You’re a local business with one home furnishings store in a single geographic area. You’re not trying to be a big national brand. So why isn’t your content telling that story? This article is going to teach you about local SEO content and how important that local content is for store traffic.
There are plenty of customers in your community. That number allows you to pay employees well, provide for your family and secure your business future. You just need to reach these local customers, get them to spend their money with you and keep them coming back when they need furniture.
Local SEO content helps you target the customers that matter to you most — those in your area. At the same time, it helps search engines know that you’re a local business that customer will want to see when they do a local search. Let’s explore how content drives local search results and what you can do to dominate those searches.
Why Local SEO Content Works
Most customers prefer local businesses because they’re convenient. They’re perceived as more trustworthy. And most importantly, local businesses are convenient. Search engines want local customers to be able to find local businesses first when they do a search. It provides a better, more customized online experience. So companies like Google want to find the local furniture stores really fast. Especially when someone down the street is searching for furniture.
Let’s break down the numbers.
Local Searches By the Numbers
- Over 1/2 of searches now happen on mobile devices.
- 75% of people who visit a local business online through a search on their mobile device will physically visit that store within 24 hours.
- Around 80% of searchers skip ads and click on an organic search result. So if you were thinking of running ads instead, know that it’s not as effective in the long-run. And Pay per click (PPC) search ads are about 6X more expensive than SEO as a long-term stand-alone strategy.
- 82% of smartphone users do “near me” searches to find local businesses, even though you don’t have to type “near me” to get local results anymore. It’s the default.
- 85% of customers do research online through search before visiting a business or buying.
To sum it all up, a high ranking in local search equals significantly more foot traffic into your store. Google has designed its algorithm to give preferential treatment to local businesses in their local area. But it can only do this if:
- It knows you’re really local.
- Your store is the most authoritative in your area.
- The website is actively providing locally-relevant content, which further demonstrates your local connection.
- You’re delivering the best experience once they get to your site (mobile friendly, fast, etc.)
The role of local SEO content is to satisfy these four criteria. To better understand how content does this, let’s take a look at types of local content and how you use them to dominate local searches.
Unbranded Local Content
How often will customers actually look for your site by name? Unless you’ve created a great re-engagement program for existing customers, it’s not often. Most search traffic comes into websites because those websites match their search criteria. That might be answering common questions or offering helpful tips.
Think broadly to create content that attracts local buyers in your area who don’t even know who you are. On a local level, this may be tapping into local landmarks, mentioning local events, or referencing a positive news story. But it should all be relevant to your business and helpful to your target customers.
It’s not just about what kinds of unbranded queries people search for. It’s also what type of content they expect to find. That’s dynamic content.
When someone is searching for furniture online, they don’t just see a list of links and meta descriptions anymore. They see maps, knowledge cards, and dynamic content that applies schema markup to help search engine better understand and organize that content in the search.
This more dynamic content may include:
- Price lists
- Product features
- Local event information
- Design tips
- Top 10 lists
- Style guides
- Room design tools
Local Events Content
You don’t have to start from scratch to build local SEO content. Start by building on what you already do like showroom events.
People look online to find local events. They get event recommendations in searches. Hosting local events and employing local SEO content strategies to make them appear in searches is a great way to:
- Show that you’re local
- Stay top of mind as you appear in more searches
- Generate leads and loyal customers
Whether your event is a tent sale, a mini-carnival or a design workshop, create local SEO content around it. That starts with creating a rich snippet for the event with accurate time, data, location, map, and details for the event. But you can expand upon it to include things like:
- Blog posts about the event
- Videos and Pictures from the event
- Details about the event
- Sharing about the event on social media
- Hiring an influencer to share about the event on their page
Creating content about your own events is important. But you may not always be hosting an event. So further show your connection to the community by creating local SEO content around community events run by the city, schools, businesses or other organizations.
Be Visible at Community Events
Set up a booth. Sponsor local events, teams, or contests. Or simply pay employees to attend various events, take pictures and video and show that you’re connected to the community. You likely already do these things. But are you leveraging these events to improve your local SEO? If not, why not?
Customers and Google need to clearly see that you’re a local business invested in the local community. This is a great way to do it along with a dedicated location page
Location pages have often been disregarded by brick and mortar retailers. We’ve seen poor use of location pages. In actuality, these pages can drive more local shoppers to your store because the value Google sees on the page. For many retailers, a single store location can reach multiple cities and towns within a short radius. It’s important that your website has a location page for each of these cities. This will bring your store in better search result pages if you’re optimizing it with local seo content.
They deliver all the information about a location including things like:
- Address (clickable on mobile devices for instant GPS instructions)
- Phone number (clickable on a mobile device so that they can call you instantly)
- Complete directions from different sides of town, including directions for biking and public transit (which line comes by there?) if relevant in your location. Adding these options is not only helpful; it shows a level of social and environmental awareness.
- Integrated Google map
- List of upcoming events with descriptions and link to event pages to learn more
- Hours of operation (updated for upcoming holidays)
- Message about upcoming holiday hours (for example, we’ll be open 10AM-6PM on 4th of July)
- Information about current promotions
- Information about top brands
- Embedded review data from Yelp or Google My Business
- Photos of the storefront so people don’t miss it
- Photos of your helpful team inside the store so people know they’ll be welcomed by friendly faces
- Schema markup data so that this relevant information appears in a formatted form in search results
Add location information, location tags and additional geographic information like directions “just a few miles from the Walmart” or “10 minutes from downtown” to give your location perspective.
Content on your website is important. But local SEO content needs to be present in all the important locations.
Content on Outside Sources
This outside content supports your website’s rankings and also may appear high in rankings and on maps themselves before your website reaches its full potential. Three outside sources that are absolutely a must are:
- Google My Business
Add to that supplementary sources like Bing My Places, Yellow Pages and other social media sites. Claim your business in other local, industry, online directories and ensure that your information is correct. Submit your information to other local, industry and review websites. Then you must use these sources to publish content like posts about sales, holiday store hours, and more information about the local store and community. Each of these search engines, and yes, Facebook is a search engine, looks for updates to validate your store and online presence.
You’re not only helping people find you no matter where they look. You’re establishing with search engines that you’re truly a local business. This kind of local SEO content helps your presence grow and search visibility rise in the process. But what are people seeing when they look for your business? Are others having a good time with your company? This becomes a magnet drawing in others. That’s why reviews are so important.
84% of people trust reviews on sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google as much as they do a personal recommendation. Getting more reviews and effectively responding to negative reviews increases your visibility in search engines and gets customers in the door.
When your website comes up in a search, people can see the star rating. If it’s four or more, it increases the chances that they click.
if you do not actively request reviews, then the only people who review a business are angry or ecstatic about their purchase. These are two extremes that aren’t representative of your daily business. You need the people in the middle to review too so set up systems to collect reviews:
Automate your review process by sending an email to those who’ve made a purchase. Never ask for a good review. But do tell them how much a review means to your business. Direct them with a link to your profile on Google My Business to begin collecting reviews.
If you get a bad review, always respond humbly and fix it if you can. People can update their reviews and often will if you correct a problem. People today expect companies to respond to bad reviews. And they use your response to develop a more complete picture of how you run your business. In many ways, it’s these tense moments where they feel that they really get to know who you are.
But customers can also get to know you in a lighter way.
Other Local SEO Content
Creating blog posts, videos, interactive design tools and other forms of content are a great way for customers to get to know your business. You’re
- Aware of customer needs
- Capable of delivering the right customers experience
But it’s very important that this content is created strategically and optimized to deliver improved search engine ranking over time. This will increase foot traffic, revenues and generate more delighted customers over time.
By using analytics tools on social media, searches, and email, you’ll learn what kinds of local SEO content your customers are looking for. You then deliver that content through these channels to improve brand awareness and turn leads in loyal customers.
But local SEO content serves another purpose.
Building Backlinks to Content
Google’s algorithm is a closely kept secret. But we do know that the algorithm uses the number of relevant, high-quality links to your website as a way to judge how much others respect your site. Creating all of this local SEO content helps you naturally obtain those links. This is an incredibly advanced local SEO content strategy and should be the last of these priorities for your store. But these tie nicely to the local SEO content.
For example, if you sponsor a local baseball team, you would create a page on your website where you share updates about how the team is doing, current roster, pictures of the team in action and your employees attending events. The team’s website and likely other people will then link to that page to show off their team and recognize your support. You’ve just earned several backlinks by creating some fine local SEO content.
Be active in your community. Support local organizations and get the most out of it by creating content on your site for them to link to. You’re probably already involved in the community. You’re simply finding new ways to get the most out of those partnerships. It’s not one-sided. The more you succeed, the more time and money you have to give.
Getting the Most Out of Local SEO Content
To get the most out of your local SEO content, you need a plan. Having the tools and the people in place to deliver results will help you get that foot traffic in the door as you dominate in your local area. To learn more about how MicroD can put its years of local furniture SEO and digital marketing experience to work for you, contact us to discuss your business needs.