Do you own a local business? Do you want to market it more effectively? Are you confused about how to rank well for your physical location? If so, you’re not alone! There are currently more than 23 million small businesses in the country, many of which have a brick-and-mortar location! And these small businesses are more impactful than you might imagine: they account for 54% of all sales in the U.S. economy and have created more than 8 million jobs since 1990.
To put this another way: small businesses are powerful, and they deserve a marketing approach that understands that. This is where location-specific marketing comes in. By strengthening the presence of a company in a local environment, location-specific marketing makes it easier for brands to earn local customers and become household names.
When you learn to write location-specific web pages for your company, everyone wins.
Today, we’re going to talk about how you can ensure you’re creating valuable content for your local business – content that takes all your hard work, dedication, and commitment into consideration. Read on.
Why Local Web Content Matters: Understanding the Big Picture
It’s no secret that Google’s algorithms are getting smarter each year. As such, local business owners can’t afford to stay stuck in the stone age when it comes to their web content. Instead, you need plenty of “tricks” in your content creation arsenal. If you’re still not convinced that location-specific pages are that important, here are some local content stats to consider:
- More than 63% of smartphone users frequently use apps that require the input of the user’s physical location. This means that tailoring your content to be geo-specific can help them find you.
- More than 50% of people who visit Google Maps will select one of the top three SERP results. This is a major perk for the companies that manage to rank in those spots.
- In 2011, more than 60% of marketers reported that geo-targeted ads offered a stronger ROI than the alternatives. That number has only grown since then, thanks in large part to the mobile revolution.
- Hyper-local search engine marketing is cheaper and more efficient than broader approaches.
Within the last ten years, the role of website content has grown incredibly. The world’s best-known search engines have realized that if they want online users to find the results they want, and the results that will be more relevant to them, they’ve got to start prioritizing local results, especially now that everyone and their brother has a smartphone.
The Goal of Creating Location-Specific Web Pages
Local content serves dozens of purposes. On the one hand, it educates your users, on the other, it provides a serious SEO boost. Here are the top things you can look forward to when you start investing heavily in your location-specific content strategy:
- More qualified site visitors
- More inbound links to your website
- Higher levels of social shares
- More brand awareness
- More sales!
Possibly the best thing about location-specific web content is that it can do several things at once and that these goals aren’t mutually exclusive. A great local content campaign will serve all these purposes and more, which will help you improve your company from the inside out.
Ranking for Local Search in the Modern Day
Ten years ago, getting your website to rank at the top of the SERPs was pretty simple. All you needed to do was stuff your pages with keywords, and “presto!” Your website was automatically the top result. If a budget wedding planner in Los Angeles wanted to be among the high-ranking sites, all they needed to do was stuff the term “budget wedding planner Los Angeles” into the body copy and headlines a few times.
Seem simple enough? Get this: the phrase didn’t even have to be contextually relevant. Nope. In fact, creating grammatically incorrect, fluffy, empty content was all the rage in the late 90’s, and it didn’t hurt your image one bit.
Something pretty much like this:
Today, however, that trend has reversed. It’s 2017, and search engines and users are smarter and more discerning than they’ve ever been. This means that things like relevant content and good keyword research are essential in today’s world. While it’s true that users search for more local content than they have in the past, they’re not just looking for crappy fluff that doesn’t do anything but clog up their devices. Instead, they’re looking for contextually relevant, helpful, value-dense material that will lead them to great local establishments. And it’s your job to deliver it!
How to Create Location-Specific Content: 10 Steps
So you want to create location specific content, but you don’t know how. Hold onto your hats, though, because you’re about to learn! Here are ten professional steps to follow:
1. Stay Unique
Just because you’re creating location-specific web pages doesn’t mean you get to go and be boring. Exactly the opposite, in fact! Location-specific web pages should be unique, especially if you’re targeting various locations. For example, say you’re a computer repair company with locations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.
Even though the company behind those three places is the same, they geographies are so different that they’re virtually entire separate entities, and it’s critical to treat them as such. If all you do is swap out your geo-keyword (“computer repair in Los Angeles” for “Computer repair in New York,” for example), your readers are going to catch on, and you’re going to lose leads. Instead, you’ll need to create unique content for each page. For best results, aim to develop material that takes the individual factors of each location into account.
2. Focus On Web Pages, Rather Than Blogs
We’ve all seen blogs trying hard to squeeze themselves into local SERPs. These blogs typically have titles such as the following:
- How to Select a Good Budget Wedding Planner in Los Angeles
- Why a Budget Wedding Planner Los Angeles Can Help You
- 10 Reasons to Hire a Budget Wedding Planner Los Angeles
While it may seem like a smart way to boost your SEO, focusing on local blogs isn’t as efficient as focusing on location-specific web pages. Your webpage is the best tool to describe the product or the services that you provide, while blog content is meant to provide your target audience with updates, entertainment, and news.
With this in mind, you’d be better off creating content like the following:
- Webpage: Budget Wedding Planner in Los Angeles Services
- Blog Post: How to Have your Dream Wedding on a Shoestring Budget
3. Use H1, H2, and H3 Tags
Within your webpage, it is always smart to ensure that the hierarchy of information is evident by using header tags. H1 tags should be employed for the main header, H2 tags for subheaders, and H3 tags for bullet points and similar content. By using these headers and including your target keyword or phrase throughout, you can ensure that readers and search engines understand the point of your page and know where to turn for the information they need.
If you have a business in one region and you want to publish different service webpages, ensure that your homepage offers adequate geographical information about your various branches. If you have branches of your business in several locations, or you simply want to target smaller areas within the primary site, it is alright to make use of locally optimized pages for each one. Search engine users who live in major cities will find this valuable since they’re often searching for location- and city-specific content.
4. Optimize Your SEO Title & Meta Descriptions
Your SEO strategy doesn’t stop with your header tags: you’ll also need to extend it out to your SEO title and meta descriptions. For best results, include your location-specific target keyword and phrase in these various titles, but don’t overdo it. Just once should be enough to achieve the impression you’re going for.
5. Include Your Company’s Phone Number and Email Address (& Keep it Consistent)
Every page on your website should contain your business’ local telephone number and street addresses (do not use images; use crawlable written texts instead!) This is a great signal for search engines, and it helps your local searchers find the information they need at the speed of light.
6. Use Maps
To make your location more discoverable, embed a Google map on your website. This provides value to your target market and offers information about your geographical location for search engines and crawlers. Remember to provide a map with the address of your business’ main location or branch office. To ensure your map is mobile-friendly, test it from a mobile platform before you push it live.
7. Use Longtail Keywords
If you’re new to longtail keywords, they might not make a whole lot of sense to you. They’re lower-volume than more popular keywords and render fewer monthly searches. That said, however, the leads they do render are higher-quality and more purchase-ready.
With this in mind, use longtail keywords throughout your location-specific web pages. Tools like KWFinder (or Express Writers’ quality keyword research services) can help you identify ideal local keywords
8. Reference What Makes the Location Unique
The heart and soul of location-specific content is, of course, the location, and you’ll do your readers and the search engines a favor when you reference it like you live and work there.
If you live in Chicago, use The Bean in your content. If you live in New York, pick out some landmarks and talk about them in your geographical material. Not only will readers develop an understanding for you and how your content relates to a place, but they’ll also be more willing to interact with what they see as a reliable local brand.
9. Be Subtle and Natural
If you run a bagel shop in NYC, readers shouldn’t see “bagel shop in NYC” every other sentence. Instead, you want to be subtle, natural, and relevant. Think about using your location to help the reader, rather than to knock them unconscious. The more natural and organic you can be with your local keyword inclusion, the more likely customers will be to see your brand more like a friendly, approachable local company and less like a “marketer.”
10. Keep It Fresh
Anytime your business moves, changes phone numbers or adds a new location, your content should follow suit. Keeping your location-specific web pages fresh and accurate is the best way to ensure people keep finding your online material.
Learning to Write Location-Specific Web Pages, the Easy Way
If you’re like most marketers, location-specific web pages probably scare you a bit – and that’s okay. While they’re some of the most critical pieces of content on a page, they’re also some of the least understood, and lots of people aren’t sure how to approach them. Fortunately, these ten tips can help you learn to create helpful, relevant, approachable location-specific web content your readers will love.
Need location-specific web content crafted by the pros? Contact Express Writers to begin working with our team of skilled and experienced writers today!