local seo content strategy

Tips for your local SEO content strategy

Tips for your local SEO content strategy

February 01st, 2017 – 13 Comments

If you own a local business, you want to dominate the local search results of your niche. 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. Instead, your website probably invites people to come to 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 face-to-face interaction with them. Your competitors are the other local entrepreneurs in your specific niche. Perhaps you actually know your competitors.

Keyword research

Which local queries do 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 [hairdresser 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 meet 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 hairdresser 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 snippet 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 in 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 about your business!

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! If you’re a carpenter, you should write about your projects. 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! 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 with in your keyword research.

Keep reading: ‘5 tips to get inspiration for your blog’ »

Facebook

Facebook 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. If you can write about your customers (of course check with them first!) that’ll increase chances your audience will share and engage with your posts.

Advertising on Facebook could also be truly profitable. You can 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.

Read on: ‘How to optimize your Facebook reach’ »

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.

Read more: ‘The ultimate guide to small business SEO’ »


13 Responses to Tips for your local SEO content strategy

  1. Taucher
    By Taucher on 14 February, 2017

    This is exactly what I misunderstood when starting of my online business. First thought is aiming for all the people that are out there but as Jackie pointed out correctly – Focussing on the local market with ‘local’ headlines is often the key to the biggest success in online business. Great article!

  2. Jackie
    By Jackie on 9 February, 2017

    Great reminder, thanks. A lot of my customers undervalue how important their local market is.

  3. Daniel
    By Daniel on 6 February, 2017

    This article is helpful and nice strategy to improve the blog site , thanks for sharing !

  4. Daniel
    By Daniel on 6 February, 2017

    Fantastic idea and beautiful strategies I’ll keep it and implement as well to improve my blog , thanks for sharing !

  5. Vincent
    By Vincent on 6 February, 2017

    I like what you descript in Keyword searching. I got an idea for my blog. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Carsten Legaard
    By Carsten Legaard on 5 February, 2017

    “For most local search queries, people will actually use the name of the town or village when searching for something.”
    Really?
    Has people not gotten used to Google knowing where they reside?

  7. Laurien
    By Laurien on 4 February, 2017

    Hi Marieke,

    Great blog as always. What do you think about branding? Should a local business care about branding?

    A friend of mine has a terrible website SEO wise. But is quite successful because of his branding/advertisements on Facebook. And people share his results on social media (tattoo-shop).

  8. Brendan McCoy
    By Brendan McCoy on 3 February, 2017

    Great post Marieke!
    Don’t forget that most Local / Near Me searches are made from smart phones so its essential that your Google Business listing is complete and your website is mobile friendly.

  9. Pattipie
    By Pattipie on 2 February, 2017

    Useful tips! Thank you. You’re so helpful.

  10. Paul Sherland
    By Paul Sherland on 2 February, 2017

    Howdy Marieke, I appreciate your excellent post and I also appreciate the excellent Local SEO plugin. An additional suggestion for blog content would be to answer FAQs — one question answered per blog post. Don’t answer the customer’s question in a single paragraph. I suggest to my clients that they start with empathy for the customer’s situation, talk about their experience in solving the customer’s problem, describe how the customer’s problem can be solved with their product or service, and then add a call to action.

  11. IOANNIS DIVRAMIS
    By IOANNIS DIVRAMIS on 2 February, 2017

    Hello, Marieke, nice post. l used to make outgoing backlinks to local guides in order to support my local seo strategy.

    The reason is that Google relates your website or website page with local results, and it gives you a small push.

  12. Musicas para academia
    By Musicas para academia on 1 February, 2017

    Hello, Marieke, nice article. Could you tell me if the Local SEO tags below give results?

  13. Jasa Seo
    By Jasa Seo on 1 February, 2017

    Hi Marieke, you said Facebook should definitely be part of your local SEO content strategy. What about Twitter or Google+ ? Thank you in advance for sharing this useful tips and also for your reply.


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