Search Engine Optimization | 8.7.12
Did you know that 97% of customers search for local businesses online? When it comes to local search, traditional search engine optimization tactics are falling by the wayside and giving way to content marketing. The image and content your business puts out there on the web needs to be valuable and worthwhile to your potential customers. The days of keyword stuffing, link farms and other tricky SEO days are over. Below, we offer 10 tips to improve your local SEO with content marketing.
1. Make Google Adwords and Analytics Your New Best Friends
Google Adwords and Analytics are extremely powerful tools for research and measurement. Before you can trick out your content with location-based keywords, you need to research what keywords you should be using. Adwords provide a platform to learn what keywords are popular in your geographic location to help you decide which word searches you want to own.
Google Analytics can help you learn what keywords visitors are currently using to find your website and what geographic location your current site visitors are coming from. You can decide if that’s the area you wish to continue targeting or decide if there’s another area you want to conquer. Your analytics can also give you a good basis for comparison later after you ramp up your local content marketing strategy to see what’s working and what needs to be adjusted.
2. Check Out What’s Trending In Social Media and Local Forums
In order to offer what customers are truly after, you need to listen to what they want. Social media and local community forums are excellent ways to do so. Based on what research you find, frame content around it to really speak to your customers. You can learn a lot just by listening.
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3. Update Your Onsite Optimization
Before you even create a content marketing plan, you’ll need to get your website, your “web-based store front”, ready for customers to find your products and services. Your website needs to have updated onsite optimization so it can work hand-in-hand with the content you produce. Include your researched primary keywords in the page titles of your site and include the local area you’re targeting. Add a meta description to your website that’s compelling and interesting, but also includes your local information. Your meta description is meant to entice real people to click on your link – not trick search engines into thinking it’s a relevant site. Your website is a sales tool. Don’t drive visitors away with obvious keyword stuffing that hardly makes any sense. If your onsite optimization and content work in conjunction with one another, the idea of keyword stuffing should seem as ridiculous to you as it does your potential customers.
4. Place Your Contact Information in Prominent Places on Your Website
You should have a contact us page on your site that displays your name, address and phone number. Other popular locations for contact information in additional to a contact page is on the header of your site and the footer. Create a mobile version of your website and make sure the phone number has the click to call function.
5. Integrate a Blog Into Your Website
6. Claim Your Real Estate in Key Business Listings
Get listed for local search by adding your company to local business directories like Google Places, Yelp, Bing, Yahoo and Foursquare. Complete your profiles on each of these completely and make sure your business name, address and phone match exactly what you have on your website. Reviews are tied heavily into business listings, so incentivize your customers to genuinely review you on these sites. These listings are especially important for local mobile search. If your potential customers are using their cell phone for a local search, they’re mostly likely ready to buy right now. Your listing results and reviews can make all the difference in whether someone chooses your business over the next. If you’re not on any, you’ll miss a huge window of opportunity.
7. Blog, Blog and Blog Some More
Let’s get back to blogging. Once you have a blog integrated into your website, you now have the power to create relevant keyworded content. Since you have been such a good listener on social media and community forums, you can now create content that addresses frequently asked questions or popular topics that you know your local potential customers are interested in. By offering valuable content on your blog, you set yourself up as an industry expert willing to offer helpful advice. You build trust and create search engine optimized content in one fowl swoop.
In addition to writing on your own blog, see if any local bloggers are willing to let you guest blog. If you’re a floral shop, consider guest blogging on complementary sites, such as a wedding photographer’s blog. Not only will you increase exposure and build your audience-base, you will also create powerful backlinks to your website. Don’t just take either. Allow other to guest blog on your site to build stronger relationships in the community, to build more links on your website and to allow for more exposure opportunities to a new audience.
8. Create Engaging, Shareable Content
Every time someone shares, “likes,” or “+1s” a piece of your content, the search engines view it as a vote in authority. Your content was worthy enough and authoritative enough for someone to feel the need to express their interest in it – and search engines view that as huge. Video and photos are incredibly effective ways to engage your audience. Instead of only writing a blog entry, consider making a video version of your content. Videos are interesting, and potent in SEO, especially if it’s housed on YouTube and embedded in your media.
Instead of writing a blog about statistics or trends, consider making an infographic that visually and interestingly displays the very same information. “Pin” your infographic to Pinterest or share it on Google+ to increase exposure and drive traffic to your website. Photos are fun and show the personality of your brand. Share and be shared. Worthy, shareable content makes both humans and search engines happy.
9. Facilitate User-generated Content
You aren’t the only one who gets to produce content! Get your fans and customers involved. Chances are, they are already talking about your business. Take advantage of the chatter and incentivize your fans to spread the word. Facilitate a video contest or Flickr photo contest. Share everything that your fans build on behalf of your brand.
10. Measure the Effectiveness of Your Efforts
Give adequate time for your campaigns to take effect and then measure. Monitor your Google Analytics traffic report to see where you started and how far you’ve come. You will constantly need to measure and tweak your campaigns. Use this time to pat yourself on the back for what’s working and to devise a plan for what’s not. Be sure to stay on top of your keyword research, trends in your community and trends in search engine optimization. The game is always changing.
For more helpful tips on how to climb those SEO rankings, check out our free ebook below!
About Small Screen Producer
Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand’s web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company’s web presence. Your company deserves it.