How to create an effective SEO strategy for your local business

How to create an effective SEO strategy for your local business

To survive the pandemic, study shows that most small businesses have been forced to change operations or find new sources of revenue.

Many businesses that previously depended on local visitors have been forced to fully or partially digitize their operations to enable bookings, online purchases, and even services.

That digital transformation has brought a new challenge – how to be found online. The first basic step is to verify the business with Google Local as well as other local discovery platforms like Yelp and Tripadvisor. but afterthat?

This is where localized content marketing comes into play. Similar to what traffic already does for your business, content marketing can attract people who never knew they were looking for you.

Similar to traffic, #ContentMarketing can attract people who never knew they were looking for you, @SEOSmarty said via @CMIContent. Click to Tweet

Generate localized content ideas

Here’s what most local businesses do when it comes to content creation:

  • General content creation on their business theme. For example, a hair salon in Seattle publishes a blog post on how to create spiral curls.
  • Create generic content about their neighborhood. For example, a bakery in Albany, New York, writes about what people can do in Albany.

Neither option yields great results. First, competition is often high for this type of content. Second, no angle brings in willing buyers.

This is what most local businesses should do when it comes to create content :

  • Create content related to your business and. For example, a hair salon in Seattle publishes a blog post about hairstyles that work best in rainy climates.
  • Solve customer problems in your language. For example, the Albany bakery writes an article about the best pastries to take home before a blizzard hits.

It limits the group of content ideas but more effective at bringing in high-quality leads. Other locally focused content, depending on your business, could include:

  • Local events and how your business can help prepare
  • Ideas for local accommodations and how your business can make them better
  • New local partnerships (to raise awareness of your brand through associations of known brands.)

It always depends on how specifically you can create locally relevant content seeker .

Local businesses should create #content that is relevant to their business AND language, @SEOSmarty said via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For example, if you sell tours in Central Park, answer the questions correctly in the text, such as “name of New York City’s famous Central Park dog statue what?” It makes perfect sense that someone asking that question might be interested in a tour that stops at the statue of Balto.

A screenshot showing search results for the question “What is the name of the famous dog statue in New York city's Central Park?”

Note: This search query has surprisingly high search volume and some local businesses rank for it.

However, if you own a beauty salon or even a small restaurant near Central Park, I don’t see how Balto content can bring in leads. Explore other questions about Central Park that can help you show meaning.

For example, search queries that explore “How far is Central Park from Times Square” opens up many opportunities for local business. People asking this question may be interested in a place to stay that can easily reach both the destination or the place to eat if they are traveling from one place to another.

A screenshot showing search results for the question “How far is Central Park from Times Square?”

Note: I was not healthy in New York City when I received these results. Your local customers may not be in the area yet. That’s why ranking outside of Google Maps can be helpful.

Here are some resources to help create a list of localized ideas:

TIP: If you’re looking for a place to start, I usually search questions in Text Optimizer . It provides a clear overview of search patterns, providing a good topic view:

A screenshot of Text Optimizer's results for search questions related to Central Park.

Integrate your CTAs into your content

This is a somewhat obvious but often overlooked step.

To make your content even more effective, integrate call to action go there. The CTA will encourage more readers to take action and check out what you’re up to.

A helpful CTA can be as subtle as mentioning your business as an option to “go there” or “spend a good time there”:

An image showing a CTA that's a link to a private Midtown Highlights Tour from City Rover.  It is in the last sentence of the copy.

Or the CTA can be as direct as your promotion:

A screenshot showing an example of a CTA that's a promotional offer.  One CTA is in a black box on the bottom left side of the site and the other is in a brown box on the right side of the site. Whatever the CTA, your content needs to make it clear that your business is here to help.

CTAs generate sales and “buy now” interactions that allow readers to make an immediate purchase, @SEOSmarty said via @CMIContent. Click to Tweet

TIP: Service-driven local businesses can use sales-generating CTAs to allow readers to book appointments. This is especially helpful if you are operating on an appointment-only basis to comply with COVID requirements.

Here’s an example of a “book now” CTA that’s easy to implement from Designation code :

Other good the idea is to add a store locator into your blog so that readers immediately recognize you as a business in the field they are reading.

Monitor your organic rankings and traffic

While Google My Business provides a somewhat detailed dashboard of how your local business is being discovered through Google Maps, tracking your organic visibility is not an easy task. easy these days, especially for local businesses.

Monitoring organic visibility is difficult for business locales because results often differ based on the searcher’s location, @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent said. #SEO Click to Tweet

First, the search results are highly localized: The results I see when I search in upstate New York may differ from the results people in Florida see. For some businesses, only hyperlocal searchers matter (e.g. professional services often don’t target tourists). In these cases, tracking your rankings using local filters will do. Site Checker allows to monitor the hyper-local location of a city:

(I’m sure there are many more ratings monitoring tool allows local monitoring. If you have a suggestion, add it in the comments.)

If your business targets travelers, especially those planning from home, localization tracking won’t help because you want your content to appear around the country. This is where you combine web analytics data (Google Analytics, Google’s Search Console etc) with your nationwide location tracking.

Finteza allows you to easily filter all your web reports (traffic sources, search queries, etc) by location. To access your local data:

  • Reach -> Geography.
  • Click on the location for analysis.

Now go to any other report to see web analytics data related to that location. For example, here are the Google search queries that bring clicks to my site when people search from Chicago:

Note: This is a great way to identify the best performing locations to help your business get found from search.

TIP: Save all your filters to access them more easily in the future. You can then see if any of those clicks tend to convert:

Note: Most of that Chicago traffic doesn’t go through the sales funnel because the business isn’t actually in Chicago, so that’s a long way. However, if two people from Chicago discovered my business through content marketing, I would accept. These are free leads.

About the local

My favorite thing about well-planned content marketing is that it delivers cumulative growth – the longer you do it, the better the results will last. If you keep adding content that your customers want to interact with, your rankings will gradually increase and your business will be found more and more.

One final suggestion: To enhance that growth, you may want to use Facebook pixel . It keeps track of all the visitors who have come to your site. That invaluable data allows you to serve your ads to people who have interacted with (specific) pages on your website.

All tools mentioned in this article come from the author. If you have a tool to recommend, please add it in the comments.

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Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute

By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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