A study conducted by BrightLocal found that the most important factors for a local business website are product and price lists, a phone number, physical address, and opening hours. Users also place an importance on factors like site speed, design, and quality of images, with a good first impression helping to reduce bounce rate. An element that doesn’t get the same level of attention, though is still an important factor, is the existence of a blog. While potential customers might not actively seek out a blog, it will help them find your site through effective SEO, can develop a long-term relationship, and builds trust that is harder on a simple landing page. Creating engaging content is a common problem for a local business, particularly in less exciting niches, but the approach can add a valuable extra element to a website.
Discover What People Are Searching For
Before creating content, it is helpful to know exactly what keywords people are searching for. While you don’t want to stuff keywords into content, with readability being an essential part of effective content, you can find ways to tailor articles around popular terms. Google Keyword Planner is the best place to start, though you could use alternative keyword tools like Wordtracker and SEMrush. Google Trends can identify terms that are starting to trend, while Google Autocomplete reveals the terms others searchers are inputting.
Contribute to the Local Community
Local searchers are likely to have an interest in issues related to the community. Getting involved in local events provides a way to write content that will generate interest, even if it might not be engaging to anyone outside your locality. Local events could include charity fundraisers, carnivals, sports matches, and anything else that draws a crowd. Your attendance at an event, particularly if you are directly contributing, can be used to write about your experience of the day.
Getting involved in local events provides a way to write content that will generate interest, even if it might not be engaging to anyone outside your locality.
Interview Local People
Interviews can provide engaging content, but are usually quick and easy to produce. An ideal interview candidate would be a recognized personality who is also involved in your niche. You may, however, struggle to find people in smaller niches, so you could broaden your target to include people with related knowledge. If the interviewee also has an online following, you can benefit when they promote the post to their audience.
Create Local Lists
List posts are popular with audiences, so you could use this format with your local community. For example, you could create a list of top restaurants or areas of natural beauty. These lists can appear in the search engines, often being shared across social media. As your posts receive backlinks, the overall authority of your website increases. List posts are east to write, also offering the possibility of reader contributions through the comment section.
Develop an FAQ
FAQs are popular with readers looking for quick answers. Most local businesses will be used to being asked a number of questions on a recurring basis. The FAQ is a helpful way of adding depth and clarity to these questions, providing a service that will actually be used. There is also the option of developing common questions into entire blog posts as you already know there is an interest from your audience.
A site that has a number of engaging article is far better than a simple landing page. Optimized articles can easily rank for a number of local and industry terms, while you can also see content shared on social media. Great content also helps to indicate an expert status within your niche, increasing the value of your brand. While many visitors won’t spend much time on your blog, the people that do read the articles are more likely to convert into sales. Selling yourself as a local business online is about brand building and going further than your competition, so creating a popular hub within your site is an easy way to start this process.