You have a brick and mortar business – a restaurant, a grocery store, a clothing store – and you want potential customers to find you as they conduct searches for such businesses online.

You have a website, a blog, and even a social media presence, and yet you are not getting the traffic you want from search engine results.

Why?

It’s called local SEO, and it is becoming big in digital marketing.

More and more consumers are now using long phrases in their searches, especially when looking for local businesses.Local search rankings are becoming far more important than they used to be.

For example, if someone searches for, “Pool supplies in Springfield MO,” and you own a pool supply company, you are going to want your business to be at the top of the search.

How can you boost your local SEO efforts? Through content marketing!

Read on, and you’ll get the tips and strategies you need a content marketing strategy that will increase your local SEO.

Keywords Matter

Content Marketing

This has always been the case.

Whether a business is locally or nationally based or whether it is an e-commerce company doing business only online, content must include keywords that consumers use in their searches for product or services.

If you want to be at the top of local search engine rankings, then you have to research the keyword phrases that your local target audience is using, and then include those keyword phrases in your content.

Start with Google Keyword Planner.

Come up with some keywords that are directly related to your business. If you are a sushi bar in Kansas City MO, then type in that phrase into the planner.

You will then get high-ranking keywords/phrases and the number of times they are used in a month.

Pick a few of those keywords and incorporate them into your content.

Create Content that Relates Locally

Let’s say you sell computers, printers, and the like.

An example of content that would relate locally would be posts around computer maintenance, means to clean out junk, or local places to recycle old computers.

Another great tactic is to write content that promotes other local businesses that are not direct competitors. They can be indirectly related to or not related at all.

If you sell garden tools, feature local landscapers or nurseries in your content. If you sell furniture, feature local interior decorators in your content.

You don’t have to stick with just related businesses. Have a weekly feature on local restaurants, caterers, florists, photographers, etc. – these types of articles will generate more traffic and more opportunities to connect.

Interview a local radio or TV personality, feature local customers and local public figures, or feature articles on local events and places – the zoo, summer concerts, community events, etc.

As you write, it may be difficult to fit those keywords/phrases into your content without sounding promotional – or, you may just find it difficult to produce content altogether.

If you are not a skilled writer, then, by all means, get some professional help or use writing tools that are readily available.

Writing services, like Hot Essay Service or Grab My Essay, have great copywriting departments that you can hire to create content for your site.

There are also tools you can access to edit and improve your writing. Try Hemingway Editor or Grammarly to edit your grammar and check readability (content should never be above a 7th-grade reading level).

Community Involvement

content marketing

Most business owners know that they need to be invested in their communities.

This is usually in the form of sponsoring a Little League team, supporting local charities, or participating in local community events.

Community involvement generates a lot of goodwill with locals.

These types of activities are the “meat” for a lot of good content.

Incorporating video or pictures into your content not only helps boost SEO but also makes your content more engaging for readers.

Collaborate with Other Local Businesses

Another great way to increase your local SEO is with backlinks.

Backlinks are links back to your content on other sites.

If another business ranks high on local SEO results, and they link back to your site, search engines are going to notice and will ultimately boost your listing.

Find other business owners you can collaborate with.

Offer to post some of their content on your site if they will do the same for you. A great place to start is by joining your local Chamber of Commerce.

They provide a lot of networking opportunities, which can result in collaborative connections for you.

Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

Content Marketing

Getting reviews from customers will not only optimize your presence online but will also encourage other local customers to trust and engage with your brand.

Not only are reviews important, because more and more people rely on reviews before they purchase, but reviews will also help increase your visibility in local searches.

There are many ways you can encourage your customers to leave reviews:

  • Ask for a review during a follow-up call once they purchase from you.
  • Send a post-purchase message asking your customers to write about their experience with your product.
  • Offer an incentive to customers who leave a review – 10% off the next time they purchase or even a free product/sample.

Final Thoughts

If you are a local business, you have a great opportunity to be ranked well by search engines – more opportunity than businesses that are competing with the much larger national competition.

Local SEO is a cost-effective marketing strategy for any type of business, that will help increase visibility and improve your online presence.

You may have other ideas about local SEO. If so, please contribute in the discussion thread below. Would love to hear from you.

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Bridgette Hernandez holds a Master’s Degree in anthropology and is writing her first book. Her passion for writing extends beyond anthropology, however, and she provides both freelance writing and editing, most currently for the translation service review site, Is Accurate.

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