Blogging is great, but does local blogging also work?
If you’re a small/local business owner, that’s a smart question to ask if you’re thinking about using a local blog as a marketing tool.
Note: I’m using the term “local blog” to refer to a blog where the main focus is local content. Real estate agents, travel- and tourism-related businesses, event-based businesses and more might be candidates to have a heavily “local” company blog. Other local/small businesses may have a company blog where local content is a smaller focus.
There are pros and cons to using a heavy local content focus; I’ll address the cons in a future post. But when it’s done right and is a good match with the type of business you have, local blogging can be a great marketing tool. Consider these reasons why local blogging can work for some small businesses:
The Growing Interest in Local “Stuff” Online
My wife and I ran four local blogs for a couple years, and one thing we learned is that people search for everything on the web. I was constantly amazed at the ultra-long tail queries that brought traffic to our blogs. People are looking for local content more and more, and that’s one reason local blogging works.
The Decline of Traditional Media
TV stations are cutting newscasts and cutting staff. Newspapers are losing subscribers, shutting down altogether, or cutting back from daily print delivery to three days or five days a week. That means less local content. This opens up an even bigger opportunity for local bloggers to step in and fill that void as a provider of local news and information.
Local Web Sites are Often Lacking
This may be mostly a small town blogger thing, but local business, government, and organization web sites are often in pretty bad shape where SEO is concerned. In our area, it was often easy to pick a business or event that we wanted to rank for, write about them on our local blogs, and be at or near the top of the search results for those names/terms. Likewise, you can take information that’s buried in a city web site somewhere, rewrite it and get traffic when local people search for that information.
Search Engines Love a Good Blog
Companies that blog successfully often see an increase in search traffic. A good blog has frequently updated content. It correctly uses categories and tags to create topical associations; i.e., a local blog’s categories might be cityname News, cityname Business, cityname Events, and so forth — that’s a very SEO-friendly structure. A good blog links out regularly and receives inbound links regularly. These are some reasons why search engines love blogs.
More people looking online for local information. Traditional media isn’t providing it. Local web sites aren’t optimized for online visibility. Good blogs are SEO machines.
Add these four ideas together and you have an opportunity. Local blogging, if it’s done right and is done by the right kind of local business, really does work.
Comments are wide open, as always.
(This is an updated version of an article that previously ran on Hyperlocal Blogger.)
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)