By now, the mechanics of sound SEO on a global or at least national scale are well-understood by the majority of content marketers. As long as you deliver solid content that’s formatted properly and features sound link structure, there’s a good chance you’ll see results.
In the rush to capitalize on the worldwide potential of SEO, many forget about the local racket. The following areas are ones that you should focus on.
1. Google Authorship Markup
If you’re not using content to increase revenue by targeting local consumers, you’re doing your business a serious disservice. Local content marketing can be incredibly effective at improving overall SEO if you do it right and incorporate the right back-end tactics.
Google Authorship markup should be a key piece of your web publishing strategy so as to establish a dominant Internet presence for your SMB or brand.
2. Geo-Specific Keyword Usage
Keyword analysis and optimization are supposedly going by the wayside thanks to advanced Google algorithm updates that have made semantic search far more viable. In reality, unique local keywords can work wonders when it comes to making your content stand apart from the rest of the pack.
You can use local vernacular, geo-specific keywords and specialized query keywords and phrases to give your sites a boost in the local SERPs.
3. Proactive Listings Upkeep
Google and Bing really try to make local SEO as easy as possible for SMBs through their intelligent ranking and sorting algorithms. You can help them help you by using business listings aggregators like Localeze, Yext and Universal Business Listing to guarantee that your business data on the web is up-to-date and pertinent.
One can never be too careful when ensuring that online business listings data is accurate, thereby increasing the odds that your SMB ranks well in the search results.
4. Social Feedback & Interaction
Local SEO success depends greatly on social media and your interaction with a small but potentially profitable local consumer demographic. The emergence of Facebook Open Graph and similar tools for charting the connections between individuals proves that local SEO health hinges on who you know and how you know them.
Interacting with your target audiences through videos, contests and old-fashioned back and forth can make all the difference in the world.
5. Proper Negative PR Management
The idea that there’s no such thing as bad press has sunk more businesses than you could possibly imagine. The fact of the matter is that there is such a thing as bad press and toxic PR has become increasingly damaging in the age of the Internet.
A commitment to addressing concerns raised by the general public on social media sites such as Google+ and Yelp will help you to rank higher in the SERPs in the end.
A Holistic Local SEO Mindset
Today, organic SEO best practices are based almost entirely on content marketing and link building. This goes double for local SEO, where quality content and connections can make or break your efforts.
While the local SEO playing field often demands a bit more fine tuning to achieve results, the extra effort is worth it in the end for local players. Be mindful of the aforementioned areas of interest if you’d like to win the local SEO game.