How to Boost your Local SEO Strategy with Content Marketing
Most SEO agencies focus on helping local businesses rank for industry-specific keywords, building quality backlinks, and optimizing their Google My Business listings. However, there are other things that must be done. To help your clients increase their industry authority and build trust both with search engines and customers, you need to support their SEO efforts with a solid content marketing strategy. Lets learn how to how to boost your local SEO strategy with content marketing
Creating helpful, insightful, and fresh content will gain visitors’ trust, increase their engagement and conversions, and tell Google that a client’s site is relevant enough to rank high in local searches.
Here are several tried and tested tactics to implement when creating a content strategy for local businesses.
Publish Guest Articles on Local Websites
Publishing fresh and relevant content on other sites in your client’s niche is an amazing opportunity for you to increase their reach, showcase their industry authority, boost brand awareness, and drive more website traffic. Above all, it helps them build relevant backlinks and rank higher in local SERPs. Given that, it’s not surprising that 89% of local SEO experts prioritize link building for their local business clients.
Now, there are many ways to build links for your local clients. BrightLocal conducted a comprehensive research study, where they found that almost 90% of local SEO experts build links on local news and content sites. According to the survey, local SEO agencies also focus on building links on:
- local community sites
- industry news sites
- high-domain authority sites
- sites of local businesses in the same niche
- sites with .edu and .gov domains
- event sites
- local citation sites
- social networks
In a recent guide to link building, the OMG Digital Marketing Company emphasizes that SEO companies could also start utilizing platforms like SourceBottle or HARO to connect with local journalists and build quality links for clients at scale. According to them, you could also ask local bloggers to include their clients’ sites in round-up posts or leverage broken link building.
Sure, to give your client’s content a chance to rank higher, you need to help them build links on relevant, authoritative, and credible websites. Now, many SEO specialists focus on sites’ domain authority when building links. Keep in mind that, sometimes, just because a site’s DA is not spectacular doesn’t mean it won’t help your clients maximize their local SEO efforts. A quality local backlink is the one that:
- is relevant to your clients’ local audiences
- covers the topics relevant to your client’s industry
- includes industry-specific links
- has solid engagement and click-through rates
- is trustworthy and spam-free
Optimize Content for Local Keywords
Keywords are the backbone of your clients’ SEO strategy. They let you increase the visibility of your clients’ content, put it in front of the right audiences, and help it rank higher in the local search. Now, when optimizing a client’s site for local searches, you need to focus on keywords that are less competitive and yet, that have high search volumes in their target location.
Now, there are many keyword research tools that may help you find relevant, local keywords:
- Google’s Keyword Planner lets you search for keywords based on a client’s niche and business. The tool also lets you choose your target location, helping you understand what kind of keywords work for your local audiences.
- KWFinder provides a plethora of locations, allowing you to make your keyword research more precise. Namely, the tool lets you search for keywords by countries, states, regions, and cities. You can also find keywords in different languages.
- Google Trends lets you choose your client’s country, pick the desired time range, and choose niches. Based on this data, it provides Interest Over Time and Interest By Subregion, letting you know how popular the keyword is. Above all, it provides a list of related queries that may serve as awesome local keyword inspiration.
The Rise of Voice Searches and their Impact on Keyword Research
With the evolution of mobile devices and voice-based technologies, the use of digital assistants has also grown. Statistics back me up on that. For example, did you know that 66 million Americans now own a digital assistant?
These trends are changing the SEO landscape for good, giving local SEO an incredible boost. Namely, using their phones on the go, online searchers are looking for content and business relevant to them. 53% of searchers using smart speakers claim that they perform local searches daily. Moreover, 73% of voice searches are expected to be local by 2020. Google understands the importance of providing high-quality local results. Just like Greg Gifford said for BrightLocal, while discussing local SEO trends in 2020, Google will start using real-world signals like repeat visits as a ranking factor.
Therefore, observing search volumes when researching keywords for your clients’ content is not enough. Exact-match keywords don’t work for voice searchers. As they communicate with search engines more naturally, without typing or looking at screens, they’ve started using more conversational search phrases. Instead of googling “shoe store New York,” for example, they will now search for “shoe stores near me” or “shoe stores near me open now.” Apart from using long-tail keywords, some searchers have also started asking questions and using entire sentences.
Therefore, to help your clients appear high in local searches and even show up in featured snippets, you need to optimize their content for conversational and question-based keywords. In addition to the above mentioned keyword research tools, you could also use Google’s People Also Ask feature or platforms like Answer the Public. The latter is based on actual search queries people perform. You type the keyword into the search box, and it will provide a detailed list of questions that include your desired keyword. As such, it may serve as a great source when optimizing your clients’ content for organic keywords.
Produce Content Relevant to Local Audiences
Writing spammy content for the sake of SEO doesn’t cut it anymore. To help local businesses engage their audiences and build a strong SEO presence in the long run, you need to focus on producing high-quality content. A client’s blog should cover topics relevant to their local audiences. For example, they could write about the hottest local news, explain the latest industry trends, create lists relevant to their local audiences, or provide actionable tips for their readers.
That’s exactly where BuzzSumo can help you. Namely, this powerful content discovery tool lets you enter a keyword, and, based on it, it shows the trending industry content. You can even choose some alternative filters, such as country-code TLDs, the age of page, and so forth. For each topic, it displays social media engagement stats, the number of backlinks, and the article’s evergreen score. Based on these metrics, you will figure out what types of content work for your clients’ target audiences and niche.
Write about Local Events
One of the most powerful ways to write local content is to get involved in the local community. Encourage clients to participate in different local events. For example, they could support a charity organization or sponsor a local basketball team. For starters, this is a great opportunity for them to earn a backlink from the organization’s official website. For example, some teams even have an entire page dedicated to their sponsors.
Next, your content creators could write a PR article about a clients’ engagement in the community and publish it on the client’s blog. Then, reach out to local magazines, newspapers, and bloggers and ask them whether they would like to link back to the article. By receiving mentions and backlinks from credible local resources, your clients will increase their industry authority and build trust with their local audiences.
Over to You
Now, these are the essential ways to use content marketing for local SEO. As an SEO professional, you will need to talk to your clients and adapt your content tactics to their industry, needs, and audiences.
For starters, build local links. They not only help local businesses generate relevant traffic but can also maximize their brand’s credibility.
Then, create content that resonates with their local audiences and optimize it for relevant keywords that will increase their exposure in local searches. Wisely optimized, unique, and data-backed content has the opportunity to appear in featured snippets and earn loads of organic backlinks.
Finally, if your client supports local events and gives back to the local community, write about their efforts to earn valuable backlinks and mentions.
How to boost your local SEO strategy and create and optimize content to appear higher in local searches? Are there any local content marketing tips and tricks you would like to share with us? We’d like to hear from you!
AUTHOR BIO: Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for the Bizzmark blog.