Benefits of Content Marketing for Local SEO

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.

What is 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 behaviours 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.

The Power of Content Marketing for Local SEO Performance

One of the key elements in setting yourself up for success in this process is using content marketing for local SEO. Now, let’s talk about the key benefits of content marketing for driving the local SEO concept.

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 into 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 is being searched for in your area and apply them to your content.

Including local information in your blogs is not only a great way to rank for local searches, but also provides specialized local information that is useful to your searchers.

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 are 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!

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.

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 your write authentically about it, but you can end the article with a gentle call-to-action to nudge them towards 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, and a wider audience in the long term.

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 helps to create a better human connection.

Content Marketing for Local SEO Gives you an Advantage Over Bigger Businesses

Larger corporations may have a forceful pull to 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 much 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.

Asset Digital Communications is excited to help you move forward with using content marketing for local SEO! Click here to get answers to your questions and to get started on your journey.