access and 40 percent are only using a smartphone for internet searches. They grab their device to ask very specific, intent-focused queries like “Where can I buy,” or “Where can I go?”
- Where do I go to sign my child up for little league in [sometown]?
- Where can I register to vote in [sometown]?
- What are the best restaurants in [sometown]?
- What time is the [sometown] Cancer Walk?
- Where can I find Space Sprockets in [sometown]?
Micro-moments are not a passing fad, but a growing trend for online search. Moreover, it is a step beyond simply focusing on a keyword. Search engines are in the business of providing the most relevant information to their customers. Therefore, their algorithms work to match the search user’s intent with contextually relevant content. Those who create content that is most relevant to these micro-moments will have the advantage.
What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how to write powerful Local SEO content or need more information, please contact us.