Local SEO has always been a big deal for local companies, and now more than ever it’s vital for businesses to get involved. Local SEO offers a much less competitive landscape than its national counterpart, and getting started with a campaign is relatively simple. All you have to do is cultivate positive reviews on local directory sites like Yelp, and follow up with a recurring locally-focused content strategy.
By now, you probably know what it takes to write great content, but do you know how to write locally focused content? Do you know the best places to syndicate and share that local content? Knowing these tidbits can mean the difference between your campaign taking off or fizzling.
For the most part, the content that works best for local SEO is the same type of content that would work for national SEO campaigns. There are just two distinguishing factors that will require you to update your approach: you’ll need to take extra care to make your content shareable, and you’ll have to make it specific to your region.
The best local content will include:
Now that you know how to write great local content, all that’s left is to find the best places to share and syndicate it.
Your first stop is also the easiest, and you’ve probably already thought of it. Share your content on your brand’s social media pages. This is especially useful for time-sensitive content, such as posting an article the day before you plan on attending a local event. Sharing this type of content on your page regularly will help your followers understand how dedicated you are to your region, and strengthen the connection between your brand and your locale. It’s also a great medium to inspire further social sharing; followers belonging to your same region will be far more likely to share your material to their followers and increase the reach of your local content.
Local social groups are pages or groups on social media platforms dedicated to various happenings and events going on in a particular area. For example, your neighborhood might have a Community page on Facebook or a Group on LinkedIn. Do some research to ferret out these groups, and consider using them as a platform for your local material. Keep in mind that only individual profiles will be able to share content with the group, so choose a representative from your team to follow through. These community pages have a much more personal feel, and will likely attract more people to your brand. Just make sure your content has some real value for the community as a whole.
Local news sites are perfect opportunities for your local content. Most local news outlets are desperate for new material, and some may even offer a publication platform that local businesses can use to submit material. Getting a piece of content hosted on one of these sites will not only increase your brand’s visibility, it will also pass high authority to your domain if you include a backlink. Even better, since the site is local, it will increase the relevance of your brand to the community in the eyes of search engines.
There is no shortage of community groups and forums online, but you might have a difficult time finding them. A quick search should turn up a handful of results to get you started, but don’t be afraid to ask around in the community to find some deeper, less obvious results. Posting your content here is an open invitation for more traffic, and like with local news sites, the links and authority you get from these will do wonders for increasing your brand’s association with your local area. You can even post comments and get involved in discussions to increase engagement with your material.
If your local content is newsworthy (which is always a plus), you can also consider submitting it as a formal press release. This might cost a bit of extra money, but you’ll get your content the chance to be published on practically every local news outlet and a handful of national ones. Getting published on a national channel will give you tons of authority, and your region will get significant attention because of it. If your content generally isn’t newsworthy, consider going out of your way to find more newsworthy material for regular press releases.
As with a traditional SEO campaign, the success of your local SEO strategy will largely depend on your consistency. You’re going to have to produce content on a regular and frequent basis, and syndicate that content to similar yet diversified channels to see results. The more dedicated you remain to your core strategy, the greater reputation you’re going to build.