As an entrepreneur and marketer, your goals probably include ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPS). To do this, you need to create content that’s relevant and useful for your target audience. This practice, known as search engine optimization (SEO), can be pretty tricky but rewarding.
SEO factors in things like keyword research, topic authority, and of course, content quality to choose when to display a piece of content in search results. But what if you’re targeting a local audience such as buyers in a particular city or country? How can you optimize your content for local SEO?
This guide will discuss some tips for creating content that will help you rank higher in geography-specific search results.
What is local SEO?
Before we dive into how to create content for local SEO, let’s first define local SEO basics. Local SEO is about optimizing your online content for users in a specific geographic location. This could be a city, state, or country. The main goal of local SEO is to improve your visibility in search results for these target locations.
For example, let’s say you own a small jewelry store in Los Angeles. You want to make sure that when people in LA search for “jewelry store near me” or “LA jewelry stores,” your business comes up as one of the top results. In order to do this, you’ll need to optimize your website and content for local SEO.
In cases like this, it’s important to remember that not all traditional SEO tactics will be effective for local SEO. For example, a common SEO tactic is to target long-tail keywords. While this can still be useful for local SEO, it’s not as effective as it would be for other types of SEO because people searching for local businesses usually use more specific, location-based keywords.
Why is local SEO important?
Now that we’ve answered the question “What is Local business SEO?” you might be wondering why it’s so important. After all, can’t people just find your business without optimized content? The short answer is: yes, they can. But if you want to make it infinitely easier for them, you should consider local SEO. Here are a few reasons why:
Reach purchase-ready customers
People searching for local businesses are usually further along in the purchasing process than those just doing general searches. For example, let’s say someone is searching for “pizza restaurants in New York.” You’re more likely to generate leads and sales if you can get your business to show up right away in local search results.
The potential customers are probably either looking for a pizza place to eat at right now or in the very near future. On the other hand, someone searching for “pizza” might not be looking to buy anything right now. They could be doing research for a school project, or they might just be curious about pizza in general.
This distinction is why local SEO is so important. If you can get your business to show up in local search results when it matters most, you’re more likely to reach customers interested in what you’re selling.
Strengthen online community
To build a solid online presence, you need to have a strong community. This community can be in the form of social media followers, email subscribers, or even just website visitors. But no matter what form it takes, your community is essential to your success as an online business.
Local SEO can help you build a tighter community by capturing links to local events, directories, and other websites. These links can help prove your affinity to the location.
Increase trust and authority
As the public’s trust in big companies continues to dwindle, it’s more important than ever to build trust and authority with your target audience. Nowadays, brand reputation is crucial, and one of the best ways to increase customer loyalty is through local SEO.
When you optimize your content for local SEO, you’re more likely to reach people who are already familiar with your brand. They’re more likely to be loyal customers who will keep coming back to you for their needs.
If an automotive garage is clearly visible on a busy boulevard and people pass by it every morning on their way to work, seeing the same business pop up in the local search results will increase their trust in the brand. Before long, your garage is considered ‘The’ shop in town.
How does local SEO work?
Much like regular web searches, location-based searches are conducted with the help of search engines. The main difference is that Google (and other search engines) use different ranking factors for local searches. That’s because a local search’s goal is different from a regular web search.
When a user types in a query in both cases, Google will use its proprietary algorithm and index of websites to determine which results are the most relevant. The only difference is that the algorithm will prioritize websites that are geographically close to the user for local searches.
Thus, your website needs to be optimized for local SEO to improve your chances of ranking in local search results. You need to optimize your website to meet Google’s standards of:
The first factor that impacts local SEO is relevance. In order for your website and content to rank in the local search results, it needs to be relevant to the searcher’s query. This means using the right keywords and creating content that’s specifically designed for your target audience.
A local pizzeria, for example, would want to use keywords like “pizza delivery” and “pizza near me.” They would also want to create content relevant to their local audiences, such as blog posts about the best pizza places in town or city-specific events.
The second factor that Google takes into account is distance. This one is pretty self-explanatory: if you’re searching for a local business, Google will prioritize companies closer to you.
Your distance is calculated according to the information you’ve provided Google. Hopefully, you’ve submitted your business to Google My Business and have included your correct address and phone number. If not, your business will be harder to find in the local search results.
But it’s not impossible. By using accurate and descriptive titles and including your location in your content, your content can still rank highly in the local search results even if you’re not listed in Google My Business.
The third and final factor that impacts local SEO is prominence, which measures how well-known and popular your business is. The more popular your business is, the higher it will rank in the local search results.
There are a few things you can do to increase your prominence, such as getting listed in local directories and review sites and working on your brand reputation.
The more traffic, backlinks, and social media followers you have, the more popular your business will be. And the more popular your business is, the higher it will rank in the local search results.
What impacts local SEO?
Next, let’s look at some factors that impact local SEO. These are the things you need to consider when you’re optimizing your website and content for local SEO.
How reviews impact local SEO
One of the most critical factors that impact local SEO is online reviews. Search engines place a lot of emphasis on reviews when determining which businesses to rank in the local search results.
It makes sense when you think about it from the searcher’s perspective. When you’re looking for a local business, one of the first things you’re going to do is read reviews to see what other people say about it. In fact, 92% of consumers use reviews to help them decide on a purchase.
Positive reviews will not only help your business rank higher in the local search results, but they’ll also help increase your click-through rate (CTR). In other words, people are more likely to click on your listing if it has positive reviews.
How schema impacts local SEO
Schema is a term that defines snippets of code which you can add to your website to help search engines understand your content. It’s essential for local SEO because it helps search engines understand your business’s location, contact information, and opening hours.
They help search engines understand your content and make it easier to display your listing in the search results. You want your relevant tags, reviews, and any other crucial information to be included in your schema code.
You’ll sometimes see the acronym NAP used next to schema. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number.
How content impacts local SEO
While content marketing is usually thought of as attracting and engaging general audiences, it’s also an important local SEO tool.
The content you create can help your business rank higher in the local search results by including relevant geographical keywords and phrases and providing searchers with helpful information about your business.
And the keywords don’t necessarily need to be city names, either. They could be neighborhood names, landmark names, or even the names of local events/festivals. Anything that a resident might search for when looking for a business like yours.
Creating content for local SEO
Unfortunately, most businesses already have enough trouble getting their general SEO in order, let alone worrying about local SEO. This is where Draft can help.
Draft is a content creation platform that helps businesses create high-quality content at scale. We have an expert team of qualified writers who deliver quality work and respect deadlines.
Our services are especially well-suited for businesses looking to improve their content marketing and local SEO efforts.
1. Create a content plan
Whether you have an established blog or are just starting one, the first step to creating content that will help improve your local SEO is to come up with a content marketing strategy.
Think about the topics you want to cover and research the keywords you want to target. Once you have a good understanding of this, you can start brainstorming ideas for blog posts, articles, infographics, and other types of content.
If you need help coming up with ideas, look at our Content Idea Generator and Saved Ideas tools. Both are included in our content creation platform and will help you develop topics relevant to your business and industry.
2. Get your N-A-P in order
If you want your business to rank higher in the local search results, you need to ensure that your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is accurate and up to date.
This information should be identical across the world wide web. Any discrepancies could result in your business being marked as spam and could hurt your local SEO efforts.
In most cases, Google My Business is the best place to start. This free listing service provided by Google allows you to manage your business’s information across various platforms.
Once you’ve claimed and verified your listing, take some time to fill out as much information as possible. This data includes your business hours, website URL, product/service descriptions, photos, etc.
If you have multiple locations, make sure to create a separate listing for each one.
3. Create local SEO content
Now that you have a content plan and your business info is proudly displayed online, it’s time to start creating content! Due to the time-consuming nature of researching, writing, and proofreading quality content, most companies outsource their content efforts to one of many Local SEO solutions.
Our vetted team of professional writers can help you create high-quality blog posts, articles, landing pages, and any other written job. All you need to do is provide us with a topic and some basic guidelines, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Deadlines are paramount to us, and we always aim to deliver your content on time (or even early). We also offer free revisions so that you can have peace of mind knowing that your content will be exactly what you’re looking for.
If you’re interested in seeing how our platform works, feel free to sign up for a trial! You’ll get access to all of our tools and features to see for yourself how easy it is to create high-quality content at scale.
Creating content for Local SEO doesn’t have to be a headache. With Draft, you can focus on what you’re good at and leave the content creation to us.
Local SEO best practices
Now that you know how to create content that will help improve your local SEO let’s look at some additional tips and best practices. Remember that SEO is not a one-time effort; it’s an ongoing process that you should continuously work on to see results. That brings us to our first tip:
Consistency is vital when it comes to Local SEO. Make sure that your information is accurate and up-to-date across all search engines and all your online listings (including your website, social media platforms, etc.).
As for content creation, it should also have some degree of regularity. The more high-quality content you produce, the better your chances are of ranking higher in the search results.
One way to ensure consistency is to create a content calendar. This will help you track what content needs to be made and when it should be published. Using a platform like Draft, you essentially set your content calendar on autopilot.
You simply tell us how often you want content and what topics you would like us to cover, and we’ll deliver quality content right to your inbox according to your schedule.
A growing trend in Local SEO is to create location pages on websites. These are pages specifically dedicated to a specific city, state, or region that you do business in.
For example, if you have a plumbing company in Los Angeles, you would want to create a location page for each city you serve, like so:
- Plumbing services in Beverly Hills
- Plumbing services in Pasadena
- Plumbing services in Glendale, CA
Each page needs to be significantly different from the others, as Google will penalize you for duplicate content. Even your headlines should be unique. Our writers will need to research each location to ensure that your content is relevant and well-targeted.
Creating location pages can be time-consuming, but they’re definitely worth the effort. Results typically appear much faster than traditional SEO, especially when targeting a smaller city or town.
Citations are among the most important Local SEO ranking factors, so it’s best to ensure that your business is listed in as many relevant directories as possible.
Some of the most popular (and influential) directories include:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places for Business
- Yellow Pages
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Similar to citations, you also want to acquire as many mentions from local news outlets and websites as possible. These mentions don’t necessarily need to be about your business, but they should include a link back to your website.
Introduce yourself to your neighborhood
At Draft, we specialize in curated content creation and have a team of experienced writers who know how to produce content that will help improve your local SEO. We can help you create the location pages, blog posts, and any other piece of content you don’t have the time or interest to do.