When you think about improving your local SEO, do you think about content?
I admit, it’s not always the first thing that comes to mind.
But here’s the thing: Content directly impacts local SEO, and neglecting it is a big mistake.
Yes, we may have limited text fields and places where we can post content.
Listen to me, though. There is more than you might think.
Key differences in local and organic SEO content strategies
You may know what content Google likes to see on a website and how to optimize it to show it higher on search engine results pages.
But what about local content?
How is it different?
Here’s the thing, content strategies for local SEO and broader organic SEO aren’t actually that different.
In any case, good information content should always be a priority.
The main difference between local SEO and organic SEO content lies in user intent.
For local SEO, the user’s intent is to find nearby goods or services so that a locator can be included in the search query.
For example, you can search [Kansas City hair salon], [hair salon in Kansas City]or [hair salon near me].
The locator tells Google to prioritize, showing the user’s results in their area.
This has been the case for a long time as Google wanted to provide more localized SERP features (like map results) for searches that it perceived local intent.
So when writing for local SEO, produce content that highlights your position.
Before you start writing content for your site, you should always take a minute and think about your end game.
Ask yourself what goals you want to achieve.
And how can your content and messages help you complete your goals?
For example, suppose you want to improve your local SEO so that more people visit your physical storefront to increase your sales and revenue.
This is a great goal.
Good local SEO can help you achieve it, but creating a Google My Business listing isn’t enough.
Prioritize creating high-quality content that highlights both what you have to offer and your position.
Local content control
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to run a local content check.
When running a content check, ask yourself what your ideal local customer is looking for.
Are they researching what’s available in their target area?
Read the reviews?
Are you looking to visit a place now?
Are you looking for a supplier to come to them or to receive a product?
Knowing this information helps you determine if there are gaps in your content that you could fill to help you rank better in local searches.
Another important element of a local content audit is competitive research.
Take a look at your competitors’ websites to gather insight into the keywords they are targeting and the structure of the content to get their customers or local customers to convert.
Once you know who you are targeting and what they are looking for, you are in a great position to start writing.
Now, let’s dive into the specific content strategies you can use to improve your local SEO.
Local SEO content on page
Here’s good news, if you have a well-optimized website that includes quality content, there isn’t much to tweak to optimize it for local searches.
Just a few tweaks here and there.
One of the most important things you can do to improve local SEO is to include your address in the footer.
If you have less than ten positions, I recommend that you put them all in your footer.
Also, it’s important to create dedicated landing pages for each location you serve.
Each of these pages should have original content specific to the area / location.
Don’t simply copy and paste information from one page to another, even if you do the same thing in all of your locations.
This would be duplicate content, which could harm your SEO.
General reminders for creating a good page:
- Write informative and engaging content that describes the products or services you offer.
- Organically optimize your page for the correct geo-specific keywords (don’t use keywords).
- Add photos or infographics and optimize alt text.
- Make sure your page is optimized for voice and mobile searches.
- Use local specific schema markup.
- Update the content from time to time to keep it updated and relevant.
Blogging is a powerful tool for providing your customers with useful information and making you an expert in your field.
Simply put, in the eyes of Google, it has the power to increase your competence, authority and trust (EAT).
But outside of that, blogging is a great way to highlight your rankings and boost your local SEO.
First and foremost, it provides Google with new content that reaffirms where you are.
It also helps you target those annoying local keywords like “wine shop near me” that might be hard to rank for.
Also, the blog allows you to get backlinks from other local businesses.
It also gives people the ability to comment or share your article, which are two things that improve local SEO.
But I’d be remiss if you didn’t remember that one of the most important things you can do with a blog is share it, on social media, and any local directory that allows it.
Receive comments, get likes and drive local traffic to your articles.
Local off-page SEO content
Your Google business profile is the first and most obvious off page position for local SEO content.
Adding content to your Google business profile is important when you’re working on improving your local SEO.
You can do this in a number of ways, but the top priority should be to optimize your profile by including as much relevant information as possible.
You can add a description of your business, your hours, information about your products and services. For example, a food and photo menu for a restaurant.
When optimizing your Google Business profile, make sure all the information you provide is correct.
If anything changes, like opening hours, update your profile accordingly.
Another valuable thing you can do is post photos, current blog articles, relevant special offers, and up-to-date policies and procedures on your feed.
This tells Google that you are an active listing to promote because you provide users with valuable information.
Finally, well-optimized Google business profiles receive more clicks and requests for directions.
A key part of building a good local SEO strategy is collecting reviews and responding promptly.
In terms of content, user-generated content reviews carry a lot of weight.
A note about the map pack …
Highlighting your business on the Map Pack is a big deal.
It allows users to see your list before scrolling through the SERPs.
Some content-related strategies that can help you get one of the coveted places in the Map Pack:
- Request and optimize your Google Business profile.
- Write hyperlocal content.
- Have dedicated landing pages for your various locations.
- Use schema markup.
- Collect and respond to reviews.
- Optimize your site for voice and mobile searches.
Other listing services
When it comes to SEO, Google is definitely the main player.
So, it’s no surprise that the main thing related to local SEO is Google Business.
But we shouldn’t overlook other local listing services like Bing Local, Yelp, Thumbtack, Yellowpages.com, Foursquare, and others, depending on our industry and goal.
Posting content and other updates gives your website a citation and increases local credibility.
If you find yourself on these sites, don’t forget to pay attention to them from time to time and be sure to respond to any reviews you get, even if you use data aggregation services to submit data to third-party directories.
Your online reputation is important to Google and shouldn’t be forgotten.
As you surely know, social media helps SEO.
So having a business listing on Facebook and Instagram is important.
Increase your audience, so your article gets more views.
Also, more views mean more opportunities for backlinks.
Ultimately, having a solid social media presence and posting useful content on your social feed impacts your EAT and makes you look more credible in Google’s eyes.
Good content is an essential part of a good SEO strategy.
In terms of local SEO, good content with position indicators pushes Google to rank you higher in local search results and in the Map Pack.
Simply creating quality content for your site isn’t always enough. You should also share it with your Google business profile, other local listing sites and social media feeds to increase traffic and show your experience and trustworthiness.
For more content marketing tips, see SEJ’s Complete Content Marketing Guide.
For more guidance on local SEO, get a free copy of SEJ’s Local SEO e-book.
Featured Image: GaudiLab / Shutterstock