Post Google releasing their furry and cuddly animals (Penguin and Panda updates) on SEOs, link building has become more time-consuming and a bit more difficult. Especially for local businesses that do not have the large marketing budgets that corporations are working with. But there are ways in which they can level the playing field and have the ability to compete with large brands and achieve success, with the help of a content marketing strategy. Now you as a local business owner are probably wondering what am I supposed to write about and how do I do it.
Earning links organically can be as easy as making your website as informational and useful as possible by writing about local events, providing resources, interviewing other local business owners or subject matter experts, offering how to tips and finding other local blogs to write guest content for. Although writing an engaging blog post or resource list can take up to two hours it will be well worth it once your website starts to earn organic and passive links to this content pieces and as result your organic rank will see a lift by implementing a content marketing strategy that is aligned with you business.
Having a resources list for people to research prior to visiting the city you are located in can be quite useful to help them plan their trip ahead of time. Plus a resources list can also help your website become useful to local residents by allowing them to find a service provider. For this topic you can create a list of local service providers such as car rental service, plumbers, medical providers, etc. To prevent this section from being cluttered and unorganized create different sections and categories.
A resources section on your website will get into the SEPRs thanks to the Pigeon update that has pushed local business down and now displays destinations such TripAdvisor, Yelp, Hotels.com and others. Lastly, by listing other local businesses on your website you might end up earning a link on their website.
Best of the Best List
When people visit new cities or towns most of the time they don’t know much about the place they are visiting but they want to discover the best place to eat at, visit, etc. In some cases they might like the area so much that they may consider relocating there permanently. So here is your chance to shine by providing them with the content and information they are looking for. Take the time to do a little research and use your personal knowledge about your city and the restaurant and bars you like going to and create a blog post for every type of topic. See example below:
Best Diners in
Best Bars and Nightlife in
Best Restaurant that Offers Takeout and Delivery Service in
Best Neighborhoods to Live in
Best Schools in
Conducting interviews with local professionals in the area is another great way to create content and help you get in front of their social media communities. How you ask? By tagging them in the post on your social media channels and in some cases they end up referencing your content on their website. So what can you interview them about? Example, put yourself in shoes of someone who is in need of having your roof replaced.
What type of questions would you ask the contractors that are bidding on your roofing project. More than likely every single person that will need to have their roof replaced will have the same or similar questions. So if conduct an interview with a roofer ask as many questions as possible and write a transcript of the interview and you might call it, “Everything you Need to Know Before Hiring A Roofing Contractor”.
However, don’t just stop at one interview attempt to interview at least three that way your post will carry some weight by having input from three professionals. Quick tip use a headshot or logo of their company and link back to their social media channels and websites.
Offer How to Tips
Depending on what industry you are in as the types of tips that you can provide people who need help solving a problem. I am not suggesting that you give away the secret sauce that will cause you to lose money. However, if you are in the automobile repair industry you can provide tips such as:
How to Change an Air Filter
How to Check the Transmission Fluid and Motor Oil Levels
How to Replace A Headlight
How to Reset the Needs Maintenance Light
For these types of tips video works great and you do not have to invest in a professional video camera or microphone. All you need is an HD camera, GoPro or even your phone. Once you have recorded a video you are happy with upload it to YouTube or Vimeo get the embed code and put it on your website.
Start Guest Blogging
Find other local businesses that are in your area and ask them if they would be interested allowing you to contribute content for their blogs. This next part is very important make sure the content you are providing them is the very best you are writing, it’s 100 percent original, and provides real value or solves a problem. You might not want to approach a direct competitor that is directly across the street but maybe someone who is located in the next city. The worse thing that can happen is that the will say no, you have nothing to lose.
Despite of what most people say about guest blogging, this is still a good way to earn links. As long as you are not paying for them, using spun or duplicate content and you are blogging on safe neighborhoods. You might also want to make sure you are not using explicit anchor text or over-optimizing for keywords. So you might want to use your brand as the anchor text if you have any control, naked URL, or if not have them select the way they will link back to you.
See building links the correct way does not have to cost an arm and leg using these content marketing ideas for local businesses. All you need to do is set aside two hours per week to create content and publish at least one great piece of content once per week. Just make sure you are publishing using a schedule. Lastly, do not forget to install a widget that allows readers to subscribe to your blog and share your content on social media.