Do you want to get more customers in your brick-and-mortar business or online shop?
These days, running ads on newspapers and radio shows doesn’t generate as much attention as it used to. Plus, they can be costly, especially on small businesses that don’t have enough finances.
That said, if you want to attract more clients without spending a lot, then you should consider local SEO. This will make you highly visible in web searches so that you get more visitors and potential buyers in your physical or eCommerce shop.
What is Local SEO?
To learn more about this technique, you first need to know about SEO.
Otherwise known as search engine optimization, SEO boosts your rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines. It involves improving the quality and quantity of your website so that you generate more visitors that you can convert to paying clients.
Taking this into consideration, local SEO is all about boosting your rankings in local search results. This is important for any business, as 75% of searchers don’t go beyond the first page of the search results.
When you rank first, you get 24.46% of all clicks, compared to just 13.38% for rank 2 and 10.12% for rank 3.
So why is optimizing a local business necessary? Well, you have to look at the numbers:
- 46% of all Google searches are local.
- 72% of local searchers are most likely to visit a store within 5 miles.
- 76% of local searchers visit the store within the next 24 hours.
- 78% of local mobile searches lead to purchases, whether in-store or online.
- There is a 900% growth in “near me” searches.
How to Use Content Marketing to Improve Your Local Search Engine Rankings
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a tech expert to improve your local search engine results. All you just need to do is follow these tips:
Write Guest Blog Posts and Publish Them on Local Websites
Blogging is one of the best ways to boost a website’s SEO quality. After all, relevant, high-quality blog content can place you higher in search engine rankings.
But if you want to gain more traction in local searches, then you should venture into guest blogging. As the name suggests, this involves creating a post for another blog site.
While this may seem counterproductive at first, guest blogging for a local website can do wonders for your business. It can help you build the following:
When a local website allows you to post, it shows people that you are an expert in your field. If the site trusts you, why shouldn’t they?
Many people browse through local websites. Catching the eye of at least 10% of these users will make a huge difference for your business.
If you post for a local website, chances are it will return the favor soon through guest blogging and links. It might even feature your business front and center!
Search engine rankings place importance on links that head back to your page, especially if they come from reputable websites.
So how do you start blogging for a local website? For starters, you can search Google for this: your (location name) + website + write for us. You can also try the queries “guest post” or “submit a guest post.”
Search for Relevant Local Keywords
Keywords are essential for both local and traditional SEO. After all, they can give you an idea of what your potential customers want. Additionally, it can serve as the pillar for which you can base your content.
Keywords are essential to your blog site. Even if you don’t create fresh content all the time, you can use keywords while repurposing some of your outdated content. You can also use these keywords for your guest posts on local websites.
So how do you find the best keywords for your business? You need not do some backbreaking research, as many tools can help you out. One popular example is the Google Keyword Planner.
To use this program, you first need to set up an AdWords Account. Once you have done so, you can start by clicking Tools -> Keyword Planner -> Search for new keywords using a phrase, website, or category.
What’s great about this program is it enables you to target clients in your current location. As such, Google Keyword Planner can help you select keywords that reach out to potential clients in your geographic area.
Craft Local Content
Keywords are not only meant for your website. If you want to attract more customers, then you need to get started with content writing.
People tend to gravitate to websites with informative articles that can help them with their daily lives. You can achieve this by putting your keywords in “best of” or “top 10” lists. You can also write about how-to guides that are relevant to your products or services.
Here are other good ideas for your blog site:
- Answers to common local questions (i.e., where is the best place to eat in Miami?)
- Local event write-up
- Viral local news or story
- Industry-related content that is unique in your area (i.e., Miami curfew hours and how it can affect your business)
Make your FAQs More Comprehensive
Local searchers check the FAQ page to get answers on their most burning questions about a business and its products and services. But did you know that you can use this to your SEO advantage?
Instead of a two-line answer, why not make the most out of the vacant space and delve into more detail? You can create relevant content, be it through a more comprehensive post, video, or even audio.
Your clients will surely appreciate it, as they don’t have to leave the page to learn more in-depth information about the product or service in question.
Feature Your Happy Customers
People love human interest stories that they can relate to. Capitalize on this appeal by featuring the customers who have benefitted a lot from your products or services.
What is the best way to do such a feature? You can do so with a case study.
Start with a likable person or industry you have serviced. Present the challenge that has plagued your client and the solution that you have presented. Don’t forget to highlight how your offer has made this person’s life better.
Work on Related Yet Non-Competitive Niches
If you have been creating content for quite some time, you may find yourself running out of things to say. This shouldn’t stop you from blogging, as this could lead to a dramatic fall in search engine rankings.
Instead, you should focus on a related yet non-competitive category – a shoulder niche, according to experts. To get the best keywords from these niches, visit relatedwords.org. All you just need to do is type a query that relates to your business.
For example, when you type “Miami spa,” you get hits such as resort, heat, Florida, summers, bathe, and other related keywords. These keywords can help you create content that can attract a new category of viewers without veering away from your industry.
As such, you don’t have to worry about losing your relevance in the local search engine results.
Promote Your Posts on Social Media Networks
Social media is not only a place to post pictures and reconnect with old friends; it’s also an excellent avenue to promote your blog content. After all, as many as 3.8 billion people use social media platforms, and this number is expected to grow every single year.
That said, it’s time for you to bring your business to social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Once you have created an account, make sure to follow these tips on how to engage local audiences through social media:
- Reach out to local pages on social media platforms
- Join relevant local online groups
- Increase your follower base
- Share location-specific content
Participate in Local Activities
Although establishing an online presence can help boost your local search engine rankings, you should always try to be as visible as possible. Participating in local social events can get you that vital backlink from a respected institution or event organizer.
Apart from social events, you can also try sponsoring local organizations, clubs, or sports teams. This will give you added online exposure on their respective websites.
The best thing about local participation and sponsorship is that it can help improve your brand’s reputation. It can even earn you a spot or feature from local news outlets or the bigger ones if you are lucky.
Apart from helping improve your publicity, these write-ups can boost your search engine rankings as well.
Whether you have a small store or a medium-sized business, you can attract more customers by improving your local search engine rankings.
If you don’t have the time or the proper knowledge to boost your web presence, you can always seek the help of a good SEO consulting firm to help you out.