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9 Types Of Content That Will Help Your Local SEO

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9 Types Of Content That Will Help Your Local SEO


I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit searching for the best Mexican food, thumbing through Instagram posts, and picking the brain of local bloggers.

In pursuit of my Pride Rock moment holding the king of tacos, I always return to Google.

When I’m perusing through Google, I’m served Google Business Profile, Google Map, and local review information.

Sadly, local websites are pushed down further and further in the local SERPs.

In 2020, more than 65% of all Google searches resulted in the user getting the information they needed from the search results page.

That number grew from 50% in 2019.

Your website plays second fiddle to Google Business Profile and other Google search result features now.

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Back in the day, ranking for local SEO used to be pretty straightforward. You’d add your NAP to the footer, build a few directory links, and voila! You were on your way to the local 7-pack.

Somewhere along the line, the 7-pack reduced to a 3-pack and local directory links are no longer enough.

To move up the ranks in local SEO search results and compete with zero click results, you need rich local content.

Don’t believe me? Seoreseller.com increased traffic by almost 300% by creating custom local content.

And, they aren’t alone.

Search Geek Solutions saw a 300% increase in organic visibility for Bloomfield Dental Designs by developing local content.

By creating rich local content, you can rank for less competitive, local keywords.

To help you keep your website up-to-date with local content and fuel your local SEO strategy, I listed nine different types of local content here that I welcome you to recreate within your own business.

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But first…

What Is Local SEO Content?

Local SEO content consists of text, images, and even video designed to meet the needs of local searchers. It can appear on your website, on local landing pages, on your Google Business Profile, and more.

If you’re a local business targeting a specific area or zip code, all the content on your website is aimed at local residents.

Let’s be clear – there is no local SEO content magic bullet that will instantly drive local foot traffic to your business.

The difference between “content” and “local content” is the search intent behind the query.

When writing, think about the local user, local entities, local semantic relationships to create a deeper connection.

It’s more than simply matching local-based keywords to your blog content. When done correctly, it works.

Exposure Ninja increased keyword visibility by 900% after two years of producing local-focused blog content for an accounting firm.

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And Dallas SEO Dogs removed old-school keyword stuffing and beefed up thin content for a local bar, HIDE, to boost organic traffic by 72%.

So…

How Do You Write Local SEO Content?

If Willy Wonka got in touch with his SEO side and opened up a local SEO agency instead of a chocolate factory, he still wouldn’t produce local SEO content. There is no Golden Ticket to be won for writing local SEO content.

But search engines give a few hints to help your content rank in local search results. Here are four proven tips for writing local SEO content.

1. Use Schema Markup

As Google search results get richer and more interactive, schema becomes more critical. Schema helps algorithms understand how content relates to one another.

By adding schema markup to your local business, authors, etc., you highlight expertise and authority.

2. Sprinkle Local Phrases In Your Content

While local keyword research is essential to map out your content, it’s even more important to understand how the topic guiding those keyword phrases fits in.

If you take a step back and think about your business as a whole while sprinkling in local mentions, you will see success with local SEO content.

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Take Kanuka Digital and their work with PlumbGas, for example.

Kanuka Digital optimized main navigation pages, meta titles, and meta descriptions for key local phrases to boost goal conversions by 400% in the first month.

3. Write As You Talk

Voice search is nothing new to local SEO. In fact, 75% of people who own smart speakers use them to search for local businesses weekly.

If you write with a conversational tone, you can target those longer voice search queries in the SERPs.

4. Images Are Your Unsung Hero

Images often go unnoticed when it comes to local SEO. But with mobile search leading the way, you want to optimize your images for mobile search.

By incorporating unique images (not stock photos) in a square format with proper alt text and schema markup, you have a better chance of ranking in mobile search for local.

Don’t rely on stock. Use engaging, original images that complement the rest of your content and help tell a more compelling story.

9 Examples Of Content For Local SEO

1. City-Specific Landing Page

Here’s a fun challenge: Can you rank for local keyword terms without a location webpage?

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While you might succeed after a few sleepless nights, it’s much easier to rank in the local SERPs if you’ve got a location webpage.

If you’re a multi-location local business, take a note from Denny’s.

They created a separate page for each location. Here is a look at Denny’s New Port Richey, Florida location page.

Screenshot from Denny’s, December 2021

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is another excellent example. You can see Jeni’s talks about local landmarks, downtown areas paired with unique local images.

Jeni's Landing PageScreenshot from Jeni’s, December 2021

And Roto-Rooter joined the game too. Here’s their New York location page.

Roto-Rooter's Landing PageScreenshot from Roto-Rooter, December 2021

2. State Or Regional Landing Page

It’s hard to get any client excited about creating more content. But, when you’re competing in the local SEO space, content could make or break your move from Page 2 or 3 to Page 1.

If creating multiple city-specific location pages sounds like a daunting task, start with the city or region of your locations.

Take Airbnb’s Miami webpage, for example.

They created city-specific topical content about staying in Miami. The search intent matches the content on this page perfectly. Just keep scrolling.

Miami Airbnb landing pageScreenshot from Airbnb, December 2021

This is one of the best examples of local content silos I’ve seen.

And, they aren’t alone.

Incfile, a LegalZoom type of company for solo entrepreneurs (but better), built state-specific pages.

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Infile landing pageScreenshot from Incfile, December 2021

(Full disclosure: Incfile was a client while working with First Page Strategy.)

Before building these state location pages, the team did a deep dive into buyer personas to understand their audience.

Incfile determined that state location pages would make the UX better for their customers – and, it worked. Incfile not only increased organic traffic but improved conversions.

3. FAQ Pages

FAQ pages are this close to being my one-stop-shop for everything local SEO content.

Here are a few examples of FAQ pages for local businesses.

Handy includes FAQs on its service pages.

Handy's FAQ pageScreenshot from Handy, December 2021

Monterey Bay Aquarium dedicates an entire page to FAQs.

Monterey Bay Aquarium FAQ pageScreenshot from Monterey Bay Aquarium, December 2021

4. Specials

Specials and discounts are the crème de la crème for local business owners.

In today’s smart shopper age, everyone is an extreme couponer (guilty).

Give your customers what they want by personalizing specials to local residents.

Hotels are known for this.

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Hotel Chicago offers a parking package.

Hotel Chicago offers a parking package.Screenshot from Hotel Chicago, December 2021

And Disney has “locals only” passes and discounts.

Disney's special pageScreenshot from Disney World, December 2021

By offering a location-specific discount, you’re appealing to your local audience. You’re making them feel special.

It’s an intense race to the top of the local SERPs. No discount is too small.

5. Host Local Events

Every Friday, almost like clockwork, I dig through my Facebook events to see what’s happening this weekend.

There’s always a festival, free yoga class, or some charity dog wash going on.

I love seeing local businesses use Facebook events to drive awareness as a marketer. But, what I don’t love is not seeing the event on their webpage.

Whomp whomp!

If you’re hosting a local event without announcing it on your website, you’re losing out on some major local SEO mojo.

Here’s how Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Austin pairs its local cheese store with classes and events.

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 Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Austin pairs its local cheese store with classes and events. Screenshot from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, December 2021

Or, follow Green Bench Brewing in St.Petersburg, Florida. They host Hospitality Wednesdays.

Green Bench Brewing in St.Petersburg, Florida.Screenshot from Green Bench Brewing, December 2021

On the flip side, you could rent out your location as an event space like Station House.

Rent out your location as an event space like Station House.Screenshot from Station House, December 2021

6. Partner With Local Events Or Implement Events Calendar

Is the idea of hosting a local event too overwhelming for you – like the first time you tried to order off the dollar menu at McDonald’s? Then consider partnering with a local event.

Like Suncoast Credit Union does. They sponsored the event and provided a discount for the VIP experience.

Suncoast Credit Union's sponsored eventScreenshot from Suncoast Credit Union, December 2021

Or like Marriott in Atlanta did.

Marriott in Atlanta eventScreenshot from Marriott, December 2021

And, it works. Milestone increased the organic traffic of Charley Creek Inn, a luxury boutique hotel, by 81% after improving the CMS with an Events Calendar.

If you don’t have the budget to sponsor local events, talk about the local events.

For example, New York-based digital agency LaunchMetrics put together a report on digital trends at NY Fashion Week.

New York-based digital agency LaunchMetrics put together a report on digital trends at NY Fashion Week.Screenshot from LaunchMetrics, December 2021

7. Blog Content

Blog content is where the magic happens. If you’re a local business looking to compete in the local SERPs, having an active blog will help improve rankings.

Not sure what to write? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

New Location Announcement

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream wrote a blog post on their new Wrigley location.

Jeni's New Location AnnouncementScreenshot from Jeni’s, December 2021

Laws

Jeffcot Law answers questions about marijuana laws in Ohio.

Jeffcot Law answers questions about marijuana laws in Ohio.Screenshot from Jeffcot Law, December 2021

Product Announcements

Evergreen Home Heating and Energy shares how a new Trane product will improve Seattle home heating.

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Evergreen Home Heating and Energy shares how a new Trane product will improve Seattle home heating.Screenshot from Evergreen Home Heating and Energy, December 2021

Interviews & Testimonials

Asana interviews their clients that acts as a testimonial.

Asana interviews their clients that acts as a testimonial.Screenshot from Asana, December 2021

8. ‘Best Of’ Guides

When it comes to creating a “best of” list, I’d like to quote rapper T.I., “You can have whatever you like.”

With a “best of” list, you want to build a guide that gives your readers whatever they like about a topic.

Tim Capper, Director of Search at Online Ownership, created a hub of city location guides for a taxi company that helped the keyword visibility jump 99 spots in the SERPs.

These guides included downloadable Google Maps, video content with dashcam tips from taxi drivers, airport guides, and more.

For example, the Coffeebar created these amazing coffee guides.

The Coffeebar created these amazing coffee guides.Screenshot from Coffeebar, December 2021

9. Press Pages

Press pages are like the Wendy’s of fast food. You know it’s there, but you rarely pay attention.

When I came across WeWork’s press page, I couldn’t help but marvel at the images of each location they had.

This local content makes me drool.

WeWork's Press PageScreenshot from WeWork, December 2021

Content Can Improve Your Local Search Rankings

As local algorithms change and search result features adapt to consumer behavior, local SEO has gotten a serious makeover.

From content around city-specific landing pages to press pages all centered around intent, the days of simply putting your NAP on your webpages for the sake of ranking in the map packs are a thing of the past.

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So, before another day goes by publishing the same blog content since you started your business, take a read of these nine content creation ideas for your local business.


Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Journal

9 Types Of Content That Will Help Your Local SEO





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In-house SEO vs outsourced agency talent: Who wins the debate?

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In-house SEO vs outsourced agency talent Who wins the debate

30-second summary:

  • SEO involves a lot of tasks, processes, and technicalities that are hard to master and manage
  • Investing in an in-house team can have lots of advantages, like building specialized talent, greater control over performance, productivity, brand and process alignment
  • However, outsourcing to an SEO agency may not deliver the above-mentioned benefits but can be easier on your marketing budget and overheads
  • So, how do you identify the right fit for your business?

There are too many parts of SEO and many of those parts are constantly moving and changing. The more a site grows, the more challenging SEO is going to be. So what’s a better approach: to start building your own in-house SEO team or rely on an agency or freelancers?

Let’s see…

Pros and cons of building your own team

Pro #1: You build your own internal talent and knowledge

Your team is your biggest asset. Your company is only as good as the people behind it. These are all cliches but they hold true.

Having an in-house team to rely on makes your SEO strategy more consistent and aligned with your company’s culture and your product positioning strategy. Plus, there is a smoother flow of ideas and communication that leads to better results. You also stand to gain from the cross-pollination of talent that feeds into innovation and greater problem-solving.

Con #1: Talents tend to move on

There’s one huge issue with talented people: They tend to overgrow their employing businesses, and they do that pretty quickly.

It often becomes hard (and expensive) to keep the talent, even if your organization was the one that grew it.

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Pro #2: You hold someone responsible

If you are good at hiring, you will likely find someone responsible who will take their training and tasks seriously. The person will have clear ownership which makes everyone’s lives easier and your business more effective. 

Any business initiative is going to be successful only if there’s someone inside the company to “own” it.

In-house teams are easier to control, you can ask for and obtain reports within a day. You can ask for clarifications without running out of your billable hours.

Con #2: It is expensive

Not many businesses can afford to have an internal SEO that has nothing but SEO… Apart from regular and inevitable payroll, there are also HR processes that contribute to the overall expenses. And let’s not forget about employee insurance and other benefits.

Yes, growing your own team is generally a great investment but only if your budget allows it. Plus, there’s always a risk your investment will simply leave your company one day (see above).

Pro #3: You own your data

Privacy is a big issue when it comes to letting anyone do marketing for you. On the other hand, you can also control the technology and privacy much more efficiently ensuring that your data is accessible to your internal team only.

Additionally, when you outsource anything, you will inevitably miss lots of data, like contacts that were acquired, templates that worked better, and other assets.

When you have the work done internally, you end up accumulating contacts you can rely on going forward. You also eventually build your own data and find innovative ways to build it into your search marketing strategy.

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Con #4: It is slower

Unless you have a huge team, SEO tasks will pile up. They are very hard to organize and scale without outside help because there are too many variables and most of them are done on a continuous and regular basis.

Relying on freelancers to outsource SEO tasks is often the only way to get things done and free some time for looking into analytics to align your SEO strategy better.

Pro #5: The process can be better integrated

SEO is no longer an island. It can only be really effective if it is well-integrated into all processes within an organization, including product development, IT, sales, and customer support.

The intersection of digital and physical consumer experiences is also a strong reason as to why SEO needs to have strong integration with digital marketing, martech, and sales. Your business can achieve its goals only if it has a unified footprint.

Con #5: You cannot build a team that is good at everything

The biggest problem with SEO is that there are several moving parts that require absolutely different training and skill sets.

Remember the graph?

SEO graph and relativitySource: Anthony Palomarez

SEO always includes content creation and optimization, technical support, and link building (which normally includes email outreach, relationship building, and linkable asset creation which, in turn, involves graphic design or video production tasks).

If you need to understand all of these moving parts better, I have a simplified flow chart for you:

the scope of SEO

Let’s not forget that many of those parts will have to evolve based on ever-changing Google guidelines and ever-developing search algorithms that are hard to keep up with.

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With such a variety of skills required, building a team that would handle almost everything is next to impossible, even for corporate entities.

Of course, today’s technology makes it much easier. You don’t have a web developer to build a landing page, or handle on-page SEO essentials. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to create visuals, or even put together an effective lead magnet.

But even with smart technology, to handle all the parts of an SEO strategy you will need a pretty huge team, which is – again – expensive.

The truth is somewhere in the middle

The takeaway from the above is somewhat of a dilemma: You want a team to control something that you may never be able to control.

The best solution is usually in the middle:

  • Hire an SEO manager who has thorough SEO knowledge
  • Let that SEO manager find companies and freelancers to outsource different moving parts to

This means having an SEO manager who is brilliant at both SEO and project management.

Yes, it will take time to find the right person but finding the right person is never easy. 

It is well worth your time though:

  • Your in-house person will be able to “translate” any SEO jargon to you whenever you need to understand what is going on
  • You will have someone owning the strategy and process 
  • There will be a person who will be inside your company to ensure your SEO strategy is aligned with your overall product positioning strategy and include other teams in the SEO processes

In reality, if you want your SEO strategy to deliver results, you need both: An internal person (or a team) and someone outside your company to rely on. This is not a question of choosing one.

Conclusion

Managing SEO is hard. Don’t feel discouraged. There’s no valid alternative to organic search traffic. Find the right person who will be able to manage the process for you and find reliable partners to outsource different SEO tasks to. This way you will keep the strategy under control while still being able to afford it. Good luck!

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Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

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