Tips for your local SEO content strategy

If you own a local business, you want to dominate the local search results of your niche. Nowadays, that might be even more important. But how do you write content that’ll pop up in those local search results? On what aspects should you focus? In this post, I’ll give tips you can use in order to set up your very own local SEO content strategy.

Local SEO is for local businesses

When you’re aiming to rank for local search results, you want people in a specific neighborhood, village, or town to find and visit your website. In most cases, your goal is not to sell directly through your website. Although nowadays, that might be different, you’ll find some tips to focus more on selling online here. But, generally speaking, your website probably helps people to find your store, to your practice, or to hire you for your skills. Websites focusing on a local audience are different from those focusing on a national or global audience. In most cases, when visitors are interested in your services, you’ll have a personal interaction with them, whether that’s face-to-face, via a video call, or a phone call. Your competitors are the other local entrepreneurs in your specific niche. Probably you actually know your competitors.

Want to learn all about local SEO? In our Local SEO training, you’ll learn how to optimize the website of your local business for search engines. So you’ll start ranking in your area! And the best news? It’s temporarily free!

Keyword research

Which local queries does your audience use when searching for your type of business? You should get inside the heads of your audience and figure out what they’re searching for. For most local search queries, people will actually use the name of the town or village when searching for something. For instance, they’ll type in [plumber Amsterdam] or [therapist New Hampshire]. But even if people do not use a local term in their search query, Google will probably recognize their query as a local search intent. Searching for [dentist] in my hometown Wijchen will give me similar (but not identical) results as searching for [dentist Wijchen]. Google will give search results based on your location if they recognize a query as a local search intent. This also counts for near me searches.

Keyword research can be hard. But since you, as a local entrepreneur, regularly talk with your audience, you have a big advantage. Ask them about their search behavior! Ask your favorite customers what they were searching for when they first visited your website. Or what they would be searching for if they’d be looking for your type of business. That’s valuable information. Don’t stop there, though! Think about other search terms as well (as you might be missing out on an audience).

Read more: Ultimate guide to keyword research »

Write ‘local’ headlines

Make sure that the snippet of your web page that Google shows in the search results is optimized for local SEO. You want to do that because Google will know you’re focusing on a local audience, but you also want to do that because your audience will recognize you as a local business.

Your audience is searching for that plumber nearby, the bakery around the corner, or that carpenter that’ll come to their house. They’ll click on those results that indicate that they are situated in their proximity. That’s important for local search. Make sure your snippet is clear about where your business is. Make sure the title of your posts and pages is clear about that. Use the Yoast SEO Google preview to see what your snippet will (probably) look like in the search results.

Make an awesome first impression

Once you’ve convinced people to click on your snippet in the search results, you should convince them to stay on your website (and to not click away). A high bounce rate will eventually result in lower rankings, so you want to make an awesome first impression. When you’re a therapist, a doctor, a hairdresser or a carpenter, you basically have to sell yourself. People want to know who they are dealing with. A good picture is key to making a strong first impression. Your website should reflect your business. If you have a practice or a physical shop, make sure to publish some high-quality optimized photos of your business – and perhaps your employees – on your website. Videos are also a great way to present your business to the audience.

Write content about your local business for SEO!

To rank in the local search results, you want to write content related to your local business. A blog is a great content strategy, also for local SEO. Write about what you know and what could be of interest to your target group! If you’re a carpenter, you should write about your projects and how happy they made your customers. If you’re a dentist, you should write about the most common problems concerning teeth. If you’re a florist, write about your beautiful bouquets! Write about your customers too. Local testimonials are great, just as ratings and reviews. If people are exceptionally satisfied, they should surely be able to leave a review on your website. But perhaps their story could also be told in a blog post. Writing about local events is also a great content strategy for local SEO.

In any local SEO content strategy, you should make sure that your blog posts relate to your local community. And of course, optimize your post for the keywords you came up within your keyword research.

Keep reading: How to get blog post ideas: 11 tips to find inspiration »

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and Instagram should definitely be part of your local SEO content strategy. People connect with others from all over the world but are most prone to connect with people in close proximity. We interact most with people we also see in real life. If you have a local business, you can benefit from this.

Make sure to keep your local audience informed with lots of Facebook posts and share your pictures and stories of your projects on Instagram. If you can write about – or, even better, together with – your customers that’ll increase chances your audience will share and engage with your posts. Advertising on Facebook could also be truly profitable. You can easily narrow down your advertisements to a specific (local) audience. That could be a great method, as costs for local advertisements on Facebook aren’t very high.

Whatever you post on Facebook, always make sure to preview your Facebook post first to check whether it looks good. With Yoast SEO Premium this is super easy; you’ll have a Facebook preview in your post in the WordPress admin!

Read on: Social media strategy: Where to begin »

And: the Yoast Local SEO plugin

Last, but not least: the Yoast Local SEO plugin makes implementing your SEO strategy easier. The local SEO plugin covers all kinds of technical things, like schema.org for local business, you need to be doing in order to rank in the local search results. On top of that, it will help you set up excellent local landing pages, and will allow you to add functionalities you’ll need as a local business, like a store locator, to your website. When that’s done, you can truly focus on writing the best local content to improve your SEO!

Keep on reading: The ultimate guide to small business SEO »


12 Responses to Tips for your local SEO content strategy

  1. Shishu
    Shishu  • 6 months ago

    This article of yours can play an important role in making any new business a success, so thank you very much for sharing this article.

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 6 months ago

      You’re welcome, Shishu!

  2. Today Time
    Today Time  • 6 months ago

    Great article,
    I really impressed with your article and I can also use your tips further in my web site. Or if you have any more ideas likes this type then please share it with me.

  3. Parth
    Parth  • 6 months ago

    I have one question for this post! Is yoast plugin cover keyword search and schema sneepet features too?

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 6 months ago

      Hi Parth!

      Our plugin helps you optimize every page or post for different focus keywords or phrases and gives you tips on how to do this. Regarding keyword research, we offer an online training to get you going with that: https://yoast.com/academy/

      For the second part of your question, our plugin builds a full structured data graph for every post or page on your site. Plus, if you use Yoast SEO content blocks you have access to our FAQ block and How-to block. By using these, search engines will understand what this content is and will be able to reward it a rich result. We will be expanding this number of blocks as we go! Read more about it on: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/structured-data-content-blocks/

      You can find all the features of our plugin (also in detail) here: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/

  4. Sajid Iqbal
    Sajid Iqbal  • 6 months ago

    Hi I just started a home tutoring website. How to rank it on the top of page.

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 6 months ago

      Hi Sajid, congrats on your new site! To get a good grasp of SEO and ranking, I would recommend reading this guide: https://yoast.com/complete-beginner-guide-to-seo/

      This will definitely get you started with your SEO! Good luck :)

  5. Ashok Rajan
    Ashok Rajan  • 6 months ago

    It’s a usefull one.. but i need a clarification for keyword selecting did you explain how to select?

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 6 months ago

      Hi there Ashok, do you mean selecting the right keywords for your site? This article can help you with that: https://yoast.com/focus-keyword/

  6. Mark Dixon
    Mark Dixon  • 6 months ago

    I think it makes a lot of sense what you’re saying because everyone is now looking locally especially during this pandemic. So it’s really a good time to get your local ratings up and target more people in your area.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 months ago

      We thought so too, Mark! Hope we can help local entrepreneurs a bit with content like this.