Getting Regional – 5 Ideas to Build Your Local SEO by Celebrating Being a Local
The digital world of SEO and online marketing is a big and exciting place where completely online companies can reach out to a worldwide audience. But what about companies that can’t and don’t serve the entire world? While the emphasis today may be on the cloud-based work-from-anywhere innovations, the vast majority of actual businesses aren’t ‘anywhere’. They’re local businesses with brick-and-mortar venues, thus introducing the need for Local SEO. Rather than focusing on drawing the maximum number of eyes and clicks from anywhere in the world, local SEO allows you to focus our SEO efforts on appealing directly to the people who can actually use your business, those within a 50-mile radius or closer.
The key difference between local SEO and normal SEO is how you use it. Your goal is to constantly and permanently associate your business with the town or collection of towns that you serve. This means that the name of your region, county, city, and local neighborhoods all become vital keywords to pepper your content with and, even more importantly, you’ll want to make your business particularly appealing to locals who are proud to be a part of your region.
Along those lines, we’ve put together 10 strong marketing ideas to help guide your online content marketing and local promotional campaigns. These should help you to optimize your business and website to appeal to local customers and grow your local customer base.
1) Embrace Regional Nativism
The first step to a great local SEO push is to get excited. Over and over, we’ve seen businesses blandly keyword-stuff their city and regional names into content without regard for content quality or even how it will be perceived by readers. Don’t be ambivalent about your region, embrace it! Become an enthusiastic advocate for living, working, and recreating in your region and that joy will spread to others who have been quietly proud to be local residents for decades. Embrace regional nativism and start pitching your content toward pride in being a local, enjoying local events, and promoting local commerce.
This will not only resonate with your customer base, it will also make the rest of your local SEO efforts clearly more genuine and less like indifferent keyword-stuffing.
2) Appeal to Shared Community Experiences
There are a few things about every community that make it special from anywhere else. While you don’t have to become an expert on your town’s founding story, start pulling from your personal experience as a local and throwing in touches of ‘color’ to your content. Little references that others will recognize will hit home and make them feel like you and your business are ‘one of them’ instead of some heartless chain store that doesn’t care about the region.
Mention the one doughnut shop that always fills up late Sunday morning or incorporate regional weather precautions into your seasonal content. Make it clear that you are a local and that your business is “By locals, for locals”
3) Blog About Local Events
Want a chance to throw around the name of your town and region quite a bit in your website content to draw in those local search results? Get yourself involved in the community and blog about the local upcoming events! If there’s an annual faire, get hyped with your community. If there’s a summer music festival in the park, write an article about the bands, snacks, and family activities available for the community.
If a new restaurant opens, if an old store closes, or if a celebrity will be giving a concert nearby, write about it! The more you write about community events that don’t have to do with your business, the more the articles you write about your own local events will fit into the mix. Plus, you can turn your website into a source of local news and fun updates for members of your community.
4) Provide Solutions for Regional Challenges
Every region has its unique challenges that usually have something to do with the weather or geography. Your area may have a gas mileage challenge if you live in a mountainous region with a lot of hills or you might deal with a few feet of snow every winter such that neighbors often help to dig each other out. Or perhaps you all face the challenges of dry skin and rampant static electricity from dry desert air. Whatever the region, there are bound to be a few ‘problems’ you can solve.
A hardware store or auto mechanic might offer anti-static or cold-weather solutions. A local private lender might outline how to finance a water softener if the region tends toward hard water. This approach can get the attention and clicks of locals while they’re seeking solutions to problems many people in your region have to deal with and positions you as a friendly helpful local yourself.
5) A Local Shop for Local People (Discounts for Locals)
One fun way to promote your regional loyalty and appeal to your growing supply of local customers is to offer people who live in the region a ‘local discount’. What this often actually equates to is slightly raising the prices for out-of-towners, but the goal is to provide a small tangible reward to customers who feel that they are getting a special deal because you value the community and like to offer a little something extra to your friends and neighbors.
A local discount doesn’t have to be big, but make some show of it. Write a few articles, feature it on your website landing page, and if you offer store cards, consider printing up a special line that demarks whether or not the holder is a local. In other words, make being a local customer feel like an exclusive club.
Building a strong local SEO campaign is all about emphasizing where you are. If you’re trying to fit the name of your town or region into every article you write, this can start to look awkward and forced. Instead, write about the region itself! Write about your venue as a part of the regional business ecosystem and write with local customers in mind. Remember, your clientele aren’t all over the world, they’re right down the street and you probably buy groceries in the same store. Appeal to your neighbors, write about the community, and the community will come to you. For more great tips, tricks, and trends in local SEO tactics, contact us today!