Struggling to rank highly in local SEO results? The problem may be your content. It’s just about impossible to rank highly in organic search without killer content– and that goes for local search, too. But creating killer local content is about a lot more than just stuffing a page with geo-targeted keywords. Awkwardly inserting popular search phrases like “coffee shop Austin Texas” or “Indiana car accident attorney” into every few lines of copy won’t help your ranking. (And you might even incur a search penalty.) Remember, Google’s ultimate goal is to provide searchers with the most relevant content as quickly as possible. To rank at the top, you need to think of yourself as the solution provider. And the solution you’re providing? Great content that answers search queries, of course and that’s the key to local content marketing.
Local Content Marketing
Here’s how to rank higher in local search by creating fresh, relevant and useful content:
1. Determine search intent. It’s Google SEO 101: if you put content on your site that closely matches the intent behind a given search term, you’re far more likely to rank highly for that local search term. While keyword research is useful for determining the top search terms, this is just a starting point. Take your research a step further by working backward to understand user search intent.User intent can be broken down into three core categories known as the “Do-Know-Go” framework:
- Transactional (“Do”): Searcher wants to get to a website for a particular action (e.g., buying something, downloading something, signing up, etc.), your website allows the searcher to complete this transaction
- Informational (“Know”): Searcher needs specific information, your content answers the questions
- Navigational (“Go”): Searcher is looking for a particular website. There’s only one destination they want to reach.
If you were searching for a term like “Indiana car accident attorney”, what would be your immediate problem? What questions would you most urgently need to be answered? In this example, you’ve probably been in a car accident. In addition to requiring an attorney, you may require basic information about insurance claims or car repairs. Or maybe you’ve just had the accident and aren’t even sure what to do next! Providing useful information on what to do at the scene of an accident, what to do if you’ve been in a hit-and-run, and how to collect insurance benefits if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run are three examples of valuable “know” content.
That’s precisely the type of content Sevenish Law posts on their blog, like this fantastic article on why you should never leave the scene of an accident. Plus, the information is all localized for Indiana drivers. The website is smartly designed to drive conversions, too. The right sidebar prompts readers to contact the firm for immediate assistance but does so in a way that doesn’t distract from the content.
2. Publish consistently. Google loves fresh content. The more updates, the better. Fresh content increases personal authority in the eyes of Google while also keeping your audience informed and up to date. One and done isn’t enough. You need to consistently publish quality, local content on your website.Case in point: the highly competitive real estate marketplace. Users are not just searching for information on buying and selling homes in a particular community. They also want information on schools, cultural activities, outdoor activities, shopping, and other amenities that impact the quality of life. Consistently publishing a steady stream of these articles keeps a blog fresh and relevant in Google’s eyes, which is an added boost for local SEO rank.This is exactly the approach that Chandler, AZ Real Estate agent Cathy Carter has taken with her professional blog. Her content covers everything from a useful relocation guide to tips home top golf communities (Chandler’s a huge destination for retirees).
3. Be the authority. Do you know your community better than anyone else? Let the world know by publishing an authoritative guide. Whether that’s a list of the best live music venues in Austin, Texas or a guide to San Diego’s best beaches, reliable guides and lists are instantly clickable and shareable. Looking for inspiration? AirBnb produces fantastic interactive local guides for travelers to discover new communities
While AirBnb’s guides are a bit more comprehensive than yours likely need to be, the guides are an excellent example of viral local content.
To help your content get shared and stand out on Google, don’t skimp on the meta title or description! The best titles are exciting (e.g. “Java Junkie Bucket List: 10 Best Coffee Shops in Austin Texas”). The best meta descriptions tease out the juicy content (e.g. “Separate the gold from the grounds with this definitive list of the ten best coffee shops in Austin Texas”). Note that in both of these examples we’ve naturally integrated the geo-specific search term while still creating clever, compelling and clickable headlines and descriptions.
Once you’ve nailed the local SEO basics like claiming your Google My Business listing and confirming NAP consistency across citations, elevate your local SEO game with killer content. Identify user search intent, consistently post content that answers this search intent, and boost your clickability with great meta titles and descriptions.
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