How to Maximize Your Business’ Local SEO by Hiring a Local Expert
Many local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips start and end with setting up a Google My Business account, and maybe even blogging about the neighborhood on occasion. However, we’ve realized the missing piece in most local SEO advice: proactive community participation.
Hiring a local expert can help you stay up to date with what matters to your community, and also enables you to get involved in a meaningful way. A local expert will not only strengthen your SEO, but will also help improve your brand. This is because they’re in a unique position to create new opportunities that drive in-person sales with timely, thoughtful promotions.
In this post, we’ll show you why and how to choose a local expert, and how they can begin creating content to boost your business’ local SEO. Let’s get started!
- Being proactive in the community is the strongest game plan for building up your local SEO.
- A local expert helps to create authentic, relevant community content.
- Participating in local events builds a natural, ongoing local content strategy that drives awareness and sales.
The Benefits of Hiring a Local Expert
The first step is to understand what makes hiring a local expert so beneficial. Having them on your team puts a finger on the pulse of your neighborhood and city. This helps you build dependable, relevant content for your marketing strategy that will matter to the community.
Simply put, a local expert can help you stay aware of any number of different local factors, while you concentrate on running your business. For example:
- The political climate and any relevant hot topics.
- Events or local news stories.
- Significant landmarks.
- Local history and heroes.
Putting these on the back burner will lead to disingenuous local content, which people will detect and likely be turned off by. Ultimately, authenticity leads to higher sales because:
- Customers can tell when you’re being genuine.
- Conversations make conversions.
- You come across a lot less like a sales person.
Finally, hiring a local expert helps you to build a sincere conversation with readers through your local content marketing.
The Qualities to Look For in a Local Expert
Now that you’re on board with why to hire a local expert, it’s time to figure out who they should be. Depending on your marketing budget, you may be looking at hiring a new person, or promoting someone from with your business.
No matter where you hire from, it’s important that your local expert checks out for these key factors:
- They’re an actual local. Use your best judgement to select a longtime resident.
- They care about the city. It’s better if they tend to vote on local matters, be naturally in tune with events in the area, and have strong neighborly connections.
- They have strong communication skills. This is important as they’ll be doing a lot of writing for your content marketing plan!
- They understand basic SEO. Knowing what their end goal is will help them understand and execute their job.
- They’re familiar and comfortable with social media. They’ll want to feel confident experimenting with different types of media across the various platforms.
How to Hire a Local Expert
Every business works a little differently, but here’s our best advice on making this position work for you:
- Start small, and evaluate the position for marketing effectiveness as it grows.
- Take it seriously. The entire point is to create genuinely good content. If you gloss over that part, the resulting marketing won’t work as intended.
However, this isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ kind of job. Here are a few ways you can implement this position within your business:
- Spread the responsibility between multiple employees, creating a committee of sorts.
- Become the local expert yourself.
- Advertise the position to candidates using local job listings or on sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, or Craigslist.
Once the position is in place, you can use SEO monitoring tools to track the effectiveness of your expert’s work. After all, using an automated tool is much easier than trying to maintain a handful of abstract spreadsheets.
How to Maximize Your Business’ Local SEO With a Local Expert
Finally, it’s time to put your local expert to use. They’ll be in charge of directing, overseeing, and writing your local content, and you can use this getting started guide to help get your expert up to speed before moving forward.
An Introduction to General Local SEO Strategy
We’ve talked about many different strategies for building your local SEO over the years. To review, a few techniques your expert can oversee are:
- Encouraging customers to contribute.
- Featuring existing customers.
- Targeting nearby neighborhoods.
- Keeping track of Google My Business listings.
However, right now we’d like to focus on a new strategy—targeting local events—and having a dedicated local expert on your team makes this a powerful approach.
How to Drive Local SEO Content With Local Events
If you want to get serious about local SEO, you’ll want to engage with the community through local events. This uses the ‘Barnacle SEO’ method to create honest, pertinent content people feel connected with—a method whereby you latch onto topics that already have hype to drive awareness to your own brand and content.
Are you ready for the magic? Here is our step by step guide for using local events to drive your local SEO strategy:
- Create a spreadsheet to track all of the events celebrated within your community. This ranges from local-specific to nationally recognized holidays. Look for special events on your city’s official website, or community managed sites such as Craigslist and Meetup.
- Brainstorm ways your business can participate in each one. Assign relevant content for before, during, and after the events.
- Business bonus: Mark down what promotions align with each event for your business. For example, a summer promotion might be “Get a free, ice cold lemonade with your purchase!”
- Send your local expert to attend in person at these events.
Your expert will be in charge of creating a variety of content before, during, and after events. This material can be used for posts, photos, and video across your blog, and any news sites you submit your event participation to.
Of course, don’t forget to follow other local businesses and users on social media to drive awareness and links back to your website.
Getting your business on Google Maps, and dropping local names into your blog’s content, is a solid foundation for local SEO. However, that isn’t always enough—the strongest move is to get actively involved with your community, and you can hire a local expert to help you.
To recap, here are the key steps you need to take:
- Hire someone who is a true local and cares about their community.
- Get them up to speed on your goals with local SEO.
- Have them take part in (and write about) local events.
Have you ever considered hiring a local expert to handle proactive community engagement for SEO? Ask us your questions about this strategy in the comments section below!
Solomon Thimothy is the Co-founder of Clickx, a Chicago-based white label digital marketing platform. He has been in the agency space for over a decade and has helped 100s of entrepreneurs build 7 and 8 figure agencies. He helps agency owners on a 1:1 basis to scale sales and fulfillment. Follow him on twitter @sthimothy