Using content for driving your local SEO performance is absolutely critical. But the key word here is "local" when it comes to your content.
Part of the challenge for smaller, local business owners when it comes to content marketing is the need for unique content. Google loves original, unique and fresh content, especially for local SEO. But if you are an auto body repair shop, for example, there is only so much that can be said about fixing dents.
And, while your particular content may be unique in that it is original, your subject matter probably isn't.
Everyone's Saying the Same Thing
Because you are writing and publishing content to draw the attention primarily of local prospects, it is wasted effort to simply produce generic content. In other words, why write something that anyone, anywhere, might find interesting when you only want to speak to certain people near you?
Don't misunderstand: we are not saying that you shouldn't write that next blog post. But we are saying that you need to re-think how you write it, and what you really want to say. If you are one of, say, ten retail bakeries in your town, what can you write about that is both engaging, relevant and unique to your own business?
How can you write it so that it unmistakeably reflects your unique bakery business?
This approach holds true for any content you decide to publish - both on your own website and on your social media channels. A generic take on gourmet cupcakes, for example, might attract some visitors looking for information on that topic.
But how can you write about gourmet cupcakes in a way that appeals to someone who lives or works 15 minutes away and already knows about some of your nine other competitors?
Making It Real - Personal
A great alternative to the standard blog post is a case study, or customer profile, depending on your type of business. Marcus Miller, in his column for SearchEngineLand, notes that,
"This is the content that really demonstrates what you do, where you do it and who you do it for, which is the information that really matters."
Highlighting both your product or service, and your actual customers, through the use of case studies is a powerful way to make your content both personal, real, and immediate. That is, immediate figuratively and literally. These types of content pieces do double duty, as well, since they can help drive search results through the use of well-placed search terms.
Miller goes on to say that,
"These content pieces improve the scope of search terms you can rank for by detailing very specific jobs within your overall business category and focusing on other key details."
By making discreet references to the specific product or type of work done, the location, and other pertinent and local details, you can expand your search terms. In addition to the direct impact on SEO performance, there is also the added value of potential word-of-mouth. Everyone loves to be seen and talked about, and having a write-up in a local business website or blog will cause that customer to tell others about it.
Not only that, visitors who read your case studies or profiles will be far more likely to trust your business because it creates a sense of validity in the reader. Real people reading about real people is a powerful motivator in a prospect's purchasing path.
More Than Some Nice Words
By now, most everyone understands the value and importance of acquiring good reviews and favorable customer testimonials. Google reviews, Yelp! and others drive a great deal of clicks during organic search. It is a given that for local SEO having as many good, and really great, reviews is essential.
But how can a local business stand out amongst all the other reviews that their competitors invariably seem to have?
This is where video can come in handy. Instead of simply posting a glowing testimonial to your home page, or worse, burying it somewhere in the depths of your company website, try getting them on video.
It doesn't have to be a huge number to have a huge impact. Three to five customer video testimonials will provide a significant boost to your search results and result in visitors spending far more time on your site.
Keep it simple and real. These video testimonials do not need to be slick, Hollywood-grade productions. In fact, simply turning on a camera (or smart phone!) and letting a customer talk nice about your business is all it takes, A bit of editing, keeping them under two minutes in length, then upload them on your platform of choice. (e.g. YouTube, Wistia, Vimeo)
There is something truly visceral and engaging about honest and sincere praise coming from a real human being in a visual format. Video has power to capture attention and draw people in. It moves on emotions in ways that written words and still images never quite accomplish. And with common technology available now it is so simple to do.
Think Local - Be Local
An solid local SEO strategy can effectively boost your your business. But achieving your marketing objectives using a content-based strategy does take time. It won't happen with a few blog posts or other great content. The reality of SEO is that people will typically see your content for a while before they contact you.
Getting Help With Your Local SEO Marketing Plan
The good news is that you don't have to figure out alone. In fact, one of the best investments you can make with your marketing budget is to partner with a solid firm like Petaluma-based BroadVision Marketing. We are your local partner for your local marketing needs.
Get your free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session here so you can make an informed decision, or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238. Want to know more about local SEO and how we can help? Click the button below to learn more about SEO services from Broadvision Marketing.