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How Local Content is Helping SMBs Keep Big Brands at Bay

July 06, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By ronell-smith

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Posted by ronell-smith

Darren Shaw of Whitespark speaking at Mozcon Local

The gentleman sitting across the table from me at a crowded lunch spot has what he sees as a workable business idea for a local business, a sound plan to get it off the ground, enough funds to weather the ups and downs of the current business climate in his area, and the determination to stick around long enough to be successful.

However, what he doesn’t have are the answers to three questions pertaining to content marketing for his small business:

  • “What should I write about?”
  • “How do I [rank higher in local SERPs?]”
  • “Do I need to use social media? Will it help my brand?”

My heart breaks a little as he looks down to pick at his salad. Not because I don’t like questions, or because the questions are difficult to answer. They aren’t.

In fact, the answer I gave comes from a slogan i learned of in college and have used repeatedly when attempting to get small brands to see the shortest path to success: “Think globally, act locally.”

The SERPs won’t save you

Every brand wants to be No. 1 in the SERPs, or so they think.

What they really want, however, is to be the No. 1 most-chosen brand.

What ultimately matters in the earliest stages of your relationship with prospects is that they see you in the SERPs, recognize your brand for its quality of service and/or excellent products(s), and reward you with a click.

Far too often, however, local brands think too broadly (often as a result of poor keyword selection) and attempt to rank for terms and/or categories they’ll never be able to consistently rank for. All the while, they ignore low-hanging fruit, such as ensuring their Google My Places is up-to-date, their citations are accurate, and prioritizing reviews on third-party sites.

Worse still, even brands that do commit to these efforts too often ignore creating local-specific pages, which can be a tremendous asset for capturing traffic, leads, and driving conversions for local brands.

Individually, not capitalizing on these areas is bad for brand health; collectively, they amount to leaving the door open to the competition.

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Image source

And if you’re a small or midsize business (SMB) owner, your focus must be on closing doors to the competition. To do that you’ll need to use your size and the knowledge of your local service area to your advantage.

As I’m wont to say, it’s simple, but it won’t be easy.

Local SEO to the rescue

A few months, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to work with Local SEO expert Mary Bowling as she prepared for Mozcon Local. During a phone conversation, I shared with her my frustration at seeing local brands get pwned by big brands, in large part because the former has all but given up on the quest to be competitive, even when they have wood to throw on the fire.

She agreed that there some holes SMBs are refusing to expose.

“Big brands do have the resources to dominate in local search, …read more

Source:: Moz Blog

      

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