If you have a local business, you will need to incorporate local into all aspects of your online marketing strategy, including your content marketing. This can help ensure that more pages of your website (your blog in particular) rank well when people are searching for local content. In today’s post, we’re going to look at ways to easily incorporate local into your content marketing strategy, from finding topic ideas to promoting your content with a local audience.
Local Content Inspiration
If you’re not sure about what local topics to incorporate into your blog, here are some easy ways to find ideas.
- Subscribe to sections of the local newspaper that relate to your industry. Keep tabs with local news that relates to your industry by subscribing to it. Many newspapers offer an RSS feed for specific sections of their paper – if not, you might have to sign up for an email subscription or visit the site regularly. If you have a local talent agency, for example, then you would want to follow local entertainment news. You might not only discover great stories to share with your audience, but you might also find new client opportunities.
- Follow local bloggers. Don’t just rely on mainstream media. Depending on where you are located, there are probably lots of great local bloggers to follow via RSS or on social media.
- Follow local news sources on Twitter.Radio stations, news channels, and other news sources are likely on Twitter. If you don’t want to follow a blog or newspaper, this is the next best way to get bite size information that will tip you off to great local stories.
- Follow local competitors. If you have local competitors, see what local news (if any) that they share with their blog and social media audience. Looking at the engagement they receive on locally based content can help you determine what your target audience would be most / least interested in.
- Create Google Alerts for local events. There are lots of local events and charities that may not receive much coverage on mainstream media or on local blogs. Find them by setting up Google Alerts for the type of events and charities you would like to cover.
Local Content Optimization
Once you have some good ideas about local topics, you will want to make sure that your content is optimized to be found by local searchers.
- Add the location to the content’s title and meta description. If you’re writing a post on local events, don’t just title it Local Events in February. Title it London Events in February so that you attract your local customer base. Also add it to the meta description of your content – even though it won’t help with search rankings, it will help your post stand out in search results as the terms people search for are bolded in the results. When someone searches London events, your post would be bolded in both the title and meta description.
- Include local photos that are named and tagged as such. Image optimization is good for your content. Locally optimized images are even better. Try to include images from your area and make sure that they have your location’s name in the filename of the image file as well as the ALT tag of the HTML code.
- Insert internal links within the content that have local anchor text. This may be a bit tricky, but if you can insert an internal link naturally into your content that happens to have local anchor text, be sure to do so.
- Establish that the author is local in the author bio. If you have an in-house writing team or hire local writers to produce your content, make sure to include that the author is local by adding it to their author bio. Encourage your writers to set up Google Authorship and complete their Google+ profile. That way people who are connecting with others in their area will connect with them and then see that they are a contributor to your website in their profile and hopefully click through.
- Include the names of well-known local businesses, people, etc. If your local piece of content has a natural lead in to mentioning well-known businesses, people, places, events, teams, etc., be sure to mention them. This can help you with promoting your local content to a larger audience.
Local Content Promotion
Once you’ve created great local content, you will want to promote it with an audience who is most likely to be interested: a local audience. Here are some tips on local-specific content promotion.
- Connect with local audiences on social media. To promote local content, you’re going to need a local audience. Twitter is probably the easiest network to connect with a geo-specific audience. You can use Followerwonk to search for people on Twitter based on particular keywords in their bio along with their location. Follow a local audience and interact with them – then you’ll have a strong network to promote your local content with.
- Find local forums, groups, and communities. Depending on your industry, there are bound to be lots of forums, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and Google+ communities that are not only focused on your industry, but are locally focused. Join those communities and start interacting before you need to promote something. That way when you are ready to promote your latest piece of content, you will have a receptive audience.
- Utilize offline marketing when possible. When it comes to local content, you can look at offline ways of promoting it as well. This includes finding ways to share content with your local newspaper, magazines, and other publications. Be sure to look at businesses that may have their own independent publications too.
- Include a link in your email. Chances are your local business is emailing local clients on a regular basis. If you send out a newsletter, include links to your local content within it. If you just send regular emails, include a link to your latest blog post in your email signature.
- Mention those you have noted in your local content in your social media updates. If you were able to follow the earlier tip about including names of well-known local entities in your content, then be sure to mention their Twitter handles, tag their Facebook pages, and so forth in your social media updates when sharing your content. You never know when a quick mention can lead to a retweet from a profile with an even larger local audience.
Have you incorporated local into your content marketing strategy? What other tips would you suggest?