5 Tips for Creating Location-Specific Content
:; By Derek Miller, CopyPress ::
Google has placed an emphasis on hyper-local listings in the SERPs (search engine results pages) with the goal of helping customers find the right locations and the tools to visit brick-and-mortar companies. With this emphasis, many businesses have moved down in the rankings as local listings take up more space. One of the best ways to join the local craze is to use location-specific content. Discover five tips to use this powerful tool and why these techniques will help.
Local Content Helps Your SEO
Many companies strive to have their local listings mentioned in the Google Maps 3-Pack or the top three local stores listed on mobile search. While site usability and reviews are certainly factors in those rankings, Google also looks for quality local-oriented onsite content that proves they're important to the area.
You should strive to create content for each location that you open, whether you're a mom-and-pop shop with two locations or a network of 70 stores across the country. Consider profiling employees that work at each location, which will also create a personal connection with customers in addition to emphasizing local keywords. You should also highlight elements of that area in the text on the page, using local attractions, activities, and other peripheral keywords.
Use Local Expertise as You Grow
Many companies dream about expanding beyond their city roots into other parts of the state or country, but they risk losing their local appreciation if they grow too quickly. Instead, smart businesses — and the marketing teams behind them — will slowly enter new communities and become part of them with the help of local expertise.
Tap into the knowledge of your staff to learn more about an area and create content around it. You can recruit these staff members to create blog content for you that's geared specifically to that area. Do festivals or parades take place on your street during the year? Get involved and write a blog post about preparing for the event. If you don't have a person on the ground, then follow local event listings and talk to community leaders about getting involved.
Find Influencers to Collaborate With
Influencer marketing can be an asset to drive links to your website and boost your SEO, but it can be invaluable in helping you create content and generate buzz around your name. Make a list of the top influencers in the locations you plan to target. These people might be the mayor or they might be local bands, bloggers, or socialites.
Once you have this list, brainstorm ways to get them involved in your business. A local blogger might write a review that you can share, or you could invite a local celebrity in for cooking classes. Whatever you do, you want to create a special experience that they will talk about -- and you can write about for your website and social channels.
Encourage Check-Ins and Reviews
Facebook is becoming increasingly location-specific by prompting users to check in around certain areas and share their thoughts on the business. Not only does this increase the discussion, it also turns the social network into a source for reviews and advice. As a local business, you can channel this by encouraging customers to check in when they arrive and leave reviews.
Some companies do this by offering free samples to customers, while others simply add a call to action during the checkout process. Either way, the more engagement you have with your brand, the more likely others are to check it out. Furthermore, these reviews can be shared — with permission — on your social channels or website, letting customers create content for you.
Skip the City and Focus on the Neighborhood
When companies create local content, they're often focused on the town or city base for the business. While that area of attention is certainly important for content creation, you can take your local content deeper. Consider building an editorial calendar around your neighborhood instead of your city only. This approach allows you to tap into a more specific market and establish yourself as an important thread in the local tapestry.
The strategy is crucial for restaurants and bars that try to take advantage of foot traffic within a city. Without the right marketing, customers will walk by unaware — or uninterested — by your existence.
Audiences look for businesses that show community involvement, which means you could be missing out if you keep promotions to a state or national level. The good news is that once a community accepts you, its members will come to consider you as an important part of the community.
Derek Miller is a content marketing consultant for CopyPress, which is a leading digital content production company, specializing in articles, infographics, interactives and videos. Check out CopyPress' resources.