“Content is King” – Bill Gates 1996.
It’s a saying almost as old as the world wide web itself. Bill Gates predicted in a 1996 essay that the real money to be made online would be made in content, specifically in supplying information to the masses–and no company would be too small to participate, he said. Gates even predicted that audio and video content would be prevalent in the years to come. Decades later, you can’t argue that he was anything but bang on.
In the world of local SEO, content offers your enterprise brand its greatest opportunities for increasing local visibility, engaging consumers in critical moments and driving traffic to all of your locations. Intentional content that benefits the user experience (not just irrelevant filler content) is the actual true king of a positive SEO experience.
We recently had the opportunity to put a specific type of content to the test, and the results may surprise you. In this post, we’ll take a look at the impact of custom hyperlocal content for your locator landing pages. It may be tempting to apply templated content across your hundreds or thousands of location pages, but the gains to be made by using custom content may change your mind. Let’s have a look.
Why Use Hyperlocal Content on Your Local Landing Pages?
A well-designed locator does so much more than simply respond once customers are already looking for your brand’s location by letting them pick one nearby. Ideally, your brand’s locator aids in discovery, engagement and conversion, as well, by ranking on relevant local terms and providing content to help consumers make a decision.
In order to do so, your locator needs to have all necessary SEO elements, including optimized internal linking, fast download speeds, and detailed structured data (schema). You need managed, accurate local listings with review management, along with full Google feature utilization (Google posts, custom descriptions, etc.).
With this solid SEO foundation in place, many brands find that their locations achieve strong rankings. However, in highly competitive target markets, this may not be enough.
Custom hyperlocal content for each location landing page, rather than a short block of templated content, can push your local strategy to the next level.
What Are the Benefits of Custom Local Content?
Google isn’t going to punish you for having templated content. They know big brands might not have time to write custom content for hundreds or thousands of locations. However, although it’s unlikely that your locator will be penalized for duplicate content, having templated copy isn’t helping your locations out, either.
Hiring copywriters to create hyperlocal content has major SEO benefits. Essentially, you’re giving the search engines highly relevant, quality local content to consider for local queries. Search engines want to provide their searchers the best possible answer for their stated need, and it’s your job to demonstrate how your location’s page fits the bill.
Hyperlocal content improves your local landing page experience and conversion, as well. Consumers want to be informed and engaged in each interaction they have with your brand. You can extend that to the location level by including custom written content, interior and exterior photos, integrated reviews and more on your local pages.
Another benefit of hyperlocal content is that it can increase visibility and rankings for long-tail keyword queries. Long-tail keyword phrases make up the bulk of all the total volume of all searches conducted online, in fact it is estimated that 85% or more of all search queries done have three or more words. Voice search queries also tend to be more long-tail as well. It is estimated that 50% of all search queries will be done by voice in 2020. Adding hyperlocal content is an effective strategy to optimize for voice search.
Multi-Location Brand Custom Local Landing Page Content in Action
In this case study, a major pharmacy retailer sought a comprehensive local SEO strategy to increase organic and local visibility across its thousands of locations. The brand had a solid foundation of optimized landing pages and accurate local listings, but needed an extra push to gain visibility in underperforming markets–particularly in lucrative but extremely competitive New York City.
Rio SEO first deployed our enhanced Local Competitor Reporting, giving the pharmacy complete visibility into how its locations stacked up against competitors. With this insight, we facilitated and executed the development of top quality, optimized hyperlocal content for 60 of the brand’s underperforming pharmacy locations in New York City. The objective was to provide each location unique, locally relevant content to send powerful SEO keyword ranking signals to the search engines, especially on local queries (both high search volume head terms and long tail keyword terms).
These initial locations served as the brand’s hyperlocal content pilot market over a 6-month period. Success metrics were based on the volume of impressions and traffic driven from search.
Rio SEO then used Local Reporting to track the impressions and click performance of the pilot location pages. Custom local content on these pages helped the brand achieve an 80% increase in clicks across locations.
The brand also saw a staggering 200% increase in search impressions, increasing from 3.34 million in Q2 2017 to 10.21 million in Q2 2018.
We tracked changes in primary (head term) keyword rankings from December 2017 to June 2018, for the client as well as its top three competitors in the NYC market. Here are the starting metrics:
In just six months, the pharmacy’s 60 pilot test NYC locations improved 1.9 ranking positions on average, from 3.2 to 1.3 in Google search.
Given that the average organic click-through rate drops from 30% in the first position to 10% in the third, this achievement resulted in substantially greater visibility and more local search traffic for each location.
Here’s their placement after the test period:
Building on the success of that initial test, we’ve now published custom hyperlocal content on 800 of the brand’s location pages. Hyperlocal custom content is a win win scenario for the brand, user experience and search relevancy.
Want to improve your local landing page’s visibility and rankings? Get on board with hyperlocal custom content. Contact us to speak with one of our local search experts.