Content Marketing for Local SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Did you know that 46% of all Google searches are local? (source)

And yet, despite that, a shocking number of local businesses haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing.

It’s often overlooked, but claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is the cornerstone of solid local SEO. Think about it. If so, many companies haven’t even bothered to claim their GMB listing, they probably haven’t done much else either.

Of course, claiming your GMB listing is only the start. There’s a lot more to local SEO and content marketing than that.

Understanding Local SEO

As the name suggests, local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence so you can attract more business from relevant local searches.

Google has been able to analyze user behaviors over trillions of searches. And has figured out that people looking for certain types of businesses need results from their immediate area.

For example, if you’re at work and want takeout, Googling “pizza delivery” will show you a list of options near your workplace. But they’ll be different from the options you’d receive if you searched from home. This makes sense because pizza should be delivered from someplace nearby.

Local search has been around for a long time, but, in the past, it was limited by the fact that most searches happened on desktop computers. That’s not so anymore. With the rise of smartphones, mobile searches have exploded, making local SEO immensely important for any business that offers local products or services.

Why is Local SEO Important?

We like to understand the importance of local SEO by looking at our own search journeys. You’ve likely been in a position where you were looking for a restaurant to eat at and googled something like ‘best restaurants in Toronto’.

You then get your list of search results and make your decision on what restaurant to go to from there.

This makes the element of a local search important as it can mean the difference between your business showing up in those search results or not. In fact, research shows that 50% of searchers who do a local search go to a physical location from that search within one day.

While you certainly want to show up for more general and specialized search engine results pages, not showing up in local search results is a missed opportunity.

Leveraging Strategic Content Marketing for Enhanced Local SEO Performance

Success in today’s competitive business landscape hinges on making astute decisions — such as optimizing your content marketing for local SEO. This tactic does not just set your business on a path to consistently achieving its targets; it also fortifies against unexpected industry fluctuations. Now, let’s explore the remarkable benefits of content marketing in propelling local SEO performance, ensuring your business sustains its growth trajectory while maintaining a strong market presence.

1. You Can Easily Incorporate Local Twists into Blogs

If you already use the blog feature for SEO on your website, then adding a local twist to those blogs is an easy way to start with local SEO. You might rework your current articles to include local keywords that make sense to your audience’s searches.

You could also expand your blog ideas to include articles like ‘best of in Toronto’, ‘top 10 in Toronto’, or ‘local Toronto guides’. Complete your keyword research to see what users are searching for in your area and apply them to your content.

These location-themed additions to your content can serve to highlight any partnerships or collaborations with other local businesses or influencers. This could further enhance your visibility among their followers, amplifying your brand recognition. 

Additionally, covering local events or news related to your industry can position your brand as an authority in your area, enhancing your credibility among your local audience. Endear your brand to your community by appealing to their local interests and pride, and watch as your local SEO blooms alongside your growing connection with your audience.

2. Valuable Content Keeps Users on Your Page Longer

One of the key metrics for the success of your website and overall content marketing strategy is the bounce rate. Imagine a visitor comes to your site, but they can’t find what they’re looking for and leave right away without visiting any other pages.

This is called a “bounce,” and the percentage of people who do this on each of your website’s pages is factored into your bounce rate.

Google uses a variety of metrics, including the bounce rate, to assess your site’s overall SEO profile. Typically, a high bounce rate is a strong indicator that something is wrong. When that happens, you’ll see your Google ranking start to fall as Google doesn’t want to continue to rank a site highly when it keeps sending all its visitors back to the results page.

The answer is thoughtful, high-quality content.

Let’s say the bounce rate on your homepage is too high, and you think it’s because visitors don’t realize you’re a local business. You could add some content to more effectively introduce your company and your history in the community, give some suggestions on local solutions, or even link to some local pages or businesses.

Each of these can help keep visitors on the page longer, send them to other pages, and ease any confusion. All-in-all, you’re solving three problems at once!

3. Collaboration with Other Local Businesses Means Further Reach

Content marketing provides the ability to team up with other local businesses, which means that your reach goes twice as far.

You might cross-promote with link building in your blog content with other local businesses. This increases your exposure and helps to introduce your content to other local customers. All while increasing your local SEO ranking abilities.

You can also collaborate with other local businesses through social media content with things like giveaways and shout-outs. This content is valuable to further building your local audience as it is more targeted and meaningful to them.

4. Unique & Relevant Content Can Lift You to New Rankings

An area where local SEO and content marketing crossover is in the effort to focus on finding something new that’s never been done before and trying to rank highly for it.

By combining local keyword research with your content marketing you can create a strategy that not only helps improve your local SEO ranking. But also unique and relevant content that exposes your website to visitors searching for “long tail” keywords where you have a better chance of ranking at the top.

Let’s say you own a local bakery. Your first impulse may be to write a blog post about why donuts taste good or make a good office surprise. The only problem there is that that’s been done before. A lot!

Instead, do some research. You may find that people in your area are looking for gluten-free alternatives. But there isn’t any good content out there about it. This is a perfect topic for your content marketing because not only can you write authentically about it, but you can end the article with a gentle call to action to nudge them toward your local products.

As long as you write great content that is relevant to your business, unique pieces of content like this can help you find places to rank more keywords to a wider audience in the long term.

5. Local Social Media Feels Exclusive

Continuing on with targeted content, content marketing through social media can make your target audience feel more exclusive when they are created locally.

Localized social media content helps to further generate traffic, links, and leads as local audiences feel taken care of with messaging that applies to only them.

Local Facebook pages can outperform generalized pages as you can promote local events or discounts within the area. Sharing your content on any platform that includes a location-specific URL helps with ranking as Google uses the information to improve local search listings.

Local Instagram stories are also a great way to show that your business is active within the community and help to create a better human connection.

6. Content Marketing for Local SEO Gives You an Advantage Over Bigger Businesses

Larger corporations may have a forceful pull on larger audiences, but this also means targeting on a wider scale. Local businesses have a unique advantage in content marketing as they can use their location to specifically target local audiences.

A local content marketing campaign is a great option for smaller businesses, especially as the internet is continually getting denser and denser with a lot of noise.

Getting local means taking a different angle to your content marketing approach. And getting your message heard by local audiences – something that larger businesses have a harder time doing.

Harnessing Localized Content Marketing within an Expert SEO Strategy

Integrating content marketing into your localized SEO strategy might seem overwhelming. However, armed with a step-by-step guide, this hurdle transforms into a manageable and rewarding undertaking. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to fold more locally relevant content into your marketing – generating benefits sooner rather than later.

Setting the Stage with Keyword Research

The journey of a robust SEO strategy starts with in-depth keyword research – and it is a journey that you can embark on. There are numerous tools, like Google’s Keyword Planner, that can help unveil high-frequency keywords within your vicinity. Specific geographical or “geo-targeted” keywords are the hidden gold here. For example, replace the generic “cafe” with “cafe in downtown Toronto.”

If you’re unsure where to begin in your keyword research, this is where enlisting a professional SEO agency can be a huge asset to you! Agencies are well-versed in identifying the best keyword opportunities for your business goals. 

Crafting Locally Anchored Content

Targeted local keywords in hand, the next mission is to weave quality content around these. Whether it’s about neighborhood events, local landmarks, or comparatives with local competitors — these subjects sing directly to Google, and more importantly, your audience’s local needs. This is where your unique perspective of the business and local understanding can shine, providing valuable feedback that an agency can use to create content in the form of blog posts, articles, videos, or infographics.

Optimizing Your Meta Data 

While every piece of content should boast optimized metadata, this task can be complex for those unfamiliar with SEO’s nuances. A marketing agency can expedite this process, ensuring the successful integration of geo-targeted keywords in critical SEO fields for enhanced location-based search visibility.

Tapping into Local Directories: Amplifying Your Online Presence

Listing your business in local online directories is within your capability. This strategy expands your digital reach while driving locally flowing web traffic towards you. Keeping business details consistently accurate on all platforms is cardinal here. So make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) are listed EXACTLY the same across each directory you add your business to. 

If you’re worried about this process, an SEO company should have professionals and resources to help you excel at setting up these directory listings.

Partnering with Local Influencers & Harnessing the Power of Social Media 

Partnering with local influencers and making your social media profiles locally vibrant is also within your grasp. As the business’s torchbearer, you are most equipped to connect your brand with local collaborators and engage a social audience. However, proper familiarity with social platforms and influencer partnerships is necessary.

If you feel that you can take on engaging your social audience, great! If this sounds a little daunting, you can always partner with a digital marketing agency that is familiar with the ins and outs of the social media platforms your business should be using. 

Evaluation and Fine-Tuning 

Here’s where professional agencies can demonstrate their paramount value. Monitoring, assessing, and tweaking your strategies need ongoing attention and specific SEO expertise. An agency keeps tabs on the performance of your localized content marketing, ensuring it resonates effectively with your audience and adapts along the way.

Ultimately, teams like yours could take on some of these endeavors directly. Nevertheless, it is essential to remember that partnering with a professional agency affords you the benefit of their expertise and allows you to focus on running the business. This collaboration promises to deliver optimal return on investment, offering you a competitive advantage in the process.

Taking the Local Leap: Strengthen Your Business through Content Marketing and Local SEO

Our team is keen to assist in driving content marketing for your local SEO journey. Click here for answers to your queries and to begin your journey today. Meeting your specific business needs in a fluctuating economic climate is our priority. A pivot towards smarter digital marketing, specifically tailored local SEO, will ensure your business remains competitive for decades to come.

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