Google and other search engines use hundreds of factors to calculate your website’s authority, trust and search visibility. Ongoing quality content is one of the essential parts of a successful SEO process, but you also need a few more special ingredients if you want to rank for queries such as local specific keywords, and searches.
You first need a backbone of locally relevant targeted content that covers all the local events, such as trade shows, or gatherings in detail. You can also discuss your specific industry and the impact it has on your specific local area, this will help build up your level of local authority too. You can be as creative as you want getting your business name and relevant geographic keywords into the title and body of your articles.
Once you have your backbone content plan in place, and are ready to see some amazing SEO results, you can begin this localized SEO plan.
Social media should be one of the first platforms that you publish your locally targeted content on. You can also inbetween your own content publish content from other relevant business in your area to build your known authority as a good signpost for local content. There is also a good chance that one of these businesses will notice what you are doing and reciprocate the favour. All of this will help increase your local relevance in the eyes of your targeted market.
Another target of a local social media approach is to find neighbourhood based groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Facebook groups will really engage with your business as you have to post as your personal profile, so people will be able to put a human face to your business. You can still support this with a strong branded Facebook page too.
Local News Sources
There are a few advantages to local news sources. Firstly, they are always hungry of news, which gives you a much greater chance of being published and gaining exposure at a local level, rather than being published in a national news outlet. Most local news websites also have a high domain authority for your locally targeted keywords, and this link juice will be passed through to your site for search engines to discover.
You will need to spend time to get right the format of your submitted piece. News outlets will only choose to accept formatted press releases, blog posts or infographics, so you should check with them well in advance of any targeted dates for the publication you might have.
Local Community Pages And Forums
You can use Google to search around and find specific websites and local forums dedicated to not only the particular community your target, but also the specific industry. There are some forums that exist purely to test and get the feedback about customers in newly opened restaurants in the city. If you are a restaurant business there would be no better place to target and engage with your client base.
These forums can be well moderated, so you have to have a real community focus, and get your targeting really specific. If for example the forum is a dog walking club, you don’t want to target that forum by just arriving and promoting your pet shop products. You could instead use a link to an article that you have that maybe makes dog walking clubs more successful. This way you stay relevant and avoid any link based penalties from the search engines.
Neighborhood Websites and Bulletins
As well as forums you can also target topic based community pages that are hosted on an individual’s website, or a locally owned charity or event group. It can be extremely easy to get featured by this type of website as usually the owners are very busy outside of their second interest so they welcome the addition of new content, or announcements. Anything that helps expand the community will be gladly accepted.
There are websites that you are almost obliged to take part in if your business features any kind of regular customer base. Websites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp can help make or break your business with positive or negative feedback. In July 2014 Google launched it’s Pigeon update. This meant they changed the ranking factors of local business and taking signals from such local based feedback sites as these is a big factor now.
You should play a proactive approach to these site, and make comments back thanking people for their feedback, and any less than perfect responses to your business should be met with courteous plan of action to improve the aspect most dissatisfied with.
You can easily reach out to local community leaders and other relevant business owners, as well as residents who have directly used your product or service and ask them to write a guest post. This way you can build up the local targeted section of your blog, and improve your local search relevance.
Interviews are a great way to also build engaging content, and because you’re interviewing a well known regional authority, you’ll gain greater visibility and gain a new audience for your brand. You can also make it a strategy to hold a regular podcast where you maybe interview someone every week, and if you also have the premises, you could video the interview and broadcast it in youtube