As a business owner, you have a lot on your marketing plate. You have to create a brand that’s memorable. You have to have collateral pieces you can share at every step of the process, from a first meeting all the way to customer retention over the years. You also have to have a dynamic web presence that gives your prospects and customers what they desire most.
As a local business owner, that’s a lot of things to plan for. And while you might have your local networking down pat, you’re a little more unsure of your online presence. It’s easy to be visible in your local community. But how do you take those same skills and transfer them to the online world?
Local SEO isn’t a difficult, mysterious process that only a few business owners can get right. Instead, it’s a series of steps that when performed correctly can get you a lot of traction with people that might not have heard of you any other way. If you focus on your local content and create it well, they will find you.
Start By Establishing Your Goals
For most businesses getting started in local SEO, they usually start with a simple goal: more business. But when you’re building an online strategy, there are usually four goals you should keep in mind:
- Increase your brand awareness
- Generate more links to your website
- Attract traffic to your website
- Qualify that traffic and refine it along the way
As you can imagine, these four goals should always work together. To have a good web presence, your goal is to get each of these four items correct.
But it’s not about working to “get it right.” This is a process that is always being refined as you go along. What works today might not work tomorrow. It’s a game of giving people what they want, and continuing to do so even as they change.
How do those four goals work as you’re establishing content for your site?
Brand awareness – This means your brand carries through from blog posts, to social media sites, to email campaigns and more. You should be recognizable with everything you produce.
Generating more links – People like doing business with reputable businesses who are experts in their fields. If you create high-quality pieces of content, other businesses will be more likely to link to them and introduce you to their customers too.
Attract traffic – The more content you put out to the world, the better chance you’ll have people looking for it and ready to consume it.
Qualify the traffic – Chances are you have customers coming in for different reasons, and for different products and services. Giving them all the same path is no longer necessary thanks to the tools and strategies online marketing gives you. You can be as specific as you want to be.
Start With The Technical Pieces
When most business owners hear the term “content”, they automatically think about the words written on each page. On your website, there’s more to it than just that.
To get your local content correct, you have to start with general SEO practices. Then from there, you can put other local SEO tactics into place.
- Make sure you have your Contact Us page filled with pertinent information. Your full address, phone number, and any addresses of satellite or staffed centers is mandatory
- Your phone number should be clearly visible from every page. Make sure it transfers well and is showcased on mobile too.
- Ensure your address and phone number is consistent. Switching it up and including satellite locations or your cell phone in some cases only gives a reason not to reward you for local SEO.
- If you do have multiple locations and they each have a unique page, make sure these pages are linked to a high-level navigation link that makes it easy to get around.
Avoid These Common Mistakes
When many local businesses are tasked with adding content to their sites, they panic for just a moment. And we get it. You’re not in the writing business; how do you know what to create for your site?
That leads to the first common mistake people make: business owners scrape content off of other websites in order to fill up their own. If you’re a dealer, it’s easy for you to use material from the manufacturer where you get your product. And with just a quick search you can find a lot of information right at your fingertips. Avoid it. Don’t do it. Unless you want to quote a few sentences because you’re using a high authority reference, create your own content instead. Original content will get you a lot higher in the rankings than using someone else’s words.
Also, avoid publishing multiple pages if you have multiple stores just for the sake of adding content. If every store offers the same thing, you don’t need to repeat your services pages over and over again. Think about what makes each location unique instead. Who do they target? How are they a part of their community? A personal touch will always go much further.
Content is king. That’s a given. And more companies than ever before realize that and are creating content specifically for their websites. But that doesn’t make it all great for SEO purposes.
Think local content and you might think about what’s happening around you. Local weather. Local events. Local community offerings. Local real estate. Local resources. And those are all great, but will content talking about a local arts festival this weekend really do you any good if you’re a plumber? Not unless you find some way to spin it in your favor.
Creating content means understanding not only your keywords, but also what people search for when looking for who you are and what you do. For example, that plumber mentioned above might create content based on “finding the best plumber”, but he can also do well creating content based on specific things: “what if your drain clogs when your house is filled with out of town guests?”
That’s how you spin it to get local. That’s how you build trust in your community and build your expertise too.
Have guests from out of town staying with you for the arts festival? Here’s how to avoid clogs before they happen.
Now you’re relevant to your community. Now you’re local. Now you’re personal and giving unique information built exclusively for your local clientele.
That’s how you’re rewarded in local search too.
Need help with your local content? Need some advice on developing your local SEO strategy? We’re here to help.
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