The greatest gift that Local SEO gave to SMBs was a way to stay relevant in a digital age. And a way for larger businesses to get in front of more good-fit consumers at the very moment they are ready to purchase.
Sure, Google basically owns the world of online search with around 93% of total search engine market share, and while the fortune 500 may be able to spend hundreds of millions of cold hard digital currency on Google AdWords, it must be satisfying for small businesses to know that satisfying the user experience is what matters most – even after all the ad dollars have been spent.
Fill out your GMB profile, your business directory listings, focus on getting reviews and writing locally relevant on-page content and you will have already satisfied roughly 71% of all local SEO ranking factors.
Today however, we are just going to focus on why it’s important for local businesses to build local content.
How You Can Fuel Local SEO With Local Content
Accurate information about your business across multiple platforms online is a major trust factor. The Google algorithm ranks local businesses using these factors. They do so to satisfy the user intent and make sure that the user experience is likely to match.
For a business online, information is power. Listing your NAP data (name, address, phone number) will take you far. But creating rich text about each of your locations will take you even further. That’s where local content comes in. The more rich contextual information you can optimize online – on your website and your GMB profile for instance – the more you will start to rank for the specific types of consumer queries that your local business specifically answers.
This is how a little boutique store can beat global players locally. And why one can’t help but get romantic about local SEO – if the small coffee shop is smart, they can rank higher than Starbucks for a given area.
5 Types of Local Content to Help You Rank for Local Queries
Local content is any type of information about your business that suggests/promotes a physical location from where you sell products and/or services. It also comes in many shapes, sizes and variations of importance. A website homepage, FAQ section or blog content for example.
When you mention your NAP information online, this is known as a citation. Citations can be structured and unstructured. Structured citations are the ones you see listed in a regular GMB profile.
An unstructured citation includes your NAP data. But it also includes a more detailed contextual description of who you are and what you do. These descriptions can help you rank for far more consumer search queries relevant to your area.
These unstructured citations are perfect for a website ‘About Us’ section.
Create Different Landing Pages for Each of Your Locations
If your business has multiple locations, you should set up different landing pages on your website that look something like this:
This will help each of your pages to rank for each location that they are in. If you only have one location however, focus on optimizing your homepage with unstructured citations.
GMB Profile Steps
Setting up a GMB profile correctly is the most significant and important activity a local business can and should do to increase local visibility. When it comes to increasing your contextual information on GMB and standing out from the pack, there are three activities that will separate you from the chasing pack…
A) Google Posts
Verifying your account and posting rich information about your locations on Google Posts is basically the equivalent of having your websites ‘about’ section right on the Google search results. This gives consumers additional information and helps you become relevant for more search queries.
B) FAQ Page
This isn’t just a great rule of thumb for your GMB profile, this is also great for your website. But if you are going to create one FAQ page, focus on your GMB profile.
By answering popular consumer queries, you’ll satisfy the user intent the next time they search for a business that fits their specific needs. And you’ll also rank for more long-tail consumer searches.
C) Engage Your Customers on Google My Business
Local content isn’t just about citations, it’s also about replying to your customer reviews (good or bad). Not only is the rate and time or your replies a ranking factor for the local SERPS. But by replying to your customers you will encourage brand loyalty. And yet again, build more of a contextual GMB presence.
Blogging on Your Own Site
Blogging is an oldie but a goodie. Creating relevant content that’s helpful for online search users in your area indicates to search engines that you produce highly relevant and engaging content helpful to users in your area. Not only will you have the opportunity to rank in the local 3-pack. But you will also rank in the organic SERPs for the local searches too. This increases consumer trust and your chances of driving clicks to your website or location.
Guest Blogging on Locally Relevant Sites
Guest blogging on websites that have a high amount of local relevance or that appeal specifically to your niche audience can have big benefits for your website traffic and rankings. Not only will you once again signal your location’s relevance for the area online. But by choosing locally relevant publications, your content will drive more motivated consumer traffic to your website wherever they look online.
These are just a few basic tips to provide broader understanding as to how create locally relevant content that can really fill in the gaps about your online brand. By creating accurate and consistent business information online, you’ll build a defensible moat around your business where you can say, ‘this is where we live and this is what we can offer you’.
Learn more about Brad Fagan and the Uberall team here.