Recently, Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller made a hard case for quality above all things SEO. However, the bar for uniqueness and quality is higher than ever. In our competitive digital landscape, how do you ensure your online efforts stand out?
Fortunately for local businesses, your role in a geographically-based community gives you a point of uniqueness right there. You have a physical location and a demographic you can pinpoint. Now how do you win that audience with local SEO?
The answer comes in two parts. First, content is still king, meaning it will take you further than anything else. Second, quality should be the baseline for every SEO decision.
Let’s discuss the ongoing importance of quality content in 2022, as well as the ways you can improve your local SEO with a focus on quality.
The Importance of Quality Content in 2022 and Beyond
It’s 2022, and SEO professionals need all the help they can get in maximizing the appeal of content. The world has shifted to rely more heavily on digital advertising and outreach throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The reality now is that the digital marketplace is more competitive.
At the same time, Google’s web crawlers better understand the value of online content with every update to their algorithm. The priority is always to cater to what searchers are actually looking for and to incentivize sites that add value to the web accordingly. That’s why strategies like maintaining a quality Google My Business profile and updated blog are great for local SEO .
Another example is link building. This is a necessary component of SEO that can add relevance and authority to any page, as understood by search engine crawlers. However, quality is still the priority over quantity. Google, or any other search engine, won’t boost your local content just because you’ve spammed links in comment sections across the web.
Instead, link building has to be targeted to quality sites. But what does quality mean in terms of local SEO?
What Quality Means in Local SEO
Quality can be a nebulous concept. After all, isn’t quality subjective in most cases, especially where blog content is concerned?
Of course. However, Google maintains much clearer definitions of quality, laid out by their SERP algorithms. When it comes to local SEO, “quality” really indicates the value to users as well as local relevance.
While there are many more key ranking factors than these for measuring your SEO success, these two broad metrics encompass just about everything you need. For example, you add value to users who quickly make a voice search for “[your business type] near me” and see your information on a local pack because you correctly set up your Google My Business profile. Additionally, should they go searching for information for products and services like those you offer, your carefully maintained and relevant blog creates value.
Google sees all these factors and more and incorporates the data into overall quality rankings. Then, local relevance adds another level of value. This includes proximity to searchers (which of course you have no control over) as well as domain and page authority for links on locally relevant sites (which you do have control over).
Once again, it isn’t the quantity that matters for all your off-page SEO strategies: it’s the quality. Focusing on quality content helps establish greater success for local businesses. However, you may be asking yourself what such a focus looks like in terms of actionable improvements you can make now.
Related: Free Video Course – How to Create Website Content for Local SEO
Improving Local SEO through Quality Content
Improving your local SEO approach should start (and never really end) with quality content. As we’ve established, this means content that is valuable to your specific audience and highly relevant in terms of geographic proximity.
To get here, there are a few important practices you can focus on while optimizing content. Start with developing a keen understanding of your audience, and use what follows to support a better online platform.
1. Understand Your Audience
First and foremost, you need the help of data to truly understand and cater relevant content to your audience. Fortunately, the modern economy is awash with data. Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of information are collected every day. You can use an infinitesimal fraction of this to create customer profiles and fill niche needs.
This means assembling demographic and behavioral information from wherever your customers are reaching out to you. A broad online presence is all but essential in this endeavor, including the use of social media tools, insights, and analytics to establish more accurate customer narratives.
2. Form a Compelling Brand Identity
With compelling and authentic customer personas in place, it’s time to dig into what your role in the community is and can be. What do customers like about you? What do you do best? What sets you apart?
Use data-driven research to answer these questions. Then, lean into your unique brand identity to compel your target audience. In one example of this form of local branding done right, Grecian soap-maker Elo went with eye-popping identifiable art that also represents the locale.
This both set the retailer apart and connected the brand to some of the things tourists love about Greece: art and history.
3. Conduct Ongoing Data Research
Don’t stop with your initial demographic, keyword, and product research, however. To maintain local relevance, you need a finger on the pulse of the local market. This means keeping an eye on your data, exploring SEO success, and researching new niche offerings.
Fortunately, social media makes conducting this research simpler than ever. You can connect to real customers and gather both qualitative and quantitative information that fosters growth and insight. From satisfaction surveys to user reviews, this information is vital to both visibility and overall success.
4. Make Your Content as Relevant and Interesting as Possible
From here, lean into your research and unique branding to craft the most relevant and interesting content possible. This might start with local keyword research as you explore what your neighbors are searching for. Find answerable questions and interesting topics related to your industry, then develop a creative and compelling blog.
Blog content is one way to consistently update your pages. This can boost your Google SERPs as well as establish a loyal audience. The trick is to maintain relevance. One approach for achieving this is to frame your content around location-specific challenges, attitudes, needs, landmarks, or anything else that establishes a sense of community and customer loyalty.
5. Follow Other SEO Best Practices
In the course of all these optimization strategies, don’t forget the basics. Page load times, content displacement, navigability, and all the other important SEO considerations will impact your local SERPs. This requires an understanding of SEO and page accessibility at their core.
Start with the simple things. Use headings for structure. Write clear titles and great meta-descriptions. Add quality images and ALT tags. The basics help Google rank your site for quality, potentially boosting you above the local competition.
Winning Local Business with Content
With these powerful improvement tips, you can optimize content that will draw in the locals. Even local businesses need boosts from digital platforms since the internet is the first place many of us turn for products and services these days. Use effective local SEO to maximize your own business potential and win the internet in your area.