If you run a business that targets local customers, your online content needs to be optimised to pull in people in your area. If your blog isn’t nailing local traffic, your business is missing out on a vital opportunity to reach huge pools of customers that wanna find things right on their doorstep.
Around 89% of people use their smartphone to search for local businesses once a week or more. 58% of people are searching daily. Local SEO is very similar to organic SEO, but with added geographical elements taken into account.
According to a report by Moz last year covering local search ranking factors, proximity to the searcher is a prime factor in local rankings. Now is the time to get your blog optimised for local traffic. In this article, we’re pointing out the 10 best measures you can take to get your blog sucking up local leads. Let’s start with:
1. Host your blog on your website’s domain
By having the blog as a series of pages on your main website as opposed to hosting the blog on its own individual domain, you’ll maximise the optimisation for your businesses core pages. As your blog grows and builds links through your content, you’ll also effectively be link building to your main website pages. Links are an absolutely crucial local ranking factor. As your blogs search rankings increase, so will your websites pile of inbound links.
2. Create a contact section on every page of your blog
People that are looking for your local services will want to make contact as soon as they can. Placing your address and contact details on every page of your blog makes it as easy as possible for customers to get in touch. Shouting out about your precise location is key, which leads into our next pointer.
3. Include your city and the names of local neighbourhoods in your content
Sneak in as many references to your city and local areas as much as you can without spamming. This plays a huge role in connecting with people who are searching for things using those key area names. Everyone searches for services and products a little differently. Some may type the city, while others will prefer to be more precise with towns or neighbourhoods. Talk about the places that surround you to avoid missing out.
4. Help spread local news and events
Keep up to date with what’s going on in your local area and try to create posts surrounding these events. It’ll bring boosts to your SEO as well as provide very informative and relevant content to your audience. Look for community projects, upcoming elections, fairs or other exciting local occasions that’ll grab attention.
5. Interview other experts or talents in the area
Look for well-known figures in your area that relate in some way to your brand and consider reaching out for an interview. Not only will you be able to generate quality content from the session, if you pick wisely, you could land a talent with a target audience that’s essentially perfectly in-line with your own.
6. Avoid talking about your products and services exclusively
People don’t like being told to buy something. Talk about the things you sell too much and you’ll turn local traffic away instead of pulling it in. People searching for local services are looking for help or to have fun as quickly as possible. Your most successful posts will be those that bring your audience the most help or entertainment, so this should be your core objective for all blog content.
7. Join conversations with other local businesses
As we’ve already mentioned, building great links needs to be at the top of your “vital things” list. One of the best ways to do this for local SEO is to engage with other bloggers that are also targeting your local area. You might want to avoid posting comments and links on the blogs of direct competitors, but look out for businesses, organisations, and influencers covering subjects related to your location.
8. Incorporate long-tail keywords into your content
In the past, bloggers could get away with incorporating simple short keywords into each post to achieve decent rankings. Because of the dramatic rise in the use of smartphones and mobile technology, long-tail keywords are now increasingly important. Think about your customers and the things that they are saying to their devices when they’re looking for you.
Try and list as many long phrases as you can that people will really use in their searches. “Where’s the nearest Mexican restaurant?” is an example of a typical long-tail keyword that someone would mutter to their phone while on the move or shout over towards their smart home device while at home.
9. Choose the right schema markup
This is how you’ll separate yourself from major brands and stand out as a local business to customers looking for a nearby service. Follow this guide to choose the best schema.org markup. You’ll be able to mark yourself out as an establishment operating at the appropriate level, but you’ll also be able to specify exactly what type of business you are. From plumbers to florists, put the effort into making sure you show up correctly on search engines and your blogs relevance to local traffic will be boosted.
10. Analyse our local market and create posts they actually want
The most important component of any blog is the quality of the content on show. The quality of your blog content is determined by your audience and how well your posts actually bring them what they’re looking for. You need to delve deep into your target demographic and develop a thorough profile of your optimum customer.
Learn to use tools like Google analytics to break down your websites largest customer base. Think about your target demographics biggest interests, most pressing day-to-day concerns, and the news that excites them most. This process will help you develop content ideas that really capture your audience’s most valuable pursuits.
Blogging for SEO purposes is a long-term project, not a sprint. Follow each of the pointers listed above and you’ll place your blog in the best position to vacuum up local customers. Get it right and you’ll benefit from the swarms of people increasingly determined to find the things they want faster and closer to their exact location.