How to Make a Success of Your Local SEO Campaign 14 Dec 2016
Agencies often live in a virtual bubble when it comes to SEO, venturing outside the office only on the rarest of occasions (and even then, it’s under duress). But if you’re working on a local campaign you’ll want to rethink things. With local SEO, you need to know what’s going on in the area you’re working with or risk missing out on some great opportunities. And you wouldn’t want that
Produce local content
Start by producing content that’s useful to the people in the area you’re targeting. Let’s say you run the local butcher in your town. You could share information on local county shows, nearby livestock farms (make sure to include some pics of famous local livestock varieties or interviews with local farmers on what makes their cows taste so good), quality local barbequing spots, local agricultural colleges and so on.
Not only will you naturally include loads of regionally relevant terms and references, but you’ll also encourage higher onsite engagement levels and attract inbound links.
Provide local information
So often brands with multiple locations simply roll out templates to every store that includes the open/close times, one or two thumb sucked keywords and not much else. Check your competitors’ websites and if this is how they approach local SEO you have an excellent opportunity to outrank them without too much effort.
Make a point of referencing things like landmarks, academic institutions, shopping centres, sports teams, local history etc. Essentially anything you can think of that will increase local relevance. Be sure to include any local events taking place as well.
If you’re not familiar with the area yourself do some online research or find someone on the ground to work with. Keep in mind, however, that the page needs to be evergreen, so if you’re including time sensitive details on local events for example, then you need to commit to keeping the content up to date.
Arriving on a website to find outdated information is annoying and does little to instill trust in the visitor. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses fail to do this.
Keep up with local news
Knowing what’s happening locally offers up lots of link building opportunities, such as sponsoring a school’s football kit for the upcoming season, offering your business premises for local meetings and networking with local businesses on local issues. Plus, links from local media (newspapers, radios stations, blogs, etc.) are semantically relevant and therefore good indicators of local relevance.
Reading up on local events is also an excellent way to brainstorm new on- and offline marketing tactics. For instance, if you discover a new housing development has recently been signed off or that there’s a new university campus opening, consider the potential opportunities this poses.
With local SEO, you need to broaden your thinking to beyond the obvious. Find out if the residents in the areas you’re targeting have colloquial names for their town or city. What about the schools, sports teams and so on? Very often these will have local nicknames.
Making use of them will help your SEO strategy and at the same time score points with the locals who’ll be pleased that you’ve made the effort to find out more about their area.
How about a few blogs discussing the local football team’s recent winning streak and the importance of their star player? Sure, it might not be directly relevant to what you’re selling, but it could be great top of funnel content that’ll help attract local custom.
Another thing to consider is how granular you need your keyword targeting to be e.g. by country region, by county, by city, by town, etc. If you’re not getting the results you’re after, it could be you’re not drilling deep enough.
It’s much easier for your local staff to leverage their customer relationships to get reviews for your My Business listings, than it is for your marketing team to do the same thing from your head office.
Often, you’re not getting the customers because they don’t even know you’re there. Or maybe they do, but with five of your competitors in close vicinity they have no reason to choose you. Local SEO solves both those problems.
Luke Budka is founder and CEO of TopLine Comms, a video, inbound marketing and SEO agency that places equal importance on client service, creativity and a good coffee. Luke spends his spare time trying to guess what Google’s algorithm will do next.