If you run a small business and you’re exhausted from trying to compete with your national, big-business competitors in search engine rankings, there’s no better sanctuary than local SEO. Local SEO functions on a different algorithm from national results, identifying local queries based on context and user location to bring users the top three local results “above the fold” of traditional search engine results page (SERP) entries.
Put simply, practicing local SEO can help you get an edge over the national competition by reducing competition to only your own geographic locality. To do this, you’ll need to accomplish a number of things, including establishing “local citations” across the web, updating your site to reflect your current address and location, and of course, earning more and better reviews on third-party directories.
But in addition to those things, you’ll need a strong content marketing strategy (as with any SEO campaign), and for a bit of extra local relevance, you’ll need local-specific content on your website.
How “Local” Should Local Content Be?
There are a handful of goals to meet with local content:
- Local keyword optimization. First, including more local keywords (such as the name of your city, state, or region) could solidify Google’s understanding of your business’s relevance for its location and help you rank for a broader range of keyword queries.
- Long-tail rankings. You could also use locally relevant content to rank higher in searches below the fold of the local 3-pack. These would include posts like “The X Best Restaurants in Denver.”
- Local relevance. Finally, you can use local content to improve the loyalty and recognition of residents who already know you, serving as a peripheral means of increasing your reputation, reach and reviews.
To meet all these goals, your content should focus in some way on the region in which you operate, but there’s flexibility in how you can accomplish this.
What Not to Do
It’s easier to explain what not to do with local content. Even though it’s important to include keywords relevant to your geographic location, you can’t just shoehorn keywords into your content and expect to see good results. For example, writing a post titled, “How to Buy a Bike Orlando Florida” will not only alienate your users, but likely not do any good from an SEO perspective, either.