If you live or work in the same city as your target audience, you may think local search engine optimization is out of your reach. But, with the right approach, you can use inbound marketing to outrank local competitors.
When it comes to local SEO, everyone agrees: inbound marketing is awesome. But how do you make sure that you’re getting the most out of your inbound efforts? I’m glad you asked. That’s what this post is going to be about.
Be relevant, be helpful, and be consistent.
Inbound marketing is a methodology that focuses on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.
Outranking local competitors is the primary goal of inbound marketing. This can be achieved by creating a website that is relevant, helpful, and consistent.
In the context of inbound marketing, relevance means that your website provides answers to your audience’s questions. Your product or service must solve a problem for your audience. The more specific you can be about the problem you solve, the easier it will be for people to find you when they’re searching for information about their problem.
Taking Touché Studio for an example, we were able to identify a specific group of people (small business owners) who have a specific problem (they want to grow their business), and we were able to provide an answer that helped them with their problem (inbound marketing).
Research the people you want to attract.
When people come to me for advice on how to market their small businesses, I always begin with the same question: Who are you trying to reach?
The reason I ask this is not because I want to know who your target audience is. Instead, I want to know who you think your target audience is.
My experience tells me that most small-business owners will give me a very general demographic profile of their ideal customer.
But in order to make your inbound marketing efforts as effective as possible, you need to create a detailed buyer persona — a fictional representation of your ideal customer — that reflects the specific types of people whom you’re trying to attract as customers.
If you have a good understanding of your target audience, you can ensure that your website is optimized for the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You’ll also be able to create content that appeals directly to them.
Consider your website as a tool to serve them better.
Inbound marketing is all about building relationships with consumers. But, to be frank, it’s not always obvious how that plays out in real life.
How can a small business owner use inbound marketing to engage with customers in their area? Especially when they compete with other local businesses?
The answer is: by putting your website to work for you.
Our clients have seen great results using their websites to attract new leads and grow sales.
A good website is like a great employee that works for you 24/7, 365 days a year. It can help your business get more leads, convert more of them into customers and nurture them along their journey from customer to brand advocate.
However, most businesses don’t focus enough time on their web presence. They might even have a “set it and forget it” mentality about their site. This is a mistake: Your website is an important tool for your company’s success, and should be treated as such.
Use strong anchor text in your optimized blog posts and don’t forget to link internally first.
Use strong anchor text in your optimized blog posts and don’t forget to link internally first. This is particularly important when it comes to using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Linking to internal pages from external platforms helps search engines index those pages and improve their rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
When you start blogging for your business, you need to think about how to do so in a way that makes people want to read your post and also helps your business.
The first thing to do is to make sure you’re using optimized, or strong, anchor text. This means that anytime you link out to another site or blog, you use the exact keyword phrase you want search engines to associate with that site.
For example, if I wanted a link from this blog post to rank for the phrase “anchor text,” then I would hyperlink the words “anchor text” (instead of simply “click here”). The words “anchor text” make up the anchor text that I want associated with my site in this case.
It’s important not to use the same anchor text all the time, either. It’s good practice to vary your anchor text slightly when linking internally as well.
Don’t over-optimize… they say…
So, if you’re trying to rank for something specific in Google, you want to make sure that your content is relevant to what someone would search for. That’s why we often hear the advice “don’t over-optimize your website” or “don’t over-optimize your content.” This probably makes sense when you’re talking about keyword stuffing (writing a bunch of irrelevant keywords into an article or blog post), but it doesn’t hold true for strategic keyword research and targeting.
Here’s the truth: If people are searching for something and you can help them, you should show up. They’re looking for answers—and chances are, if they’re online, they’ve already attempted to find those answers and haven’t found them yet.
Your job is to be there when they finally give up and type their questions into Google. If you can answer those questions for them, then you’re providing value and deserve to rank well in Google. As long as your content is relevant both to users and the search query itself, there’s no such thing as over-optimization. Take advantage of that!
Test & Experiment. Experiment & Test some more.
Experiment & Test. Experiment & Test some more when working on inbound marketing. There is no “one-plan fits all” when it comes to digital marketing. Get creative and try new approaches that are likely to work well for your business.
Experiment with different types of content and see what works best for your business. Try different approaches and see what works best for your business. Focus on one strategy at a time, then move onto the next one.
When A/B testing, keep a close eye on the results, but don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged by them. Look for trends or shifts in behavior or preferences, but don’t obsess about every little detail and change. Consistency is key to long-term growth and success of your online presence.
Inbound marketing is a way to build connections with customers by increasing awareness of your business and what you have to offer in the most natural and effective way possible. It includes strategies like content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and more. Of course, there is much more to it than that. But these are some of the things we use to get our messages across.
An effective marketing strategy not only helps you grow your brand as a local business, but also helps forge lasting relationships between your customers and your business. It’s an investment, sure, but in the end it will pay for itself many times over. So if you’re interested in better connecting with your local customers, it’s definitely worth considering inbound marketing.