A local business spends time searching for leads online, builds a traditional website, with information about products or services, an about us page, and a contact form to get qualified prospects to their website. A traditional website or at least a business profile (on Google Places, Yelp!, etc.) is necessary, but its limited in that there’s only so much content you can put on it, content which can generate highly qualified prospects.
What’s the solution? A blog! A blog demonstrates your expertise to your local prospects. Creating a local blog helps generate a way to interact with their community and provide a blog that their visitors will come back to again and again.
Although a local blog, by itself, won’t give you massive traffic, it will bring in a steady supply of extremely targeted prospects because the content you put on it will bring in traffic from long tail keywords.
Register Your Domain
Register a domain name that tells visitors what you are about and where you are located. For example, if you’re a cosmetic dentist in the NYC area, create CosmeticDentistNYCtips.com or CosmeticDentistNYCguide.com. Get hosting for your blog and install WordPress on it. Also, make sure that Google indexes your domain by writing a couple of articles on EzineArticles.com that link back to your blog.
Create a “buying keywords” list. When you are looking to buy something, the more detailed and specific your searches are, the more likely you are to buy something. Also, if you include keywords such as “cost of” or “cheapest” in your searches, you are at the late stages of your buying cycle. With this in mind, create a keyword list of buying keywords for your business. Create 30 of these types of keywords.
The hardiest part is to write the articles. Write 30 500-word articles on your blog with each of the keywords as the title. Also, makes sure to sprinkle in related keywords within the articles themselves. The key is for your articles to have a local aspect to them without them looking like your keyword stuffing. Your city already has newspapers, what it may not have is actual residents discussing the events.
For example, if you’re writing an article about “How to Find The Right Dentist That Takes Insurance in NYC,” mention your local competition and incorporate aspects of New York City that are unique to that city. Maybe NYC has different insurances and compare HMO and PPO. The more authentically local an article is, the more traffic you’ll receive from long tail keywords, which is where most of your blog traffic will come from.
Promote Your Blog
The first thing that you can try is to find social networking sites and web 2.0 services that allow you to filter users by region or city. Facebook is one of them, but you could also try Craigslist, for example. Why not post an ad saying that you are looking for readers, and in exchange you offer some engaging and interesting content? Other services that you could try include LinkedIn, Squidoo, HubPages and so on. Another channel that you could explore is the local Internet. That is, all the blogs, websites and online companies exclusively in your region.
Blogging remains the leading marketing content tactic businesses use to talk about their products, services and overall brand but only a few actually spend the time doing it. Exactly how much traffic you can expect to get depends on what business you’re in and the quality of your articles and keyword list. From my experience, it is fairly easy to get around 5-10 targeted visitors a day, which translates to about 3-5 leads a month.