Optimization for local listings is an important way to attract business for many companies and organizations that are jumping online these days. There are plenty of blog posts outlining how to optimize your listings in the local search engines and with your chamber of commerce, but where can you turn to further build your local presence? That answer involves a degree of strategy and thought leadership.
A confluence of pressure from the rise in mobile and digitized urban information presents a unique opportunity for businesses looking to leverage their online presence. Odds are, your town has a Wiki page (like my hometown ArborWiki for Ann Arbor, MI) or other versions of “community resource databases” that act like an online tour guide. These sites typically aim to provide site visitors with one-stop listings, calendars and the like…long story short, they want content and you should give it to them.
When linkbuilding for a client, find these local websites and supply them with the info (address, pictures, phone number) and –ding ding ding– link back to your client’s website. Links from these local sites build the coveted Domain Authority of your client’s site, while also associating the business with geographic keywords.
As your client’s market share continues to grow, remember to expand your targeted keywords. Let’s say your client’s store is located in downtown Chicago, but after your nifty local SEO work, the client wants to draw customers from surrounding suburbs. Use the strategy we talked about above and repeat it with towns and villages you wish to pull from. In this example your longtail keywords will evolve from “Chicago book store” to “Naperville book store” and so on.
There’s only so many local websites you can submit to. After awhile, you’re going to have to earn local links through some ol’ fashion Thought Leadership. Thought Leadership is the act of positioning oneself or a company as an expert on a certain topic or idea. Many public relations campaigns center on this process.
Once your client develops into a Thought Leader, links happen organically through interviews or speaking engagements, just to name a few. As an SEO specialist, it is your job to find these websites or marketing opportunities, and pitch your client as an expert.
Here are some examples:
- Pitch niche writers on Examiner.com
- Local online news magazines and news outlets
- Write quality, intelligent articles yourself on sites like Associated Content
Local SEO is about more than completing your Google Local Business Listing, so stay active and keep the creativity flowing. There’s always another link to build.