10 Tips to Optimize Your Blog for Local Search

Does blogging help SEO? The short answer: yes. Blogging can be a great tool to create helpful, relevant content for your business that helps boost its overall SEO approach. This is especially true for Local SEO, or SEO designed to boost visibility in your geographic area. 

Here’s our guide on local search blogging and our top 10 tips to maximize your blog for local SEO.

Why Blogging is Good for Local SEO Strategy

Local SEO seeks to boost your brand awareness and visibility in a specific geographic location, often through optimized Google Business Profiles and localized content of all types. The benefits of local SEO are especially apparent for many business to consumer (B2C) businesses that rely on customers in a given area for sales. 

Blogging, for small businesses, can be daunting, but we promise it’s worth it. Here’s why:

You can create hyperlocal, hyper-specific content with blogs

When you use blogging specifically for local SEO, you’ll begin creating hyperlocal content– content that’s specific to your exact area. You have the freedom to write about any local festivals or events that bigger businesses might not think are worth writing about, and you can tie in how your business will participate or how your business relates. 

  • You can also write about how your industry is related to a local attraction that people tend to search for online
  • You can write about your company’s histories and your roots in your town’s community.

Finally, you can interview customers for their success stories using your product or service, or you can write about another local business that employs your products or services (and as a bonus, featuring customers or other businesses is a surefire way to get shares on social media and the resulting traffic).

You’ll rank for more long-tail keywords specific to your area

Writing local blogs is a way to naturally target long-tail keywords. 

For local SEO tips specifically, a blog is a great way to work-in keywords like “[your industry] + [your location].” That way, when people in your area need the service or product you offer and search for it on the Internet, your website is more likely to rank in the results. Make sure to use both variations of your industry and your location. 

For example, if you’re an office supply store on the North Side of Chicago, use keyword variations like “office supplies uptown chicago” or “school supplies north side chicago” or “buy stationary 60640.

You get to write about ongoing, timely stuff

Google LOVES when you write about ongoing, timely content. 

Remember, parts of Google’s algorithm rank content based on recent events or hot topics, so you’re putting yourself at an advantage by writing about things that are happening now. Local events happening in your area may not get much national attention, but your audience likely cares about them and wants to read about them, meaning you have an opportunity to give them what they’re searching for and thus, rank higher in the SERPs. 

Google also appreciates when you have frequently updated content, which is easy to create when you have a blog.

10 Tips on How to Blog for Local Search

Now that we’ve made the case for blogging as a key part of your local SEO strategy, you’re probably eager to sit down and start writing out helpful, timely, localized content. Here are some key tips to maximize the local SEO benefits of your blog: 

1. Make a content plan

It’s important to have a strategy for your content. You can’t just create content without a direction and a plan and assume it will help you rise in the search results. 

Consider any gaps in your current content offerings, or think about what might be most relevant to the audience you’d like to convert into customers. Using keyword research is especially useful to create a content plan and show you where your strengths are (and aren’t). 

2. Prioritize helpful content

Since Google released its late 2023 Helpful Content Update, it has become increasingly important to really center your users and their needs in the blogs you’re writing. Gone are the days where simply using a ton of keywords will work. Instead, you must provide comprehensive answers to user queries in the form of blogs that are relevant to you and your expertise. 

Tip: After finishing your content, read through it with your target audience in mind. Did you answer their question right off the bat? Or did you force them to read through a bunch of content they don’t care about. Is your content through? Or would they have to go elsewhere to find the rest of what they’re looking for.

3. Keep content current

It’s like we said previously: we love keeping up with the times. Timely content ensures that you’re on top of current trends and more nimble in search rankings. 

Tip: As you maintain your content calendar, allow for audits of your existing content to flag pages that may have an annual hook, reference constantly-updating tools, or cover platforms and procedures that adapt overtime.

4. Use local keywords

This is a no brainer, but to rank for local searches, you need local keywords. As we mentioned above, those long-tail keywords that include a location are yours for the targeting to drive more local traffic.

Tip: As you create your overall content strategy, do local-minded keyword research. How are users in your area searching for things? Are there locally-based keywords that are easy for you to rank for? Look to find the sweet spot of search volume and keyword difficulty to be even more strategic- consider your own site’s DA and look at the search results for the top 10 of a given keyword: how does it compare?

5. Consider the needs of your community

If you provide a service or product, is there an opportunity to showcase other community resources relevant to your brand? 

Tip: Ask customers in a survey what they would most like to see on your site. Carefully examine reviews as well: all of these can help tell you what your community wants and needs. For example, a local pet food store might have resources about pet adoption, a list of local shelters, and a list of local groomers as well. 

6. Ensure your Google Business Profile is up to date

Google Business Profiles help populate what shows up on Maps as well as local search options: you wouldn’t want your potential customers to receive incorrect information, right? 

Tip: Pretend to be a potential customer and find your business on your phone. Is all the information a customer needs present, or do you need to update your profile?

7. Create local content

People are always interested in what’s happening near them. Why not tap into that natural interest by creating content designed to interest locals and engage them? 

Tip: Consider local holidays or festivals that you might create content around, or even content that aligns with the seasons as you experience them. Do you live in an area prone to hurricanes? How does that affect your brand, and can you create a blog that shows how in touch you are with your community? 

8. Add local images and videos

Who doesn’t love the thrill of recognition of a local landmark as they browse your page? With appropriate alt-text labeling as local, this will also reinforce to Google your location, which will help you in search. 

Tip: Go on a “photo safari” of local landmarks and establishments and add those to your blogs. The photos will be real, recognizable, and yours. If you don’t feel confident with a camera yourself, consider hiring a photographer or tagging in a coworker, friend, or employee to do some photography for you.

9. Link to local resources

Linking to other local businesses and resources will strengthen the link architecture around your specific location, and it will also signal to Google your content is very much grounded in a specific geographic location. 

Tip: Search for local resources and businesses that are relevant to your own: if you own a bookstore, link to local libraries, perhaps any upcoming author talks or events, or even local coffee shops and bars- you can help create a true user experience on your page.

10. Track your results

Anything you do on your site should absolutely be tracked. Without data to showcase change over time, there’s no way to be truly strategic about the choice you’re making. Tracking results will also show you which of your blogs are performing well and driving traffic, and which ones aren’t. 

Tip: Do a periodic audit of GA4 and make sure all pages are connected to it; try and do a monthly “reporting call” with yourself by setting aside an hour to track and record how each page of your site is doing as well as broad-strokes metrics like leads, conversions, etc. Run checks on your blogs by also searching for your targeted keywords and see how high in the search results they climb month over month. 

Conclusion

As you can see, blogging is a great way to bolster your local search strategy and maximize local traffic for your business. It’s easy to do, and there’s a wealth of topic expertise you can tap into as you create great content for your audience. What else is there to do but write? 

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