Nothing beats the craft and care that local businesses and mom-and-pop shops offer in the market.
Despite their arguably superior products and services, local businesses have their backs against the wall.
U.S. Small Business Association revealed that 7 out of 10 businesses survive the first two years, half carry on after five years, 33% make past ten years, and 25% make it through 15 years.
To keep your small business ship afloat, you need to find ways to survive the perilous seas dominated by bigger and established companies. One way of doing so is through local SEO.
While SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways of encouraging people to step foot in your shop, you need to know how to do it correctly. This guide will help you navigate local SEO even if you have no experience.
While blogging was not mentioned in the article, it nonetheless plays a significant role in your local SEO strategy. However, your approach to blogging for local businesses should be different. “Instead of focusing for ranking on keywords, you need to spread the word about your business by creating content that your followers can share on social media and other channels,” says Michael Jenkins of Shout! SEO Company.
Ultimately, your blogging goal is to get more people to visit your stores to buy from you. Below are ways that you can leverage blogging to boost your local SEO further.
1. Determine your target audience to attract the right people
It is impossible to make everybody happy with your local business. What you can do instead is to focus on people who are happy with your products. Catering to them allows you to retain them as clients and get more orders from them.
The same can be said about blogging. Just because everybody is a potential client, doesn’t mean you have to write for all of them. Some people are more inclined to become your customers than others. Therefore, you must shift your focus to them. Find out their demographics, a process that is crucial to understanding who your ideal blog readers are.
By creating a reader persona, you can then create content tailor-made to their needs and wants, thus increasing the chances of interaction.
2. Find topics to write about to engage with your readers
At this point, you know what your audience wants to read on your blog. The challenge now is turning them into blog posts. There are many ways on how you can do this, but the best blog posts start with research.
One of the best tools to help you with brainstorming for and validating your blog topics is Buzzsumo.
It shows the most shared content on social media for your topic. You can review the content and find ways on how to make better ones on your blog.
Also, you can use your blog to share events, accomplishments, and press releases about your business. These topics are an excellent way to raise awareness about your brand. It also complements that valuable posts that you write for your readers.
3. Create editorial calendar to develop consistency with publication of posts
One of the most significant problems in blogging is inconsistency. Publishing a well-written blog post is easy. The real challenge is writing the same quality for your blog posts on a regular basis.
Blogging without rhyme or reason, no matter how good your posts are, will force your readers to unfollow or unsubscribe from your blog. It is best to make your publishing schedule predictable. As a result, readers can anticipate your upcoming post and develop a steady stream of traffic.
This reason is why you need to develop an editorial calendar for your blog. You will be able to prepare your posts in advance and write them on time before publishing them.
4. Reply to comment to build vibrant community
Whenever you create great content, expect readers to react and comment on your posts. When they do, you just can’t leave them hanging in the open. You need to use this opportunity to form a bond with your readers and potentially turn them into brand advocates.
Aside from simply commenting on their posts, take time to learn about them as people. By asking them questions and empathizing with them, you establish a more personal relationship with them. This process is crucial as part of your commitment to serving excellent support as a local business owner.
5. Share content to disseminate post across all platforms
After you publish content, you need to share and broadcast it to the world. After all, your blog post won’t promote itself.
However, since we’re optimizing your blog posts for local SEO, you need to pick your spots on where to promote. You want to focus your promotions strategy that will potentially turn readers into customers.
One of the easier ways for your blog posts to gain traction with your audience is by sharing them on Facebook Groups related to your industry. There are potentially hundreds and thousands of engaged members who are at least interested in the group’s topic. If you have written a post on the topic, sharing it with these groups will give you not only massive exposure but also higher engagement rates.
You can also promote on Facebook Groups that talk about your region or city. Since members of those groups probably live nearby, there is a higher chance they might drop by your store and make a transaction.
6. Determine best posts to double-down on those that work
Once you have your blog up and running, you need to scale and measure its performance. You can’t work on improving your blog if you don’t know what you need to work on.
For starters, you need to install Google Analytics on your blog.
It will help you track the best performing posts, how long they stay on your blog and others. Most importantly, it helps you understand where the traffic is coming from. Since your focus is engaging people from within your area, you want to use that a factor to gauge your performance. If you’re not driving traffic from your desired location, then you need to find a way to increase that.
7. Repeat process!
Once you have all the information about your blog, it’s time to determine what you need to work on to further improve your blog.
What are blog posts getting the most traffic? Create more of those since your readers seem to like it.
Where are you getting the most traffic? Keep promoting on those channels and find a better way on how to boost your efforts there. Also, you want to improve your blog traffic from the location where your store stands.
These are just some of the things you need to keep in mind when analyzing your blog using the data at hand. From here, you’re back to developing better blog post ideas and editorial calendar.
All your blogging efforts will impact your local SEO campaign. By creating content that caters to your target audience, you complement the hard and demanding work you put into your local SEO.
Not only will search engines appreciate the consistent stream of blog content but your efforts will also make your readers happy. Both will have an indelible effect on your brand which you will soon feel if you continue keeping up with the pace.