It’s no secret that local search changed dramatically over the last 10 months, and as 2012 comes to a close, it’s important for local businesses and search engine optimization firms to continue to adjust their strategies to ensure success in 2013 – especially when it comes to content.
To get the most out of your local organic search campaign in 2013, developing a solid content marketing strategy that utilizes a diverse mixture of content channels to promote your web content is essential. Creating and distributing exceptional web content can have a substantial impact on your overall local search optimization efforts, and there are several benefits that come with executing this strategy.
Among the benefits that a diverse content marketing plan can have for local search optimization campaigns are:
Increasing Your Online Footprint and Gaining More Exposure
It should go without saying that web content, by nature of the medium, is highly diverse, which means it shouldn’t be hard for you to create diverse content. Among the web channels that Internet users consume web content are:
- text based web content such as blog posts, articles, and whitepapers
- other graphically driven content such as videos and infographics
- audio content including podcasts, mp3/4s, etc.
Each of these mediums, whether they fall on popular web blogs or media rich websites like YouTube, offer an opportunity for your company’s brand to impact a web user. Not all Internet users consume the same types of content, therefore utilizing each of these mediums will allow you to reach a wide range of users who are consuming content on each of the different types of channels.
Not all web users are consuming content on all of the channels. Some just like to watch videos. Some prefer to read blog posts. The diverse content strategy is huge for brand exposure, because it allows your brand to get in front of potential customers who are interested in what your company has to offer. If you’re not utilizing each of these mediums, you’re missing out on reaching these potential customers, and potential sales.
Show Off Your Expertise and Industry Prowess
Creating content affords your company the opportunity to show off how much you know about your industry. By creating a mixture of blog posts, informational videos, or how-to whitepapers that web users can use to educate themselves on topics within your industry, you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to establishing yourself as a trustworthy source for information. This credibility greatly increases the chances of your company converting a web user into an actual client.
The best example I can think of off the top of my head to further illustrate this concept is what you’re reading right now. In this blog post, I’m not trying to sell you on anything, but rather I’m educating you on a highly valuable content marketing tactic that is going to greatly aid you in your local search marketing efforts.
Establishing Contextual Relevancy Through Link Building
Another important benefit that diverse and exceptional content garners for businesses is its potential to draw natural and contextually relevant links back to your website. Link building has always been an essential ingredient for local search optimization After Google cracked down earlier this year on spammy link networks and other unethical link building strategies, content marketing took center stage as the premier method of building quality back links.
One of the overlooked factors for building links with content marketing is the contextual/topically relevant angle. Google values links that come from related content sources.
To further illustrate this point, lets say your company sells running shoes online. Some of the contextually relevant content pieces you might consider posting with links back to you website are:
- an off-site blog or guest blog post on a website related to health and wellness or athletic training.
- a page on HubSpot or Squidoo about what to look for in a quality running shoe.
- for local businesses competing in a local market, establishing a relationship with a local business related to your industry for guest blogging opportunities is also a great way to channel your content while building a local relevancy with the search engines.
Build a Reputation as a Local Authority With Google
So I’ve provided an overview of ways to channel your content and to build links, but what impact does all of this work have on the local search results? In short, it makes you an authority with Google and the other search engines. Each of these content marketing strategies works to not only build trust with consumers, but it’s also building trust for your website with Google – and the more Google trusts your site, the better rankings you achieve!
Another factor that plays into building authority (and rankings) is Google’s inclusion of social signals into its algorithm. The more popular your content is on the social media networks, the better it ranks (and the more likely you are to get a quality link back to your content from users who are reading your content.) Are you starting to see a pattern here on what it takes to rank well organically in the local results?
When it comes to local search optimization success in 2013, it is all going to hinge on great content. Make sure your company is well prepared to be a leader in your industry by developing useful content that will help drive top rankings in your local area.