“Content is King.” Okay, it’s kind of getting to the point it goes without saying, right? It’s definitely something we’ve said over and over again right here on the blog.
But here’s what you may still be missing: content types are really what defines how useful your content really is. Pick the wrong type of content for the wrong platform and you’re left with content that’s more like a pauper than a prince!
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to figure out what works best; there’s a lot of variables involved. Even your own industry and niche can have an impact, as can the platform or technology used to spread the message. This is even more true for local SEO where content marketing efforts are typically highly targeted to your location.
We want to help you take the confusion out of picking the right style of content. Walk through this guide with us and you’ll learn about the most common options – as well as how (and when) they’re useful.
Press releases have two main benefits: first, you can publish them online for distribution through different press release networks. Hopefully, you gain exposure from a local news outlet. You can also publish a PR on your website’s blog or news page for an onsite boost. Press releases make it easy and fast to announce major changes (and they’re also super for announcing changes to your business, awards, and new service offerings).
If you go with this option, include your city and state in the press release. The content you create will most likely be picked up by either online release groups (for SEO link juice) or by local papers.
Speaking of those local papers? There’s no reason you shouldn’t submit your PRs to their editors. They’ll often agree to run the story, especially in smaller towns where small to medium businesses are a big part of the local culture.
People LOVE getting information from familiar faces. Sure, any one of us could turn on the TV and see a national news anchor interview a big name. There’s just something unique and special about seeing a local business owner with another local expert; or a local news anchor.
Most citizens are proud of their town, city, or village; if given the chance, they will opt to support other local businesses and citizens. Offering informative content (this can be on TV, YouTube, Facebook live, or even in writing) is a great way to connect on a more intimate level. Get out there and get involved with some familiar faces. Or, attend some local events and interview the people in your town. They’ll appreciate the attention and you’ll appreciate the free publicity that follows.
Website Optimization and Business Listings
While you likely don’t view it the same way as your onpage content and blogs, your Google Business listing is critical to local SEO. You specifically want to focus on making sure your listing shows in the local search pack. This is a little tricky, though. It takes a combination of properly completed business profiles and properly optimized website pages to keep your website visible in the pack.
Some people believe that GMB isn’t worthwhile; they think that it’s just too competitive. Yes, people can click to see other business aside from the top three or five, but showing up in that initial search enhances your odds of being seen.
Schema markup is behind-the-scenes content gives your website structure. The data it contains makes it easier for the search engines to understand where you are located and what your focus is. It’s so useful that many people consider it a valuable part of every new web design or evolution.
In addition to your schema markup, you should ensure your title and meta tags and descriptions are up to date. Every little bit counts in clearly showing the search engines exact geographic location information.
Do not skip this critical piece of content. First, people love the short, bite-sized pieces of information that end up on FAQ pages. It makes it easy for them to scan a page and find a quick answer to what are usually common questions. Often, if they have a question, they’ll head there first to figure it out.
There are two other incredibly important benefits, though. The small pieces of information found on FAQ pages are excellent for optimizing your page’s Featured Snippets and potentially, terms associated with the quickly-growing voice search market, too. Keep your answers short, sweet, and conversational; they’re more likely to be picked up by both forms of search if they’re concise.
As for that voice search we just mentioned? Don’t overlook it thinking it doesn’t apply to local SEO. It’s the most common way people search when they need to find local business, activities, and hours.
Dedicate a page on your website to your specials. It doesn’t matter if you have a standing special for new visitors or if you change them out on a weekly or monthly basis; add specials anyway. It makes your visitors feel special!
You might offer a 20 percent discount on a certain service to the general public. Or, maybe you offer a 25 percent for anyone who shows ID with an address in your exact same town. Whatever you offer is sure to be appreciated as long as it somehow ties into your location. That’s smart marketing!
Social Media Content
Of course, social content is still lightening-hot and useful for local businesses. While your target audience won’t be as broad as, say, a national organization, you can still generate quite a bit of buzz and interest online.
Encourage your fans to use the check-in feature when they visit your business (the perfect opportunity for a discount). Or, start a group loosely related to your business that isn’t primarily promotional. You can also try using social media to create a group dedicated to connecting other local businesses. Work together to promote different holidays or special events – they may be your competition, but they’re also your neighbors.
You thought we’d never get to this part, right? Yes, blog content (like this very post) still matters in local SEO. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the best ways to make sure you are adding fresh new content pages to your site on a regular basis.
As for topic choices? The sky’s the limit. Talk about local news impacting businesses, current events that relate somewhat to your niche, or write tutorials so people better understand how your products can solve problems in their lives.
Vary your content choices but don’t get too far off track. For example, there is no reason for a local insurance agent to publish blog content about politics – unless, of course, he’s talking about special insurance concerns at political events. Avoid controversial content topics as much as possible unless they are directly related to your niche.
Local businesses have unique challenges when it comes to competing with those with a broader reach. That said, you can still have a lot of fun creating unique, useful, and SEO-friendly content that will keep your site ranked and visible, whether you stay onsite or branch out to other content platforms and social outlets. What are your favorite ways to market local businesses online? We’d love to hear your SEO tips!