2 Simple Tricks to Convince Customers to Boost Your Local SEO For You
It seems that writing local SEO content is a boring, repetitive process that doesn’t make for interesting reading—local SEO is just talking about where you’re at, right?
Wrong! You can turn local SEO into a profitable endeavor that takes relatively little of your time by encouraging your customers to join in and contribute their own ideas and stories to your content marketing strategy. Who knew this process could be so fun!
Are you ready to learn how to get your customers creating engaging, brand-building content to help your local SEO rank higher than ever before? Let’s get started!
How Customers Can Boost Your Local SEO
There are two main ways a customer can boost your local SEO:
- Linking to your website from their locally based website.
- Helping you create content relevant to your local area, therefore boosting your visibility for any local searches.
Not everyone has customers with websites, but everyone does have customers who like to talk about themselves. It’s just human nature. Those who have websites will likely link back to the content they’ve helped you produce, which is gravy on top. Today, we’re focusing on getting your customers to help generate content for you.
If you run a physical services or goods business, it works because your customers are local! Our thinking goes like this: local content + local customers = local SEO.
Not sure what we mean? Well, the first simple trick starts with your content marketing.
Trick #1: Run Blog Post Promotions
Content marketing and blogs go hand in hand, so blog post promotions are a natural extension of that. There are a number of promotions you can hold, but here are just two of our favorites:
1. The ‘Share for an Incentive’ Landing Page
Write a landing page with a specific service or product in mind. Think about the kind of problem someone has before needing your product, and aim to provide a solution.
Pick a related reward—a coupon, or a free educational e-book on the topic, for example. Next, keep that reward locked behind a social media gate, such as requiring a Tweet for payment.
“So where’s the SEO?”, you’re asking.
The landing page itself is the starting point, but you can build an entire content-driven event here. Perhaps the coupon is only valid on weekends, or the landing page is only available for a window of time. Find a way to add urgency to the matter.
Write blog posts about the offer, and submit it to local news blogs and writers. Local content creators will be more than happy to share your perks with their readers!
For extra local gusto, partner up with a complimentary local business and offer something together.
2. Share Customer Stories
This idea is straightforward—simply collect and post your customer’s favorite stories of interacting with your business.
- Ask openly for story submissions.
- Conduct formatted interviews.
- Add competition by highlighting a story of the month, offering that customer a prize.
This easily becomes its own regular series on your blog.
With every story you publish, a customer feels appreciated, and your locally based content continues to grow—not to mention the warm ‘fuzzies’ your customers feel about your company.
How to Make It Happen
- WordPress plugins will come in handy to run those social incentives—read this tutorial to get you started. Pay with a Tweet was the first popular plugin for this, but wpLike2Get is a bit more recent and well updated.
- Next, find a great perk or incentive. It’s beneficial to partner up with a complimentary local business and offer something together!
- You can also find customers willing to share their stories. Try your most frequent customers—you may be surprised how pleased they’d be to provide you with theirs—and create a space to collect those stories. You can accept email submissions by setting up a contact form on your site using a plugin such as Contact Form 7…
- …or keep it on WordPress with a survey plugin such as Awesome Surveys:
Trick #2: Publish Video Interviews
Videos are an outside of the box way to boost your local SEO. It’s not nearly as competitive an area as written content, and builds local SEO results around your brand that ultimately lead back to your website. But where do your customers factor into this?
By getting your customers on camera, you not only increase your rank in search results, but build future customer trust all in one fell swoop with visual testimonials.
Here are a couple of ideas for your video series:
- Short customer interviews featuring the customer and their project or business.
- Get those customer stories from earlier on camera to match their written counterparts!
How to Make It Happen
- Even if you don’t have access to a nice camera, you can use your phone to record the videos.
- Mac has iMovie, and Windows has Movie Maker, or you can use YouTube’s video editor without downloading anything.
- Once your video is ready and uploaded to YouTube, optimize it for local SEO by following these steps.
- Finally, be sure to embed the video in its own post on your blog—complete with a transcription—so that search engines understand the content and can rank you for it.
Bonus Trick: Photo Contests
Want to take things a step further? Use photo contests to mix in a social marketing strategy with your local SEO efforts.
There are a couple of ways to run this:
- Ongoing. Continually encourage your customers to upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter with a brand specific hashtag (like #acmeroofing).
- Actual contests. Offer incentives and a judging panel, using a specific hashtag for submissions. Pick a reasonable prize to motivate people to join in!
Once each set time period is over, curate your favorites and publish them in their own blog post.
Don’t just throw those photos on a page and call it a day, either – reap the local SEO benefits by crafting content that hits local names, neighborhoods, and other relevant information specific to your town.
How to Make It Happen
- Find a unique hashtag for each specific photo contest.
- Optimize your images for speed, and name them related to your customer and geolocation (i.e. acmecakes-los-angeles.jpg).
- You can go all out and add even more geodata by following this tutorial, to ensure your local information is getting tracked.
- Once the images are ready, upload them to WordPress. Don’t forget to include your customer’s name and location in the title tags.
At this point, your final post of images will be loaded with local SEO information. As a plus, photos are proven to engage readers—a gallery of images is a good bet to attract links
Don’t get dragged down by the overwhelming idea of creating boring local SEO content all on your own. Get your customers in on it, too!
You can get customers to boost your local SEO in a number of ways, but the easiest are to run blog post promotions, create customer testimonial videos, and curate customer photo contests.
Have you used your customers to help you generate local SEO before? We hope to inspired you with some new ideas for the future. Tell us what ideas you’re excited to try for your own business in the comments section below!
Image credits: Paško Tomić.
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