You are the owner of a small business, a keen digital marketer and an avid subscriber to the various SEO forums and blogging sites. As such, you know what is current within SEO to help your company’s website rise through the rankings and generate leads. If you are like the many other digital marketing managers in Perth, you have decided to direct your foreseeable web marketing efforts towards bettering your local search attributes and improving your site’s content.
Typically, this would fall into two areas of implementation, with local citations being to bring local traffic to your website and content marketing to drive leads. Due to the difference in their relative tasks and overall objectives, it’s easy to think that these are completely separate efforts with little to no crossover. Yet, it’s those that make the mistake of not thinking about their marketing activities in a holistic approach that fall short of their ranking and sales potential. Subsequently, treating these two efforts separately ends up with your website focusing on bringing local traffic but presenting visitors with broad and unengaging content. Ultimately, your website’s ability to win that local customer is lacking. Convert this back to the time and effort you use to produce that content and you are effectively throwing away part of your marketing budget.
Local Content Is Not Broad, It’s Specific & Relevant
The way you structure your content should be done that best represents your brand and the service or products you offer but also in a way your audience can relate to. For example, knowing that a small time property developer in WA might search for “tradies for hire in Perth”, whereas one in the UK might search for “contract tradesmen in London”. The keywords you chose to work into your content will provide some of the ranking factors for your website. Therefore, if you have made the decision to make an effort improving in local searches and converting local leads, you should ensure the content you produce uses specific and relevant terminology to your local market.
Far too often local brands think too broadly and attempt to get their content ranked for keywords that are too generic or represent a wider or national market e.g. “power tools” vs “power tools for sale in Perth”. In some cases, these broad keywords terms are extremely competitive. Yet those that go after them only have a handful of web pages that Google associates as being relevant. The end result being their web content can’t get past position 43 for “power tools” on Google.com.au. Realistically, the only winners for such broad and highly competitive keyword terms are the large corporate brands that have the budgets to target them. In some cases, they might specifically go after broad search terms nationally, for the sake of brand marketing. The objective being to make their brand synonymous with that broad keyword phrase both online and offline and the long term keyword/brand association that helps drive sales e.g. Keyword = Fridge Freezers, brand = The Good Guys.
Local SEO Means Success for the Small Business Over National Brands.
Despite larger competitors having the vast marketing resources and budgets to dominate position one on Google for the broad keyword terms, the local market is their Achilles heel. No two local markets are the same. Similar demographics in two different locations might use different terminology, have different interests or different social cultures. Some or all of these factors need to be reflected in their content to make it relevant to each local market. However, varying the content’s terminology or tone to suit each market may conflict with their corporate image and create varied perceptions of their brand. Furthermore, national brands struggle justifying the cost, time and effort in developing specific content for each of their local markets, when all they get back is small returns. Combine this with the fact that some large brands work on smaller profit margins (in favour of a higher sale frequency) and ultimately, a national brand’s SEO effort ends with just local citation, geo landing pages and Google business listings.
So How Can You Be More Local in Your Content?
When it comes to writing any form of content, you are doing it first and foremost for your audience and not for the benefit of your rankings. With that said however, your content shouldn’t waffle or bore your audience as this will be reflected in the user signals Google picks up on. These user signals are yet another ranking factor Google uses to determine where you sit in the search results. Therefore, the content you write should be about quality and not quantity. Producing the content in a local mindset comes from writing it in a personal way that best represents you as the local expert with great customer service skills and industry experience. Ultimately you want to do it in a way which you believe will better convert that customer, be it an order, telephone enquiry or showroom visit.
The example below is of a (fictitious) small business in Perth focusing towards a national market with broad keyword terms and over emphasising their brand for that purpose.
“Forum Power Tools is a supplier of power tools available for sale online and across Australia. Forum Power Tools have a wide selection of power tools for you to choose from. Have a look around our website and buy online or alternatively come find us at one of our showrooms. All our power tools online are carried in stock for short delivery times. Forum Power Tools has competitive national delivery rates for customers across the rest of Australia.”
The example below is of the same small business but focusing more towards their local market and with a more personal approach.
“Forum Power Tools is a family business that has been your local supplier of battery operated power tools in Perth for the last 30 years. We have a wide selection of drills, saws, planes and accessories for you to choose from. Come visit us at one of our showrooms in Cannington, Mandurah or Joondalup. Alternatively have a look at our range online. All our products on our website are carried in stock in all of our showrooms for same day local pickup. For online orders, we offer free delivery within Perth and WA and have competitive national delivery rates for all our customers across the rest of Australia.”
Of course, there are numerous efforts that can help drive local SEO, such as building internal links to other relevant pages and links to and from your Google business page. However, making your content more personal by its tone, terminology and referencing to locality can help improve user signals through the actions the customer takes after reading your content. Working in your location into the content is a much nicer way to better your rankings over geo landing pages containing broad content, providing it is done in a relevant and subtle way.
7 Tips When Creating Local Content
Local content helps engage a local audience and drive local leads. So as a small business operating within a local market, developing local content is your opportunity to fire David’s slingshot against the Goliath brands you are competing against. Listing your business on Google and web directories is no longer the only way to drive local SEO.
Here are 7 tips to help you create your local content:
Reflect your local knowledge and expertise of your products or service
Mention where you are based within the content
Don’t go after broad keywords, make it long tail or niche
Ensure name, address and phone number are in the footer
Make your content personal for your local audience
Use the correct tone and terminology
Focus your content on the local customer and not the search engine ranking pages.
If you have liked what you have read and wish to discuss devising a local content and SEO strategy, talk to us now.