For most local service businesses (e.g., painters, plumbers, electricians, cleaners, etc.), getting found by high-quality prospects is the key to generating more leads and making more sales cost-effectively.
If you have been tracking your traffic sources or asking your customers how they found you, you’d probably notice that many leads came from online searches.
As such, dialing in your local SEO strategy is instrumental to getting found by more potential customers and generating more business:
- 46% of all Google searches are for local information.
- 97% of consumers learn more about a local company online than from anywhere else.
- 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.
- Local searches lead to purchases 28% of the time.
- 92% of searchers pick businesses that appear on the first page of local search results.
One of the most effective ways of leveraging the power of local SEO is content marketing, which allows you to get found on local searches by prospects that are looking for the exact services you’re offering in your local area – in the right place and at the right time.
Here’s how to boost your local SEO with content marketing:
Optimize For Local Keywords
Start by researching relevant local keywords for which to optimize all of your online content, such as website copy, blog post, online profiles, etc.
You can use a variety of keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, to identify search terms that are relevant to your business and have high search volume in your target location(s).
Also, look for locally-relevant phrases, events, news, or trending topics that are most likely used by your prospects in their searches. This will signal to Google that your website is relevant to users in your area and improve your SEO ranking.
Create Relevant and Helpful Content
High-quality content that’s useful to your target audience helps drive traffic and generate engagement, which can improve your SEO ranking. You should also publish fresh content regularly because it signals to search engines that your site is current and relevance.
Having to generate new content week after week may seem intimidating at first. However, if you keep your eyes peeled, there are great topic ideas everywhere you look:
- Trending or seasonal topics in your area that are related to your services.
- Your business’s participation in local events and activities.
- Commonly asked questions about your area of expertise, appropriated into content pieces.
- Write-up of customer case studies and interviews.
- Topics that are tangentially related to your business but frequently searched for by your ideal customers.
Structure Your Content For On-Site SEO
Great content won’t achieve the intended results if people aren’t reading it or search engines can’t index it. Here’s how to structure your content for both visitors and search engines:
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly as more consumers are searching for local businesses on their smartphones and tablets.
- Incorporate local phrases and locations in your content to signal relevance to both readers and search engines.
- Format your content pieces so they’re easy to read on all devices. Also, ensure that all images and layouts are displayed correctly.
- Use schema markup, which is a global standard vocabulary used by search engines to understand website content.
Implement a Local Link Building Strategy
Publishing a variety of content and sharing it on high-authority websites can build backlinks that will boost your SEO. This will also help you drive more traffic and gain exposure to new audiences. Here are a few ways to build backlinks:
- Implement a guest posting strategy to generate backlinks from local websites with audiences that overlap with your ideal customers.
- Identify local businesses that share your target market but aren’t direct competitors. You can guest post on each other’s site and/or cross-promote your content.
- Claim online local listings, such as Yelp and Google My Business, which allows you to post your links, share updates, boost your credibility, and reach more people.
- Participate in local online communities, such as Nextdoor, to share relevant content when appropriate.
Promote Your Content
The most successful content marketers spend 20% of their time producing content and 80% of their time promoting it. Having a content promotion strategy is the key driving traffic and boosting your website’s SEO. Here’s how to effectively distribute your content to a local audience:
- Share links to your content on your social media updates and use it as a starting point to engage your followers in a conversation.
- Add social sharing buttons on your website and ask your readers to share the content with their friends and neighbors.
- Join local groups on social media (e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn) and share links to useful content on your website when appropriate.
- Seek out media opportunities on local news outlets. For example, by getting featured on local papers’ resident or business spotlights and include a link back to a relevant piece of content on your website.
Content marketing is one of the top strategies for improving your search engine ranking so more high-quality prospects can discover your business.
However, it’s not enough just to write something and hit publish. Since 95% of consumers only look at the first page of search results, it’s important that you also invest in the effort to optimize and promote your content so it gets a high ranking.
Although driving traffic is a key benefit of content marketing, don’t overlook the many other benefits of this strategy. A well-crafted piece of content can help you build trust and cultivate relationships with your audience while positioning your business as a relevant and helpful resource so you can stay top-of-mind.
In fact, the best content marketers focus on using content to drive engagement. When search engines see that your visitors are spending time on your website and returning for more information, your SEO ranking will improve automatically.