Ranking well in local search is no easy feat. And it seems like just when we’ve cracked the code and figured out what makes Google tick, they change the algorithm yet again, leaving us back at the drawing board. Yet, despite the complexity and confusion, content marketing remains one of the most effective tools for reaching local prospects and generating quality leads. In fact, 78% of consumers say they trust a brand that produces custom content.

The trick we’ve found is that the more unique tactics you try for developing this content (with SEO in mind), the better your chances of beating the system and climbing the ranks, despite the changing maze around you. To that end, we’ve discovered 3 pretty simple local SEO and content marketing strategies that are incredibly powerful, yet surprisingly aren’t being used anywhere near as often as they can and should be.

Ready to get ahead of the game and start climbing those local search rankings? Let’s get started.

Write “Best of” Articles

Think about the last time you conducted your own local search. Chances are more than a few times you typed in something along the lines of: “what’s the best [fill-in-the-blank] in [your town].”

Your prospective customers are searching this way too.

That’s why these types of articles are like search engine gold. They meet the needs of your target audience and incorporate your local keyword at the same time. And it’s really not that hard to come up with dozens or more topics to write about. Just make a list of every major city or town in which you do business, start brainstorming the many different “best of” questions your audience is most likely asking and start writing.

Be Transparent

This next step may seem a bit counterintuitive, but we implore you to hear us out because, well, it can work wonders for your local search. We’re talking about being transparent enough in your marketing to be willing to actually include your competition in your content.

Now, you might be worried that listing a few of your biggest competitors in your “best of” lists will drive business away from you and into their waiting arms. It’s a legitimate fear, but believe it or not, the answer is no, it won’t.

The truth is, your prospects are smart enough to do their own research and have likely already vetted your company as well as others in the industry. By including these others in your content, you boost your credibility tremendously.

You’ll also find a back door into the search engine rankings for your competitors’ keywords. So, the next time a prospect searches for those keywords, BAM! – there’s your article, which just happens to be housed on YOUR website.  See what we did there?

Remember – good SEO isn’t about your competition. It’s about reaching – and having a conversation with – your target customers. And this just happens to be a very effective way of doing so.

Expand to Other Industries

You’re not only restricted to writing about your own industry. In fact, if you’re creative enough you can probably come up with half a dozen others that you could somehow tie into your content without coming off as though you’re trying too hard. The key is finding a common ground. It may take some thinking outside the box, but if it gets your site ranked higher, why not?

For example, let’s say you run a local vet clinic. Other similar industries you might write about include boarding, grooming, doggie daycare, etc. Approach it as a way to educate your customers, such as “Top 10 pet sitters in [your city].”

This really doesn’t have much to do with your vet clinic, but it does wonders to build authority and position you as a valuable resource, which is a powerful component of Google’s ranking formula. It’ll also give you good juju with other businesses in your community who will hopefully return the favor.

Your Turn…

So, now you’ve got three new methods to try that might be just the change you need to improve your local search ranking. And once you do, remember the golden rule of SEO: lather, rinse, repeat. Measure results, analyze performance and modify accordingly. This will help you quickly identify what’s working well and which areas might require some tweaking.

If you’re finding the whole thing completely overwhelming or you simply do not have the time in your crazy schedule to devote to SEO and content marketing, you’re not alone. More importantly, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.

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