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Local SEO Strategy – Creating your 2012 Local Content Calendar

Google’s newest freshness algorithm update aims to improve a user’s search experience by insuring that results that require timely information are giving greater visibility. A way to increase brand awareness and traffic, especially if most of your product line is static, is to create a content strategy to help you stay fresh year round as well as give you additional visibility within search and social media.

Local businesses often ask us, “What are some easy ways I can use both SEO and social media to compete with my local competition?”  One of the ways we have guided them is through creating a local SEO strategy that gives them a better shot at appearing within local search and social media results

One major step in any content strategy is to create a plan or calendar of content that can be released and delivered to the right channels at the right times.

4 Steps to Creating a Calendar of Local Content:

  1.  Find a local calendar of events for your city.

Most of these top listings will give you a good idea of what is happening in and around your city.

  1. Look through your city calendar for the next 6-12 months and pull out one or two events for each month in your city that you know people will be seeking out logistical or related event information.

 

You might be wondering, “How will these big events in my city help draw in traffic/leads to my business?” Try to think about your business beyond just a local craft shop, restaurant, or auto parts store. Think about yourself as a publisher and about your business as a reputable source of local information.

Customers trust local brands that appear to be more involved with their community. Even if your business is only tangentially related to what the event is about, you still have the opportunity to be a rich source of local information, which can also help improve trust and your reputation in your community.

  1. Think about what types of information people will be searching before they come to some of these events. For example, in Boston, St. Paddy’s day brings in a flood of traffic from the New England region. What are some types of information people might be seeking before they come for the celebrations and parades?

 

Perhaps they might want to know:

  • Where is the best place to park for the parade in South Boston?
  • What time should I get there to make sure I don’t miss the parade?
  • How long does the parade run?
  • What is the best place to stand during the parade?
  • What hotels are closest to the parade?
  • What are some other events in the city in the afternoon or the evening?

These are just some ideas you could use, and I’m sure you could think of several more pieces of information that could be valuable to readers.

You can then take this information and create a blog post and/or guide titled:

Boston St Patrick’s Day Guide 2012 – What to do in Boston

By using a keyword rich title and content, and then filling the post with lots of useful local information like the list above, you’ll have an amazing chance to appear on page one of search for several related long-tail queries.

Here are some estimated search volumes from Google for these types of Boston St. Patrick’s Day Queries:

From here you can see there is a significant amount of people looking for information for this big day in Boston.

  1. Create content for each of these events that you can regularly publish and push out through social media.

 

You can create all types of content for these local events including: blog posts, pdf guides, guides that are tailored for people to read on their mobile devices, top 5 lists, and many other types of content that are easy to read, digest, and share.

You can then take these content creation ideas, and develop them for the other big events in your city to become a source of local information for your community. Again, think of yourself as a helpful local publisher and you will start to receive more traffic, visibility, and leads for your company through your local content.

So to recap these 4 steps to creating your calendar of local content:

  1. Find a local event calendar
  2. Pull out the major local events for the next 6-12 months.
  3. Brainstorm and create lists of logistical and related information that people will be interested in knowing for each event.
  4. Create different types of content including: guides, blog posts, lists of tips, or other content that will be a timely, trusted, and helpful source of information for searchers. Lastly, make sure this content is easy to read, understand, and share.

 

What are some types of content that you’ve used to gain more local traffic and improve your local SEO strategy?

 

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