Local Content Could Be The Key To Small Brand Success In SEO
The battle for SEO supremacy is often a losing one for the small and mid-sized brands as they battle larger businesses with more resources and deeper pockets. But there might just be some hope on the horizon with one battleground titled towards the SMB owner. Top web development companies everywhere are overlooking this relatively simple thing that can keep small and medium brands in play; local content. We think that local content could be the key to small brand success in SEO and after reading this article you will see why.
You don’t always need to be #1
In the SEO world there is the idea that you need to be #1 on your search engine results page. That tends to be true when you are a large brand and thinking globally. The big players in any market are going to spend the time and money to make sure they are ranking in the top few spots, either via paid placement or traditional efforts.
But the small and midsized business owner don’t compete globally so what is the point of trying to compete with the big boys on this battleground with core keywords?
Instead the goals for SMB owner should be smaller and focus on the local areas where you can more easily control traffic and leads to place yourself on the same footing as the big boys and then let your reputation and quality of service help elevate you past them.
Google promotes local for you
One of the many nice things about Google is that its focus is fully on their customers and what they want to see. In many cases that will mean someone will want to at least see a local option for a product or service along with bigger businesses especially if you are careful with the keywords you try and rank for.
The key for small and midsized businesses is to take advantage of that and use their “localness” to step in front of or even block their larger competitors when they can to gain a benefit. That means stepping into the fight knowing that you can be competitive by using your local knowledge to your advantage in a way the bigger businesses either can’t or won’t.
Leveraging local content for success
Here are some basic steps to help win local battlegrounds:
- Quality Content – Any content you create needs to have high quality. There should never be a ‘content for content sake’ mentality about what you are blogging or posting. Instead the focus needs to be about what readers are interested in. What kind of topics are customers interested in and can you talk about it knowledgably with some local flair? For example a local nursery could write articles about seasonal planting options that work with the local climate. Along with providing this type of insider or local information you can provide local knowledge like the best hiking spots or discuss things that unify a community.
- Be a Local Expert – This is more than just creating good content as you also want to do some basic link building to related business pages along with building a local reputation as someone trusted and knowledgeable. This can start very organically by joining local community groups and then offering free advice and tips to spread the word. Some businesses have then parlayed connections to local speaking engagements at a Chamber of Commerce, local television access and more. Some local newspapers offer discounted rates to local business owners to provide content in their niche which can increase their exposure and showcases them as an expert.
- Google My Places – Make sure you’re my Places is updated every month. This should always be current and accurate. Your business page should also have as much useful information as possible.
- Local Reviews – Review sites, both local and global sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, are important for SMB owners as these third-party sites add a level of authenticity and trust along with local mentions to help push your business up the ranks. Make sure to prioritize getting good reviews and responding to both good and bad reviews.
- Showcase Yourself and the Community – One of the biggest advantages smaller businesses have is that the people that comprise them are part of the community and they regularly interact with the community. The key is to then showcase that on your website, on employees LinkedIn pages, social media and more. Charity events, supporting local youth teams, or even sharing customer stories are a great way to quickly get personal in a way the big brands simply can’t. Make those local connections within the community to get regular buzz about your business.
The bottom line is that while some battles against large competitors can’t be won by the SMB owners; there are some battlegrounds where you can be successful if you are willing to focus attention and effort there. Local content could be the key to small brand success in SEO because that local value is recognized by algorithms and if prospects see you on the first or second search engine results page then you are in position to be chosen especially if you have a high degree of local brand recognition.
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