By Jen Breeding

person typing on laptop
Photo by Sergey Zolkin 

Yes, Content Marketing is a Key Strategy for Local Service Businesses

In this article, you’ll learn why content is essential to local service businesses and 4 steps you can take immediately to improve your local online visibility:

  1. Understanding User Intent
  2. Understanding Your Customer’s Persona
  3. Keyword Research for 2020
  4. Optimizing for Rich Snippets Using Structured Data

You Only Have 15 Seconds When a User Lands on Your Website

If you haven’t generated interest in 15 seconds, then you probably aren’t going to. Not only that, in 2020, over 50% of mobile searches are zero click, meaning the user query is satisfied directly in the SERPs without clicking on anything. No click.

When we “search up” (what kids under 10 are saying instead of “Google it” and I personally like it), we need an answer, and we (I) need it now, or as I mentioned, up to 15 seconds with more patient users.

If your business fulfills your customer’s query, with the right content, in the least amount of time, and with the least amount of effort (UX), you likely will see remarkable improvements such as:

  • Higher Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
  • More conversions/customers
  • Lower bounce rates
  • Building trust and authority

4 Steps for Creating Local, User-Focused Content

1. Determine User Intent

Determine your user’s intent by considering your customer’s search intentions and queries in your industry.

User search queries have different intents, for example:

  • Are they looking for a service?
  • An item to purchase?
  • Educational or informational content?
  • How to do something?

Create content that will answer those questions, as it applies to your business. Try “searching up” your main service/product/brand + city, state, and take a look at your competitors showing up in SERPs for the same query. Are they doing anything you aren’t?

Investing time in this kind of research will help inform your content creation and strategy.

2. Understand Your Customers’ Personas

The content on your site should be centered around your targeted audience. But who are they? Personas are fictional characters, which you create based research in order to represent the different user types that might use your service, product, site, or brand.

Creating personas will give you a better understanding of your users’ needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals. 

Improve User Engagement with Various Types of Content Based on Your Customer Personas

By learning more about your user personas and sticking with the “best-for-user” mentality, you’ll satisfy both your target customer base and Google’s Quality Rater’s Guidelines. Additionally, you’ll build trust and a reputation of expertise within your industry, off and online, as well as your in your community.

Tip: Consider including a variety of content on your webpages, such as:

  • Video
  • Images
  • Customer Testimonials
  • Quizzes 
  • Data visualizations

3. Keyword Research for 2020

SEO in 2020 has changed since the days when keywords were everything. However, keyword research is still an important part of SEO because it provides insight into search terms used the most (keyword volume) to find your product, service, or business online.

Tip: We like to use real Google searches and SERPs for content and competitor related topic ideas.

Google search that says Searches related to how to write a blog
Use Google SERPs “Searches Related to…
  1. Search for your main product, service, topic (keyword)
  2. Note the list of “Searches related to…” at the bottom of the SERP. These are Google’s real user-based data suggestions about what other users search for related to your search/topic (keyword)
  3. Use the information in the “People Also Ask” section of the SERPs
  4. Consider the questions asked and if you could answer the same questions but improve on the answer – review the article Google has chosen as the featured answer.
  5. Consider incorporating some of the “People Also Ask” questions into an FAQ landing page on your website
People also ask section from Google search
Google SERPs “People also Ask”

When creating blogs, articles, and videos, focus on informational and educational content that is meaningfully related to your user and potential/current customers. Your content should balance self-promotional content with supporting educational, useful, and industry-specific content.

Tip: Write Articles for the Web Using Inverted Pyramid Style

pyramids
Photo by Steffen Gundermann on Unsplash

Using an inverted pyramid style gives a quick overview of the article at the top of the page, informing users if the article, blog, or landing page will provide the information they’re seeking in their search query. Keep those 15 seconds in mind.

4. Optimize Content for Rich Snippets Using Structured Data

Rich Snippets sometimes called “Rich Results,” are Google search results with additional data displayed. This extra data is usually pulled from structured data found in a page’s HTML. It’s required in order to be eligible for rich results.

Schema Markup is a type of Structured Data and feeds the information appearing in Google’s rich snippets, Knowledge Panel, Featured Snippets, “People Also Ask” questions, in-SERP Videos, and more.

According to Moz, Google continues to provide more and more organic visibility beyond the 10 organic search results.

Tip: Schema Markup can be added to many different types of content including:

  1.  Articles/blogs
  2.  Education
  3.  Entertainment/media/news
  4.  Business (local business)
  5.  Events
  6.  Products
  7.  Services
  8.  Images
  9.  Video
  10.  FAQs

User Experience and User Intent is the New SEO

SEO changes quickly over the years, over the months, and sometimes even daily. In 2020, whatever is good for your user, is going to be good for your SEO and online visibility.

SEO is no longer optimizing for search engines; it’s optimizing for users. And one of the strategies is creating useful, local content focused on topics that resonate with your target customer.

Are you in a competitive service business industry in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex? If you’ve found this article, and you would like to:

  • Gain more online visibility for your local business
  • Increase online conversions to customers within your industry 
  • Improve rankings and traffic to your website

If so, please don’t hesitate each out and contact us today.

Learn more about our Local SEO services here. We can help. And we have proof.