How to Turn Your Website Into a 24/7 Sales Machine!

How to Turn Your Website Into a 24/7 Sales Machine!

Having a great-looking website that represents your company is enough to keep your business healthy and growing – right?

If only it were that simple. The sad truth is that most local businesses aren’t doing everything they can to generate leads online. And, it all starts with their websites, which – let’s face it – aren’t getting the job done.

In fact, I’ll take it a step further. If you’re not opening your inbox to find new leads from your website every day, you might as well not have a website.

The good news is, you can change that. Your website might be basic or have all the bells and whistles. It might be years old or freshly designed. No matter what it looks like, you can make it better and turn it into a 24-hour marketing machine.

I’m not going to bore you with the same old advice you’ve heard a million times. You know that your site needs great content and a killer call to action. Instead, let’s dig into some of the next-level stuff you can do to kick your website’s lead-generating power into high gear.

Do a Complete Website Audit for SEO and User Experience

Audits. Nobody likes them, but they’re necessary if you want to fine-tune your website and get more leads than you are now.

A website audit should look at two things. The first thing is SEO. You want to make sure that:

  1. Each page on your site is optimized for a local keyword
  2. You’ve completed every tag and you’re using your keywords in them
  3. You’ve written a killer meta description for every page
  4. Your site is free of broken links and spammy links
  5. You’ve got a good system of internal links

The second element of your audit should focus on the user experience. You may even want to hire testers to pinpoint roadblocks on your site. If your pages take too long to load or your site is difficult to understand, user testing can help you get to the bottom of it. You can find a list of effective usability tools here, including some that will allow you to create heat maps of your site even mimic the eye movements of users.

Use Responsive Content 

For many local businesses, creating one-size-fits-all content is the goal. It’s certainly easier to do that than to work on unique content based on the user’s preferences and needs. But I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s also holding you back in terms of conversions.

You have two basic options when it comes to tailoring your content to a visitor’s interests:

  1. Create separate landing pages for each product or service you provide and then craft a marketing campaign around them; or
  2. Have visitors to your home page check boxes to identify their interests and then display responsive content tailored to their selections.

The first method is the old-school way of marketing. The second is something that’s become increasingly popular.

Here’s a simple example of responsive content. This martial arts school prompts visitors to choose a program on the home page. Once they do, they get a page of content where they can choose “pain points” to see the benefits of the program.

Once they finish choosing, the page would display information related to their choices, including benefits and frequently asked questions like this:

Writing this type of content doesn’t take any more time than it would take to write individual pages of content. It ensures that every visitor to your site feels that they matter. You can even offer lead magnets that are tailored to each product if you choose.

Live Updates and Chat

What happens when someone visits your website outside of your regular business hours? If the answer is that visitors are greeted with a static site that does nothing to acknowledge their presence, then it might be time for an update.

Interactive and live content can help you engage new visitors to your site and give the impression that you’re there to serve them even if you’re at home with your family. There are two simple changes you can make that will engage visitors at any time of day.

The first is by providing live updates. That means displaying a notification any time someone new fills out your contact form or buys your product. This is something we’ve been seeing on some sales pages as well as on website home pages.

To see an example, check out the website for Inspire Martial Arts in Burbank, CA. They display a notification that reads, “Jane from Burbank requested information about our classes.” If your site gets a decent amount of traffic, these notifications will capture visitors’ attention and create a sense of urgency.

The second option is live chat. You’ve probably noticed live chat windows popping up on some of the websites you visit. They often have a greeting, something like “Hi! How can we help you?”

The technology behind this type of live chat is actually less complicated (and less expensive) than you might think. It’s basically a chatbot that can be programmed with simple answers to your most commonly asked questions. If you’ve got an online store, your chatbot can even make product suggestions.

It might surprise you to learn that there are programs that will allow you to design your own chatbot. Of course, you can pay a programmer – and you may need to if you want your bot to engage in complex interactions. But if all you want is a simple bot to give the impression that you’re available at all times, you can check out this article for more information on DIY options.

FAQs and Self Service

If it’s been a long time since you updated your FAQs, then reviewing them and adding some updated information with internal links to your lead forms and sales pages can go a long way toward helping your website generate leads.

Not sure which questions to answer? Try checking your social media pages for ideas. Your followers probably ask questions and if several people ask the same question, it should be part of your FAQ.

A related issue is self-service options. The more information you provide on your site, the more likely it is that visitors will want to buy from you. Providing articles, links, infographics, and other information can help you keep visitors engaged and increase your conversions.


There’s no reason your website shouldn’t be generating leads around the clock. In addition to the usual advice about your content, images, design, and call to action, the four areas we’ve outlined here can help you engage visitors, get more leads, and ultimately, close more sales.

Why Maintaining Your Website is a Must

Why Maintaining Your Website is a Must

As a business owner, you’ve got to wear many hats in the course of a day. You might be a salesperson one minute and a human resources manager the next. It’s a lot to do.

And, when it comes to add items to your to-do list, you might do everything you can to minimize what you take on. Your time’s limited – and valuable – and there are only so many hours in a day.

Website maintenance is the perfect example. It might seem unnecessary – and you might wonder if it’s something you can ignore.

Hot tip: It’s not. In fact, website maintenance is essential to everything from SEO to user engagement – and those things both lead directly to your bottom line. Here’s why.

Google and Website Maintenance

Let’s start with something that’s a huge priority for most business owners: earning (and keeping) a high Google rank for your primary keywords.

Let’s start with something that’s a huge priority for most business owners: earning (and keeping) a high Google rank for your primary keywords.

As you know, Google doesn’t make its search algorithm public. However, we do no some things about it. For example, we know that:

  1. Google prioritizes fresh content
  2. Websites with a high bounce rate don’t rank as high as websites with a low bounce rate
  3. Google cares about security and will sometimes penalize sites that aren’t secure

Put these three things together and it’s pretty clear that failing to maintain your website can affect your search rank.

WordPress and Website Maintenance

If you used WordPress to build your site, then you need to do routine maintenance to ensure that your theme, security, and plugins are all up-to-date.

In fact, that’s true of any Content Management System (CMS) websites, including Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and others.

A failure to do regular (at least monthly) updates on your website can lead to a host of problems, including slow loading times, security breaches, and even a drop in your page rank with Google.

Most updates don’t take long and considering the negative impact they can have on your website, they’re worth doing regularly.

Website Maintenance and the User Experience

What does website maintenance have to do with the way users experience your website? The short answer is: quite a lot.

You’ve probably had the experience of clicking on a link from Google’s SERP and landing on a page that’s slow to load. You may have hit the back button to return to the list of search results and try another site. In other words, you bounced – and that means that, as a user, you had a negative experience with that site.

A user’s experience on your website can also be affected by these things:

  1. Stale or outdated content
  2. Broken internal or external links
  3. A confusing menu or a lack of intuitive navigation (such as having your logo be a hotlink back to your home page)
  4. Page not found (404) errors
  5. Spelling and grammar mistakes

If it’s been a long time since you’ve updated your web content or checked your links, this might be a good time to do an audit of your site, identify potential problems, and fix them.

Website Maintenance and Security 

We’ve already covered several reasons that website maintenance should be a priority, but there’s one more – and it’s hugely important.

The security of your website – that means everything from your data to your users’ privacy to your server – depends upon regular website maintenance.

Let’s use WordPress as an example. If you have a WordPress site, then you’re probably using multiple plugins, whether they’re free or premium, to give your site the features you want. Any plugin has the potential to give hackers access to your site if it’s not properly maintained.

It’s your responsibility to install any updates and patches as soon as they become available. You’ve also got to ensure that your code is up-to-date and that you’ve done things like update your site to HTTPS to protect and encrypt your data.

What You Can Do Right Now to Maintain Your Website 

You know why website maintenance should be a priority, but what can you do about it right now? Here are some quick suggestions.

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and check for updates to your WP theme and any plugins on your site. Install them immediately and then create a schedule to remind yourself to log in at least once a month to take care of updates.
  2. Do a quick audit of your site. Check for:

    a. Broken internal and external links
    b. Outdated or stale content
    c. Slow loading times
    d. Spelling and grammatical errors

  3. Fix any of the errors you identified in your audit. Internal links you can fix yourself. If an external link isn’t working, you should either remove it or find a link to replace it. If spelling and grammar aren’t your strong suit, hire a proofreader or editor to review your content for you.
  4. Update your content. Your basic content (like your homepage and About Us page) don’t need to be updated regularly, but it can’t hurt to make a few tweaks to get Google to crawl and re-index your page.
  5. Find a way to post fresh content at least once a month. Whether you add a blog to your site, write a press release, or add a news page that you can easily update, do something to ensure that you’re posting new content regularly.
  6. Backup your website to ensure you can recover your data in the event that something happens. Specifically, you should back up:

    a. Your website’s code, including Javascript, HTML, CSS, PHP code, themes, plugins, and other files. Plan a backup anytime you change or update your site, as well as any time your CMS releases an update.
    b.Your content, including audio files, images, text, and videos. Backup at least once a quarter – but, if you have a blog, you may want to create a new backup every time you post something new.

  7. Create a comprehensive web maintenance schedule to remind yourself of what you need to do and when you need to do it.

It might seem like a lot to do, but once you’ve done your initial maintenance, it should only take you a short amount of time to stay on top of things.

Maintaining Your Website is a Must…

Website maintenance might not be glamorous, but it can spell the difference between building a meaningful web presence and having your website fall off the map. Dedicating just a little time to it each month will ensure that users to your site have a great experience – and that your data is safe.

15 Great Ideas for Promoting Your Content to Drive Leads

15 Great Ideas for Promoting Your Content to Drive Leads

Did you know that content marketing earns an average of three times more leads than paid searches?  And more than 20 billion new blog posts were published on WordPress in 2019?  That’s a huge number and it’s one that illustrates the ongoing importance of content in marketing.

That said, your content isn’t going to do you any good if nobody sees it or interacts with it. Bummer, right?

The key to driving engagement and using your content to generate leads is knowing how to promote your content. Promotion is what will ensure that people see the great content you’re creating and understand how your company and products can help them.

So, without further ado, here are some of the best ideas I know to promote your content, find your target audience, and kick-start your lead gen.

Use Your Social Media Cover Photo to Promote Content

Do you have an offer you want to promote on an ongoing basis? One easy way to get more traffic is to incorporate your offer into your cover photo on Facebook. You can hotlink the photo to your landing page and change it periodically as needed.

Create a Hashtag to Promote Your Content

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all allow users to employ hashtags to categorize the content they post. Best of all, anybody who wants to can create a new hashtag and use it. The next time you have content to promote, try creating a custom hashtag to use with it. You’ll get the best results if you use common words at the start of your hashtag because more people will see it when they search.

Include Multiple Links to Your Offer on Your Website

A mistake I see a lot of businesses making is only promoting their content in one place. There’s no reason you can’t have multiple links to your most important content on multiple pages of your website. You can either incorporate them into your text or put them in a box beside other content.

Put a CTA for Your Offer on Your Home Page

Your home page is the first thing most people who search for your company online will see. For that reason, you should always have a call to action for your most important content on your home page – preferably above the fold.

Blog About a Piece of Content Multiple Times

When you’ve spent your valuable time creating a lead magnet, it makes sense to promote it as much as possible. One way to do it is to blog about related topics from various angles. End each related blog post with a call to action leading back to your content.

Create a Content Library on Your Website

If you’ve created multiple pieces of evergreen content, why not put a content library on your website? A content library makes it easy for visitors to your site to find your most valuable content. You can create a system where visitors must provide their email address to access the content. Then, you’ll have a list of leads you can turn into paying customers!

Create a Trigger-Based CTA

Static calls to action can be effective, but it’s even more effective to display a CTA based on behavior. A trigger CTA can pop up when a visitor has been on your page more than five minutes or when they’ve read more than 50% of your content – or when they’re about to leave your page without opting in!

Encourage Social Sharing 

One of the easiest ways to get your content in front of more people is to encourage visitors to share it on social media. Adding share buttons and embedded Tweets is easy – both can be done with a free plug-in – and your site’s visitors will do the rest.

Make a Sales Video 

Landing pages with video convert at a higher rate than pages without video. You don’t need to spend a lot to create a memorable sales video which you can post on your landing page. On a related note, you can also post excerpts on YouTube and social media with a link to your content landing page.

Create YouTube Pre-Roll Ads

You know the video ads that appear before most YouTube videos? You can create a simple ad and pay to have it appear before videos that are related to the keywords you choose.

Link Emails to Your Content

Do your emails have a signature at the bottom? If so, you can simply update yours to include a link to the content offer you want to promote. If you don’t have a signature, you can add one with any email provider you use and include the link in it.

Email Your Database

Another quick and easy way to let your existing subscribers know about your content is to email them with a link to your landing page. You can use the email to encourage them to download the offer and share it with their friends.

Boost a Facebook Post

You probably already know you can post your content offer on Facebook. Since Facebook’s algorithm can make it difficult for your followers to see it, you can use part of your marketing budget to boost the post and get it in front of a bigger audience. (Tip: Create a lookalike audience to reach people who might not otherwise see your content.)

Partner with Other Businesses

A lot of times, local businesses share customers in common. If you know other business owners in your area, why not partner up to share one another’s content? Just make sure to put the agreement in writing, so that all parties understand their responsibilities and commitments.

Get Industry Influencers to Link to Your Content

When you hear about influencer marketing, it almost always has to do with big celebrities. However, someone in your industry or niche with a decent social media following can do your business a lot of good by mentioning your content. Seek out influencers and work out a deal to have them promote your content to their followers.

The point? Promoting your content and generating leads doesn’t need to be difficult and it doesn’t need to cost you much money, either. The ideas here will help you jump-start your lead generation and grow your business this year.

Top Marketing Tools to Check Out in 2020

Top Marketing Tools to Check Out in 2020

The world of marketing is constantly evolving. What worked in the past may not be effective now – and if you never update your methods and tools, the chances are good that you’re missing out on opportunities to engage your audience and grow your business.

Since we’re at the beginning of a new year, this is the perfect time to update your marketing toolbox and add some new tools to the mix.

Without further ado, here are my picks for the top marketing tools that should be in your toolbox for 2020.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is my first pick. It’s a terrific tool that allows marketers and local business owners to understand how people find their businesses on Google.

This is a free tool that you can access via your Google account. The only preliminary step you must take is to verify that you’re the owner of your website. Once you’re verified, you can:

  1. View the keywords that visitors use to find your site
  2. Check out your most popular pages
  3. Check your backlinks
  4. Submit sitemaps to Google
  5. Track clicks on your site and links
  6. Understand how Google “sees” your page
  7. Check your site’s mobile usability
In other words, the Google Search Console is a versatile analytics toolbox that gives you a way to understand and improve the way Google (and your target audience) see your website. If you pick only one new tool to try out in 2020, make it this one!

Revive by Animalz

One of the biggest threats to your online visibility and viability is stale content. If you’ve been blogging for a while – or if your site hasn’t been updated in a few years – you probably have some content on your site that’s languishing from a lack of attention.

Revive by Animalz is a tool that’s designed to help you address the issue of stale content. Without it, you’d need to review every post on your site to determine which posts are outdated and in need of a refresh.

With it, you can simply plug in the URL of your website and let Revive do the rest. It will crawl your site and identify posts that are in a state of decay. (That sounds awful but really it just means pages and posts that are trending in the wrong direction.)

Revive is a free tool. To get your report, you’ll need to provide access to your Google Analytics account. In return, you’ll get a report that identifies the pages, blog posts, and other content that’s in need of an update. You can then use it as a roadmap to refresh your site and attract more traffic than ever before.


Have you ever wondered what your competitors are doing online? If the answer’s yes – and it should be! – then SpyFu is a marketing tool you should know about.

SpyFu allows you to “spy” on your competitors’ keywords and determine which ones are the most lucrative. You can use it to:

  1. Search for all domains and see where they show up on Google
  2. See every keyword your competitors have bought on Google AdWords
  3. See their organic search rank for each keyword
  4. View ads and ad variations for the past 13 years
You can also use it to track your own keywords and keyword rankings, making SpyFu an invaluable marketing tool for 2020.

SpyFu is a paid tool with pricing starting at $33 per month. The basic plan should be plenty for most businesses.


Hustle is a WordPress plugin that allows you to capture email address quickly and efficiently. It allows you to design pop-ups, slide-ins, email opt-ins and social following bars.

What I like about Hustle is that it’s fully integrated with just about every email marketing service. (I use a combination of Mailchimp for newsletters and InfusionSoft  for nicely passed follow-ups to opt-ins.)

As a bonus, Hustle includes exit-intent, which displays a pop-up or slide-in when a visitor is about to leave your page, and Google ReCAPTCHA to prevent spam. Best of all, it’s totally free.


Proof is a tool that makes it easy to display your – you guessed it! – social proof on your website. To install it, all you need to do is copy and paste their pixel onto your site page.

Once you have installed the pixel, it will integrate with your site or your CRM and show your targeted customers:

  1. Customer reviews
  2. Video testimonials
  3. Social media posts
  4. Hot streak notifications
  5. Live visitor counts

I especially like the hot streak notifications which Proof says are their top driver of conversions. You’ve probably seen these notifications when you check out an online product and see pop-ups letting you know whenever someone buys the product.

Pricing for Proof starts at $29 for the basic plan. They offer a free demo as well!


Flashyapp is a marketing automation platform that can help you improve your conversion rate in a variety of ways. You can use it to:

  1. Add smart pop-ups
  2. Manage your email marketing
  3. Manage your SMS (text message) marketing
  4. Send push notifications

It even has tools to help you manage retargeting ads by specifying what to do based on a customer’s actions. For example, you can offer different coupons based on the value of what a customer adds to their cart.

If you want to try it out, the Starter Plan is available for just $7 a month and the professional plan is $40 per month.


Tailwind is a scheduling tool that’s designed specifically for Instagram and Pinterest. It will walk you through creating an optimal posting schedule based on your audience engagement, traffic, and virality. Then, it will re-post content for your according to your schedule.

If your business is active on Pinterest, I think Tailwind is a must. It’s just as useful for Instagram. They offer a free trial that allows you to schedule up to 100 posts or Pins without a time limit. After that, the pricing is separate for Instagram and Pinterest, coming in at $9.99 per month for each platform.

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few honorable mentions that I think deserve some love in 2020:

  1. Canva is a free tool with hundreds of design templates. If you don’t have the money to hire a professional designer, you can use Canva to create beautiful newsletters, presentations, and social media posts. Their basic plan is free, or you can upgrade to the Pro plan for $12.95/month.
  2. Hemingway is a readability tool that you can use for free online or download to your desktop for just $9.99. I like it because it helps eliminate complicated sentences that might deter readers.
  3. Pexels is a site with a decent collection of free stock photos. You can use them without attribution. Their selection isn’t huge but if you don’t have the budget to pay for photos, this is a great option.

With the right tools in your marketing toolbox, there’s no reason that 2020 shouldn’t be your best year yet!

The Top Content Marketing Tools You Should Consider Using Right Now

The Top Content Marketing Tools You Should Consider Using Right Now

Content marketing is all about content. That’s obvious. What isn’t obvious to many local business owners is that they don’t need to be the ones to create every piece of content they share.

The term for using content created by someone else for marketing purposes is called “content curation.” The word ‘curation’ is a clue to what it involves. It’s not about throwing up any old piece of content on your Instagram or Facebook feed and hoping for the best.

Instead, it’s your job to sort through content online, choose the things that are most likely to appeal to your target audience, and then put your own spin on them – providing real value to your followers while building your authority.

It might sound complicated, but there are tools and resources that can help.


Pocket is an app and a great organizational tool for content marketing. If you’re like me, you might have a ton of favorites bookmarked on your browser with the idea that you’ll come back to them later. I’m willing to bet that many of them are now outdated – and you’ve never used them.

Pocket can change that. It keeps track of articles, images and videos you want to use in one convenient place. It also integrates with more than 500 other apps, so you can use it in a way that suits your needs.

Twitter Lists

Tweets come and go quickly and even if you check your Twitter feed throughout the day, it can be easy to miss worthwhile content. The solution? Twitter Lists.

Twitter Lists allows you to organize the people and companies you follow into categories. Then, you can easily access their Tweets and links using the app. It also integrates perfectly with Pocket! is a paid tool that costs $67 per month, but it’s worth the price if you do a lot of content creation and need some help doing it. The tool scours the internet and grabs content related to the topics you choose, presenting it in one easy place for you to select what you want to post and put your spin on it.

What I like about is that it sorts articles and links by relevance. It will also suggest other users for you to follow, all of which makes the job of content curation very easy.


Sniply is also a paid tool. It won’t help you find content to curate, but it will help you automatically add a call to action to any curated content you choose to share with your followers.

If you know anything at all about online marketing, you know that including a call to action is a must. It’s what tells your followers (and potential customers) what they need to do next. The right call to action will make a huge difference in your conversion rate and ROI – and that makes the low price of this tool one that’s worth paying.


Quuu is another free tool that I recommend because it will pull suggested curated content based on the parameters you set. You can then browse through the recommendations and choose the content you want to share with your followers.

It gets better. In addition to finding and recommending content to you, Quuu also integrates with most social media scheduling tools. That means that after you find content using Quuu,  you can also use this tool to schedule your Tweets and Facebook updates.

Facebook Pages Feed

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention something that’s built into Facebook and can be used, free, with any Facebook business page. To find it, simply:

  1. Click on “Pages Feed” on the menu on the right-hand side of your Facebook page
  2. Type in the name of a page, publication or business you want to follow
  3. Click the follow button
Going forward, posts from the pages you follow will appear when you click the Pages Feed. From there, it’s easy to share posts and add your own commentary and call to action. The one thing I don’t like about the Pages Feed is that you can’t schedule posts from it, you can only share them. However, if you open the link in a new tab and copy the URL, you can schedule it at your convenience.


Feedly won’t find content for you, but it will help you aggregate the websites and accounts you follow in one convenient RSS feed that you can access from anywhere.

Once you’ve added a website or social media page to your Feedly account, you’ll be able to view the content on your feed from your computer or mobile device.


Curata is a high-powered content curation tool that takes finding content to a new level. It uses a combination of keywords, bookmarked sites, and other tools to scour the web, identifying the content that is most likely to appeal to your target audience.

Because Curata’s algorithms offer a service that goes above and beyond what some of the other tools on this list do, it costs more. Pricing is based upon your usage and you’ll need to contact the company for a free demo and a quote.

Publish This

Publish This is like Curata in that it uses a sophisticated algorithm to identify, aggregate, and suggest content for you to share.

In addition to curating content, Publish This can also be used to:

  1. Sharing original content that you create
  2. Sharing curated content that you find on Publish This or on your own
  3. Tracking analytics for the content you share, both original and curated
In other words, Publish This goes beyond the other tools here to allow you to share and track the content it finds.

Curating content can be time-consuming if you try to do it one link at a time. Fortunately, there are tools to make the job easier. The ones I’ve listed here are some of my favorites – and they can help you round out your social media presence, attract new followers, and grow your business.

How to Create Killer Local Content for Your Business

How to Create Killer Local Content for Your Business

In the days before the internet, local marketing was simple. You paid for a listing in your local Yellow Pages, printed flyers, and maybe took out an ad in the local paper. People knew who you were and where you were.

Then web marketing came along and changed everything. At first, the recommendation was to focus on general keywords. But over the years, Google and other search engines have changed their algorithms. Now, they prioritize local search over everything else.

What does that mean? In short, it means that creating compelling local content isn’t optional. It’s as necessary as oxygen. You’ve got to show potential customers that you’re part of a community – and that means that you’ve got to think about more than giving out your address.

The Basics of Local Marketing

I’ve already written a lot about local marketing, but I think it’s important to include a summary of how to optimize your website and content for local search. Keep these pointers in mind:

  1. Choose local keywords that are highly relevant to your business and have a high search volume. The best local search words include the name of your city, state or neighborhood as well as keywords that are relevant to your business.
  2. Optimize for local voice search and “near me” searches.
  3. Optimize for mobile search and make sure your site looks great on mobile devices.
  4. Use your local keywords in important places on your website, including in title tags, image tags, meta descriptions, anchor text for links, H1 tags, and in your content.
  5. Use rich snippets to add essential geographical information to your Google search results.
  6. Get important local sites to link back to your site. Remember, when it comes to building links, quality is more important than quantity. Focus on local business guides, the Chamber of Commerce, and related local businesses to build your local SEO “cred.”
  7. Encourage your customers to leave reviews and link your site to your review pages. Customer testimonials, which go into a bit more depth than reviews, are also essential.

Following these tips will set you up for success – but you’ve still got to create the kind of compelling local content that will attract customers.

Tips for Creating Local Content

Once your site is optimized for local searches, it’s time to focus on creating local content. That means more than simply putting your local keywords into general content. You’ll need to show casual visitors to your site that you’re a part of a local community.

Here are some pointers to get you started.

  1. Blog about local events. Every community, from small rural towns to huge cities, has local events that are a big deal. As a business owner, you should be aware of these events and find a way to write about them that ties back to your business. It’ll be easy if you’re planning to sponsor a booth at your local street fair. But local charity events and holiday celebrations offer the opportunity for you to talk about your community and why you love it.
  2. Talk about local news. Did your local Little League team make the playoffs? Did a high school student win a contest? Is there a new business coming to town? Any of these things could be turned into blog posts and they’re especially effective if you can find an organic way to relate the story to your business.
  3. Develop case studies that are relevant to local prospects. You might serve a variety of neighborhoods or more than one town in your area. If that’s the case, it’s your job to show that you care about all the places in your service area. One way to do it is to develop case studies that demonstrate your knowledge of the area and of any special circumstances that might be unique to where you are. For example, a landscaper in Southern California might talk about the risk of wildfires or offer tips on how to get rid of black widow spiders.
  4. Find out what your audience is interested in and then write about it. Of course, you don’t want to stray too far from your business, but there’s nothing wrong with getting excited about the things your audience cares about. For example, you might write about an upcoming holiday or the year’s first big storm.

A good way to get ideas for your local content is to stay plugged in to your community online. You might follow you local Chamber of Commerce on Facebook, subscribe to your local paper, and stop into the library to see what new flyers have been added to the bulletin board.

What is the Intent of Your Content?

One of the most important things to remember when you’re creating local content is that every blog post or social media update you write should have a clear intention that’s related to your business.

What do I mean by that? Simply that you can’t waste time blogging about things if you don’t understand why you’re writing about them. Sometimes the intent will be clear. You own a hardware store and blogging about predicted winter snowfall might help you sell some shovels and snowblowers, or at least some Ice Melt.

At other times, though, the intention may be a bit harder to pin down. There’s nothing wrong with that but make sure you don’t skip this step. If you’re creative enough, you should be able to find a way to tie any piece of content you create back to your business.

For example, say you want to blog about a local charity event, but you can’t figure out a way to connect it to your business organically. Instead of giving up, you might consider donating a portion of your sales to the charity or collaborating with other local business owners on a fundraising effort.

The key here is to make your local content relevant to your business and to your target audience. You can still share general content, too, but local content is a must if you want your business to grow.