You might be thinking, “Whoa, Craig! I’m just a local business. Blogging is for the big boys with big marketing budgets.” Well, that’s simply not true. In fact, there are some simple yet powerful strategies that you can employ right away on your blog to bring in more local customers.
Most small business owners that I talk with don’t start writing local content for two reasons:
- Reason #1 – They know it will take a lot of effort. And, that coupled with all the other tasks of operating a business can seem absolutely daunting.
- Reason #2 – They simply don’t know how to get started. Should there be an intro post? What should the schedule look like? What should the content be about? The questions go on.
I’m here to tell you that if you’re trying to improve your local presence the bottom line is that you need to write local content. Without it, it’s going to be more difficult to improve your rankings and beat your competitors at the local SEO game. Here’s how…
Decide the who, what, where, and when
Writing itself isn’t difficult. We do it every day. In emails, newsletters, notes, social media, in our personal lives, work-related; you name it, this list could go on and on.
To make your blog a local hotspot, you don’t need to be a stellar writer but you do need to formulate a rough plan. Consistent writing is key. To get started, answer these questions…
Who do you plan to write for? Consider your current customers but also plan with your potential and past customers in mind. Your goal is to improve your local reach so don’t forget about local residents and visitors who may be exploring the areas for the first time. Use this list to create audience categories or personas to craft your blog posts.
What type of content do you want to feature? Mix your content with videos, images, infographics, or surveys. This will help encourage readers to engage directly with your site. Keep in mind that it’s possible only a couple of content types may actually resonate with your audience. Feature what you do best.
Where do you plan to write about? How local do you want to get? What’s the region you want to reach? Consider a mix of city and county happenings to measure your audience’s interest and engagement. Tweak your plan as you see which blog posts take off.
When do you want to write? Readers like to know what to expect and when. You don’t have to write daily but to start you do need to create a consistent schedule. To ensure you’re capturing the key local highlights for optimal SEO include local events on your calendar and plan your blog posts in advance.
Now, it’s time to write!
While most of your content can and should be about your ideal customer and how you can solve their problems, you should weave in some copy and material that focuses on your location. Write about…
Local happenings and news. Is there an annual event arriving in your city soon? Or has the city recently voted on a new development? Write about it and share your opinion and experience. People love to read what others have to say about their own local town, whether it’s an opinion piece or inside scoop with advice.
Local places and events. Do you have a list of favorite eateries or shops around town? Feature your list and include small details that even locals may not know about. Highlight upcoming festivals, community block parties, or 10K races.
And don’t stop there. Putting together a downloadable pdf that can be shared online or printed, with your company logo, is like handing out limitless business cards.
Local businesses that you use and like. Think about businesses that you would like to recommend to a local audience. Consider writing reviews about these businesses and feature them on your blog.
Write about local experts you know in aligned industries. Let them guest post on your blog. Not all the content has to be written or come directly from you.
These posts are about local businesses that provide services or sell products that are similar to yours but are not in direct competition with you. Think strategic partners in aligned, local companies. This will help broaden your local reach. You might even consider writing a “resources guide” for your customers featuring these businesses.
Create a similar “Best of” lists for local things totally unrelated to what you do. Get personal. If you have a pet and you have favorite dog parks in Fort Collins, you may consider writing a quick post called “Dog lovers guide to Fort Collins.” Write about your favorite pizza restaurants, breakfast spots, or coffee shops. You name it. Remember to stick to your strengths and write about what you know.
Write about local causes, organizations, and associations. If you do any charity or volunteer work, support a community sports team, or are involved in any way, write about it in a local voice. Add your thoughts, ways people can get involved, and benefits to the local community.
Case studies! Feature your current customers and how your company helped them in a detailed post that highlights the successful outcome. Localize it by including details in the area where your potential customers live.
Answer your customers’ questions. If local customers are asking questions, this provides you with a great framework for local blog content. I often recommend clients first create a FAQ page to answer the most common questions. You can then write more detailed posts from that list. This is the type of content your customers will obviously want to read.
Don’t stop there. Ponder the list above. Consider what might work for your business and work to come up with your own ideas.
- Consistent writing is key to improving your Local SEO, so come up with a plan. Decide on the who, what, where, and when.
- Look at the ideas above, create a content calendar, and stick with it. This is the part that most people don’t follow through on. Don’t let that be you. Consistent posting is going to help your business and guess what? Most of your competitors are probably not doing it.
- Write! Map out your plan and start writing.
Overall, remember to think like a local customer. Your blog is designed to attract them so craft your content with them in mind and ask yourself “What would they want to read?” Follow your plan and share content consistently. This will not only boost your local online presence. It will help you develop loyalty and become a go-to resource for existing and potential customers.
We want to help you build a strong local presence!
Taking a few minutes to complete our brand audit will help you think about your current local marketing efforts and what might need to change. It will also help us suggest several ways to improve your local marketing now: Brand audit.
After you complete the form, we’ll contact you to schedule a time to go over the results and see how we can help.