Blog Writing and Your Business: How (and Why) to Use Location-Based SEO
Originally posted on https://www.iwriter.com/blog/blog-writing/
Spending tons of time writing content sucks when it only gets one or two hits.
You could have spent that time doing any number of things to bring in leads. It may have even made you question marketing and whether it’s all worth it.
Here’s the thing: Lackluster content happens.
About 53% of businesses use content marketing… but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it well. You need to do more than choosing a topic and writing some words. You need to optimize your blog writing for your local audience.
The What and Why of Geo-Targeting, Online Search, and Location-Based SEO
When many people search online, they use location-based modifiers in our online queries to get better results.
Location modifiers often include:
- Query + “near me”
- City or zipcode
- Around (x) or by (y)
The modifiers make sure we’re not getting results from places across the state or out of the country. These are a few examples but there are many more that deliver relevant information.
As a business owner, you’ll want to tap into these queries to capture your local market. Let’s learn about these modifiers, local SEO, and why it matters.
Google and Geo-Targeting
Google wants to deliver relevant information to its users. To meet the user’s needs, results and presentation have changed along with the trends. Today, a lot of the search results display information curated by Google.
You’ll notice items like:
- News and announcements
- Business packs and ads
- Local mages and videos
- Maps and directions
- Profiles and overviews
All of this is part of the underlying Knowledge Graph. Or, in other words, Google’s way to make sense of information through structured data. Central to making geo-targeting possible is schema and other data formats. These are the formats that help Google and people understand data.
By structuring data, you’ll see Google more likely to present your info above those who don’t. This is the idea and concept behind location-based SEO.
The Basics of Location-Based SEO
Google has a history of changing the search algorithm and ranking factors. In 2016, they rolled out the “Possum” update that refined local results. And, before that, they released the “Pigeon” update that jumpstarted this stuff you’re learning.
You could spend forever digging into the details. So, to save you time, here are some of the major ranking factors for local results:
- Presence and optimized of your Google My Business listing
- Links including link quality, backlinks, and authority
- Reviews and local citations from reputable platforms
- On-page optimization especially keyword use and NAP
- Social, search behavior from users, and personalization
GMB (Google My Business) plays heavily in acquiring local search traffic. This is also one of the easiest parts of local SEO. All you need to do with GMB is sign up and set some basic parameters.
A high-rated, reputable business that’s optimized for their GMB may become part of the local pack. This pack features the popular/respected businesses in local results for their queries.
So then… what about everything else like links, reviews, citations, and more?
Content is what you can do to entice more links, reviews, and citations from people and platforms. Content influences the local SEO signals. Content is a top-level SEO effort that benefits all other aspects of your business, too.
How to Add Geo SEO to Your Blog Writing (Plus a Few Extra Tips)
The short answer: start using geo modifiers when writing.
The long answer? Follow the steps below.
These steps will have you targeting the right keywords so you reach the right people. You’ll then get how to structure it to do well on a local level. Finally, you’ll bring it all together so it helps you rank and drives leads & sales.
Step 1: Geo-Targeted Keyword Research
A good selection of keywords is what gets local SEO starting off right.
There are a few approaches to keyword research for your blog writing:
- Keyword research tools
- Looking at the competitors
- Going with your gut instinct
Tools like Google Ads, Ahrefs, or SEMRush deliver some of the best results. These provide keyword suggestions and the data behind each.
Getting keyword ideas with the tools involve the following:
- Input a keyword or phrase (try something like your products or services)
- Get a list of keyword ideas including search volume and difficulty
- Export and go through the list, picking out which of them you’ll target
You could then pair or contrast them to generalized keyword research:
- Look at your competitors, their blog posts, and what they’re targeting
- Check out what the news covers and the common, hot topics
- Ask your community what they’d like to read about
- Think of the topics you and the team know about from experience
The Geo part is adding geography to the topic — like:
- Names of local places
- Personal details
- Event details
…and anything that would make that topic very much about your area.
Step 2: Crafting Location Optimized Blog Content
Keeping it simple is the best approach for content creation. Otherwise, you get too sidetracked and chase tactics that rarely create a major impact. Much like the major local factors, stick to the impactful SEO factors and content efforts.
Cover topics like:
- Local events and media
- Business happenings/news
- Industry/market content
- Answers to local queries
- Interviews and testimonials
- Local, “best of” type guides
Think of your content as the local hub for all things in your industry.
As for the content creation — try this formula:
- Include the primary keyword + location in the title, description, URL, and at least a few times throughout the piece
- Support the main topic with sub-topics and relevant media while also including examples, call-to-actions, and personalization
- Share your work on local platforms and/or distribute it through the citation channels or the news to get links and exposure
You can craft specific pages, too, like:
- A location-based landing page for a product or service
- A FAQ page answering local, regional, state, and industry-wide questions
- A page just for specials, coupons, and discounts
Look at search results and brainstorm ideas for high-level keywords and topics. Then, make them hyperfocused by localizing content and applying local SEO.
Step 3: Implementing a Geo-Targeting Funnel
Geo-targeting is when you take local SEO, blog writing, and everything, and really turn it up a notch. This is when it becomes a science.
Your efforts (like content) get modified via:
- Language and cultures
- History and community
- Devices and media formats
- Trends and user intent
It’s like how businesses reformat ads for different areas of your town/city. You target groups and communities within the local market. In doing so, you further refine the content, experience, and business outcomes.
You could do something like this:
- Set up a content-heavy page covering a problem in your area where your services act as a legitimate solution (ie. roof repairs after a harsh storm)
- Set up and target hyperspecific Ad keywords and select the audience by their geography, as focused and refined as you can get
- Boost engagement by putting a face to the services and partner with local events or peers to make your brand more recognizable
- Drive people from local queries to your sponsored listings, ads, or promoted content
You can’t quite target your neighbor but you can target your neighborhood. See how far and refined you can get with local SEO efforts.
Create Consistent Returns with Geo SEO
Ponder what offers the biggest impact for online growth. If “consistency” popped into your head then you understand what needs to be done.
Long-term returns from SEO require on-going, long-term efforts. If you’re fuzzy about how this becomes a reality then seek blog writing services.
Blog writing and professional services fill the content gap. And, in the process, lets you get more from your geo-targeting and content.
Go on and explore iWriter and our expert writing services. Register for an account, let us know what you’re looking for, and our experts will get to work crafting great, locally SEO’d content.