During the Local, Search and Social Summit Lissa Duty started us thinking about our social media plan and then, Natalie Gould and Rachel Morgan stepped up to walk us through how to keep your website current with fresh content, drive site traffic, and rank higher in search results. As you read the highlights from this session you’ll find the post is full of links to help you do everything you need for a great local SEO and content plan.
Website Best Practices
Rachel started off with a discussion on local SEO, what it is and why it matters. Her short explanation was –> Local SEO is the process of optimizing your web presence to increase your local visibility. Google has reduced their “local pack” in search from 7 listings to 3, which means optimizing your presence to be in that top 3 “pack” is more important than ever.
How to optimize your local presence:
- Be sure to optimize and verify your Google My Business Page, how fortuitous that Justin told us how to do that earlier!
- Be sure to use proper category associations with your Google My Business listing.
- Optimize and verify your Bing Places Profile. Learn how to do that here!
- Optimize and verify your Yahoo Local Page. Learn how to do that here!
- Then move on to submitting your business to the top directories like Yelp, Manta, Citysquares, etc.
- And don’t forget the data aggregators (organizations that collect and compile data and then syndicate it out to citation sources) these include Infogroup, Acxiom, Localeze and Factual. There are companies that can help you with this. For example, Local Site Submit does this for clients.
Don’t forget your local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau, both are good for building trust, as well.
Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles
Next, claim and optimize social media profiles. Even if there are social media platforms you don’t use, you can still claim the profile and then set it to “private” so it can’t be seen but it is there in case you want to use it in the future. Top networks are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
Remember that there are ranking factors that are out of your control, such as:
- Physical address in city of search
- Proximity of physical location to the point of search
- Proximity of address to centroid
If this all seems overwhelming, you can always get help from Advice Interactive Group!
Planning Your Content
Now that you have yourself optimized and verified, you’ll need to work on content! But, why is content important?
- It makes your website more relevant
- Keyword, traffic and ranking opportunities
- Helps with your Google ranking
Where do I get content?
- Write it yourself (or, if you have staff, have staff write it). Do your keyword research with Google Trends, Google Autosuggest, Google Keyword Planner. Don’t forget competitor research to help get ideas for what to write about.
- Hire freelancers (textbroker, constantcontent or writerAccess, for example) – remember, you get what you pay for so be prepared to pay for quality, well-researched content!
- Repurpose previously created content (use blog post excerpts as Facebook post material, for example).
Other possible sources of ideas:
- Google Analytics – what content do you currently have that already does well?
- Research top things in your industry or city (Top Local Social Conferences in Addison, for example)
- Research Popular How-Tos (How To Write Great Content, perhaps)
Ok, so now you have some great content, what do you do with it?
You can use a content calendar (this links to one we created for you) to help you plan what to post, plus where and when to post it.
- Post it in a blog
- Use Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social to schedule posts
- Use the native scheduler in Facebook for maximum newsfeed reach
- Setup through RSS feeds. Learn how to do that here.
- Use IFTTT (If This, Then That) recipes
Social Media Best Practices:
- The 70/20/10 Rule – 70% business & brand-building/20% shared from other sources/10% self-promoting
- Real-Time Responses – Respond to questions, comments and complaints within an hour
- Find Your Voice – Make it approachable and conversational, but also authoritative
Now you know the “how”, “why”, “where” and the “when” for your local SEO and your content – now you can make a plan and implement it and see what happens!
How is your current Local SEO or Content strategy working? Share your success stories.