Going Local: How to Generate High-Quality Traffic for Your Business. The world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is certainly not what it used to be. The rules seem to be constantly changing. What might have seemed perfectly valid could no longer be relevant. This is why it can be challenging to appreciate which approaches to adopt.
One of the latest trends involves embracing a localized approach when creating an SEO strategy. Why has local SEO become so important? What benefits does it have to offer? Are there any suggestions to consider? If you have been disappointed with your ability to generate local traffic, answering these questions is crucial.
Local SEO: A Scalpel as Opposed to a Broadsword
One of the more traditional tenets of SEO revolved around the principle that more is better. Businesses would therefore seek to target as large of an audience as possible. This “game of numbers” essentially relied upon the notion that sheer numbers would drive results and lead to a higher ROI. However, times have changed.
Did you know that 46 percent of all searches are now associated with a local product or service? There are several reasons behind this surprising observation:
- Locally sourced products tend to offer a greater degree of transparency.
- They are often cheaper when compared to larger brands.
- Consumers now seek to develop more personalized relationships with vendors.
Local SEO is here to stay, and if anything, this trend should gain momentum in the coming years. So, what steps can you take to ensure that your business receives quality inbound traffic?
One of the main advantages of local advertising is that it is an extremely cost-effective means to engage with your customers. However, these same efforts will remain fruitless if the correct keywords are not selected.
We need to remember that local search terms and phrases may be slightly different when contrasted with global trends. The good news is that tools such as Google Keyword Planner can provide invaluable insight, thanks to the ability to narrow down the results. You can choose a specific area and then employ a keyword filter. The most relevant terms will then be presented.
It may also be wise to research any keywords being employed by nearby competitors. These can often provide additional sources of inspiration, particularly if you are marketing similar products or services.
Generate Local Traffic with the Help of Business Directories
Another powerful approach to increase word of mouth is to leverage the scope of local business directories. Forums, classified advertisements, and official Chamber of Commerce portals are all valid in this sense. However, there are other related means at your disposal.
After finding the relevant directory, examine any outbound links embedded within the site. You will often come across additional options, such as:
- Community resource pages.
- Any upcoming events (such as trade seminars).
- Local entrepreneurs and business leaders.
All of these possibilities represent another way to establish a strong presence. As the majority are also free to use, marketers will not have to worry about overstretching their budgets.
Know Your Content Marketing Channels
In terms of search engine optimization, content marketing is king. Not only will this media help to reinforce the positive attributes of your brand, but it is one of the best ways to engage with your target audience. Of course, there are many channels to consider when developing a well-rounded strategy. These can include:
- Social media posts (more on this a bit later)
- Official websites
- E-books and white papers
- Automated email campaigns
While this is all well and good, quality content sells. The remainder will often be classified as fluff or outdated and irrelevant filler. What steps can you take to ensure that your content resonates with the audience? This brings us to the next main section.
Quality Over Quantity
Some businesses still make the mistake of believing that content marketing has an association with nothing more than a few snappy images and a smattering of relevant keywords. On the contrary, this will accomplish nothing more than detract from what you have to offer.
Well-written content intends to resonate with the reader, add a personalized touch, and clearly illustrate why your enterprise rises above the masses. This material is up-to-date, concise, and engaging. Content is not simply meant to be churned out to fill marketing quotas. It should instead offer a sense of insight that bolsters your brand identity as a whole.
Assuming that this is a somewhat unfamiliar concept, here are some ways in which you can generate local traffic through written text:
- Write to the reader as opposed to the search engine.
- Do not over-stuff keywords into the material
- Embed links to local and authoritative websites.
- Employ other types of media such as videos, images and infographics.
- Always include a call-to-action (CTA).
If you do not possess the time or the experience to address such metrics, it may be better to outsource your local content marketing to a third-party professional.
Google My Business
When we consider the fact that Google enjoys the lion’s share of local search queries, it only stands to reason that its tools should be leveraged to their fullest. One of the newest and most powerful methods comes in the form of Google My Business. What exactly is this platform?
Google My Business has been developed for local firms that hope to increase their online presence. One major advantage of this service is that it will enable your firm to appear within Google Maps. This provides a quick and easy means for customers to visit your physical location. Here are some other benefits:
- Star-based ratings can be displayed within the results.
- Google My Business Listings are extremely visible within the search engine results page (SERP) rankings.
- Positive customer reviews add a sense of transparency.
- All contact information is clear and easy to find.
These are some of the main reasons why Google My Business should represent an integral portion of your local SEO strategy.
Local Traffic and Social Media
The subject of social media was mentioned earlier, and it warrants much more attention. Social media portals are excellent ways to establish an organic relationship with your audience. They can be used to advertise upcoming sales, provide discounts, and better understand how your brand is perceived.
However, generating leads through the use of these channels can be challenging due to the sheer number of options. It is, therefore, better to focus upon those which are growing the fastest. Here are some great lead generation options:
Of course, you are likely quite familiar with these portals. Therefore, it could be just as wise to search for any locally based social media alternatives (such as forums and chat rooms). Advertising your services within these platforms will help to add another “string to the bow.”
Create Local Guides and Visitor Recommendations
Neil Patel is one of the most well-known SEO experts, and it pays to hear what he has to say. He recommends taking advantage of the scope of content creation options at your disposal. Why does this make sense?
Some of the most well-known online businesses offer content that is based around much more than their services alone. They will instead curate material that provides additional value to the reader. Let’s take a look at how this concept can be “spun” to suit your marketing needs.
Imagine that you are selling mineral sunscreen to New York City customers. Why not create a series of blogs based on the best parks to visit during the summer? Not only will you be supplying the reader with useful information, but the material can connect to your products. This is a passive way of promoting your business while providing website visitors with a kaleidoscope of locally relevant recommendations.
Collaborate with Local Websites and Businesses
We can consider this approach a form of affiliate marketing in some ways. If you wish to generate local traffic, working with others is a powerful approach. For example, you might choose to write a press release for a well-known newspaper in your town. It may also be possible to collaborate with social media influencers, as they can supply your brand with additional “clout.”
Perhaps the main takeaway point here is to think outside of the proverbial box. Speak with local business owners. If you allow them to place a banner advertisement within your website, the chances are high that they will return the favor.
Likewise, you could choose to sign up with local websites affiliated with the government. Many of these are looking for active writers. You can then comment on any recent community events and place a link back to your page.
Thinking Big with Local SEO
They require time, patience, and even the occasional error. This is why it is crucial to monitor your efforts proactively. You can then better appreciate which ones may require a bit of tweaking.
The notion of local SEO is set to enjoy a great deal of attention shortly. Adopting the strategies mentioned above will ensure that you remain well ahead of the curve.
Building a strong marketing foundation represents a core component of long-term success.
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