When you’re in a boring industry, it’s hard to get anyone to read your content. Why would anyone stop to read Joe the Plumber’s blog post on “how to fix a water heater” when a hundred other companies have already published a hundred better guides?
If you’re in a boring industry and your entire market exists in a single service area, however, there’s one little trick that can put you on everyone’s radar. By publishing local content—that is, content that is specific to your local area—you can attract more visitors than you ever expected. Here’s how:
1. Search for Resources about Upcoming Events & Publish Better Ones
San Joaquin County loves their fireworks. As July 4th neared, we knew that people would be interested to see where they could find the best fireworks displays. When you searched around for “Fireworks San Joaquin County,” though, the results were disappointing. There were pages about the risks of using your own fireworks, a pretty terrible page that sounds like a list but only shows one event, and several news stories about a the crackdown on illegal fireworks. Searches for “fireworks” in individual cities sometimes returned one event, and sometimes none at all.
With that in mind, we searched through those single events, found several Facebook events, and put together one big blog post that covered several July 4th options in San Joaquin county.
The post shot up to the top of search results for a variety of searches within only a few days, and got nearly 1,000 visitors from Google alone.
2. Search for Resources that are Relevant to your Industry & Publish Better Ones
Did you know that you can pick up free sandbags throughout San Diego during flood season?
While it’s a great, potentially life saving service, the list of pickup locations is not so good. There’s no way to see at a glance which location is closest to you, the contact information is poorly formatted, and the site itself can be confusing for your average user.
Enter TSC Restoration. With our help, TSC Restoration was able to reformat that same information with an interactive map, more convenient contact information for each location, tips on where to buy bags if the free supplies ran out, and links to several resources that teach you how to prepare for a flood.
During El Nino 2015-2016, the resource became so popular that they were bombarded with so many calls from people looking for free sandbags that we had to put this at the top of the page:
By the end of the El Nino season, TSC Restoration had received way more calls than they could handle, and had to turn dozens, if not hundreds, of customers away.
3. Search for Any Local Resources at All and Publish Better Ones
What if you could publish a post about a topic that had nothing to do with your industry and nothing to do with upcoming events, and it still generated new business?
Well, that’s entirely doable. Publishing these kinds of posts can take very few resources, especially if you already know the subject, but generate a lot of new traffic. That means it may only take a new customer or two to break even. As long as you’re not hurting your brand or making enemies by publishing that content, the biggest downside is opportunity cost.
What’s the Value of Publishing Local Content?
While not all of that new traffic will immediately turn into new customers, some of it will. That’s especially true if:
- There is an overlap between the content’s audience and your own ideal customer (e.g. if a dog groomer publishes a list of the best local dog parks.)
- There is a visible offer on the page that captures the relevant visitors (e.g. 10% of your new visitors might be interested in your “$39 AC tune-up special.”)
- You already have good brand visibility on other channels (“Hey honey, isn’t that the plumber that sponsors Johnny’s little league team?”)
Even if none of those visitors immediately turn into customers, some of them might remember you the next time they need you. Or maybe someone else will think it’s a resource worth sharing on Facebook, which will lead to a new customer. Or maybe even someone will think your resource is worth linking to from their own website, which can have a direct impact on your SEO.
Some SEO practicioners also belive that Google looks at things like how long your visitors spend on your site, how many things they click, and how many of them click on your site in search results to determine your site’s overall quality, which then factors into all your rankings.
Finally, even if your content is a flop, it still shows Google that you actually know and care about your local area. That alone can help you rank just a little bit better for local searches.