How to Create Local Content For Your Clients
Many local clients I work with that have been around for awhile rely on referrals and word of mouth to keep their businesses going in their local areas. Before the internet, it didn’t take a lot for local businesses to make themselves known to their audience. It was as simple as passing out flyers and running a local ad in the paper to get their names out. From there, provided they did good work, they really could rely on their name spreading organically.
Well, due to the digital world, things have changed, and local businesses who may have survived for decades without putting in a whole lot of marketing effort now need to put attention towards it. This is because search engines are one of the primary ways that people find nearby products and services and if a business’s competitors are not only online, but optimized for an online presence, and they’re not, this puts them at a huge disadvantage. The problem is, many local business owners don’t even know where to start to get found locally these days. That’s where you come in.
As a consultant, you need to advise your local business clients how to get found online in their area. This should start with local SEO tactics, such as optimizing their Google My Business listings, getting added to local listings and directories, and so on. However, one of the things I often see consultants recommend last is the use of local content to get found within a client’s area, so that’s what I want to focus on today.
You must put in the time and effort to create local content to alert website visitors where your client is located.
Helping your clients create local content
While the majority of their content can be general and focused on their audience and solving their problems, it’s important to sprinkle in some material that also focuses on your client’s community.
You can either create local content for your client or instruct them on how to do it themselves. While I’m all for producing content on behalf of your clients, or outsourcing to writers, when it comes to local content, your client is often the best person to get the job done because they know their area so well (this especially applies if you don’t live in the city your client does business in). Additionally, having guest bloggers from their area post content to their site is a great way to expand reach (and you don’t have to do the work!).
A few pointers to keep in mind when developing local content include:
- Have your clients show that they are involved in their community (beyond what they sell) and know what’s going on in their area. Talking about community, customer, and employee-related local news is a great way to mix up local content in authentic ways. If your client isn’t currently in the loop with community activities, advise that they get involved ASAP (this is not only great for content, but networking and building partnerships as well).
- Develop case studies that address the different neighborhoods they serve. This will give them credibility in the areas they are trying to reach.
- Make sure your client doesn’t just write about what they’re interested in. They need to write about what their audience is interested in within the community.
Keep intent in mind when developing this content. Know what you’re aiming to accomplish with it and try to think of ways to tie it back to your client’s business.
Blogging isn’t the only area you should include local content. Be sure to:
- Include the names of the city and suburbs you’re trying to target across site pages.
- Add your client’s name, address, and phone number to the header or footer of their site so that it appears on all pages.
- Add a Google map so that people can see exactly where you’re located and the areas that you serve.
Best practices for local content development
- Keyword research is a must for local content and local SEO. Be sure to include local keywords within your client’s copy on the website as well as in their:
- Title tags
- Meta description
- Body copy
- Anchor text
- H1 tags
- Bold and italics tags
- Alt text in images
- Get inbound links from core businesses in their community, such as chamber directories and local strategic partner pages.
- Use rich snippets to help Google find geographic information, information about people in their business and reviews of their products and services.
Reviews are a form of content that many local business owners forget about. You must put effort into getting your clients reviews. Have them ask customers often and make it as easy as possible for happy customers to access sites that matter, such as Yelp and Google, and leave a review.
Creating local content should be a top priority for you and your location-based clients. With consistency and dedication towards development, you should start to see results roll in.