Published:  10th Aug 2015

How to Dominate Local Search Results with Smart Content

Creating a simple report that contained a monthly snapshot of a client's reputation was actually very time consuming. That's because collecting and organizing the data for a 'simple report' is actually difficult task. It entails pulling the first 10-20 search results for a handful of keywords, labeling each page as positive/neutral/negative, putting the data into a chart, and then repeating this process every single day. Skipping a day would make the data less valuable and also look bad on the report.

How to Dominate Local Search Results with Smart Content (Tips & Techniques)

People consistently downplay the true value of content when it comes to ranking their sites. Link building is the sexy side of SEO, so most marketers spend the majority of their time focusing on getting the most powerful links in the least amount of time.

What if I told you that you can significantly decrease the amount of time you spend link building just by planning your content intelligently?

These tips will work for any piece of content, but I'm going to focus on Local SEO since it seems to baffle people.

The typical small business will have a defined target area for their services. This can be a few towns, a few counties, or the entire United States of America. The size of the target area doesn't really matter.

Google Panda

What's really important is getting ranked for all of the various locations that the business serves. The problem here is that you'll quickly realize that you're going to need a ton of very similar content.

Imagine creating a page for "maid services in {state}." That's 50 separate articles on the exact same topic. What if we needed to do this for every major city in the USA? It can get out of hand fairly quickly.

It was just a few years ago when you could simply fire up your favorite spinner, create a single article, and swap-in all your location keywords. You'd be ready to post your content in a few hours. Today, this is not going to work anymore. Can you say Panda Penalty?

The jig is up, as they say, and we now have to use our thinking hats to create these geo-targeted pages in a way that will allow us to rank without issue.

This is the process that we use to create Local SEO content for our clients. There have been instances where these articles have shown up on Page 1 & 2 for their respective SERP within 48 hours.

Organize Yourself

Planning and preparation are key when you need tens or hundreds of unique articles on the exact same subject. Smart SEO's know to use what they know about the search algorithm to compound the benefits they receive from their efforts. This is exactly what our planning stage is all about.

Google understands semantics. They just do. There is no reason to drive yourself nuts with LSI keywords, related keywords, and the like. All we need is a bit of common sense. We want to use this to our advantage when ranking Local SEO content.

There are two components to the standard geo-targeted keyword; the base keyword and the location. We want to create a list of semantically interchangeable words for each of these components. In other words, we want to create two lists of keywords that express the exact same meaning.

Now, there are a ton of guides out there on semantic keyword research, but I believe that is beyond the scope of this tutorial. We can get by just by using our own creativity.

Let's use the following as our example:

"Maid Services in Buffalo, NY"

The first keyword list that we want to create will be for our base keyword; Maid Services.

Now, before we figure what it is we want on this list, I want to show you what we do not want. If you fire up a keyword tool, you're going to get related keywords such as:

  • Sexy maid services
  • Cheap maid services
  • French maid services
  • Natalie Dormer Maid Outfit
  • Professional maid services
  • Home maid services
Big Mistake
Big Mistake

These are all just long tail versions of your base keyword. If you were to use all of these in your content, the chances of being nailed for over optimization would increase.

Instead, we want to create a list of base keywords that all have the same meaning. You can do this off-the-cuff. Check it out:

  • Maid services
  • Cleaning services
  • Hire a maid
  • Hire a cleaning lady
  • Clean my home
  • Professional home cleaner

That's MUCH better. We now have a list of base keywords that all have the same meaning.

Moving on, we now need to do the same thing for our location component: Buffalo, NY.

Using the same process, you'll quickly come up with a bunch of semantically similar location keywords:

  • Buffalo, NY
  • The city of Buffalo
  • Buffalo, New York
  • 14201 (and all other zip codes for Buffalo)
  • 716 (and surrounding area codes)
  • The Nickel City
  • The City of Good Neighbors

We used variations of the city name, zip codes, area codes, and nicknames to create a variety of location keywords that have the same meaning.

From here, all you need to do is fire up your favorite keyword combiner tool to create your master list. I like to use

Plug your list of base keywords into the left box, use a combining word in the center box (in), and plug your location keywords in the right box. Press the "Combine" button and you'll have your list.

Keyword Mixer

This is your master keyword list for your Local SEO article. You will want to repeat this process for each separate location you'd like to rank your website for in your target area.

Keep in mind, you're not going to force each one of these keywords into your content. Just choose a variety of 5 to 10 of them and work them in naturally.

Once you're done with this process, you can get into crafting the actual content that will appear on your site.

Write For People

We want to make life easy for our visitors and give them exactly what they're seeking right away. While you may have a beautiful website and great content - your visitors don't really care. They want to find what they were looking for as soon as possible.

To accomplish this, we're going to make sure that the first portion of our content is answering exactly what your visitors want to know. This is your sales copy section where you're going to sell your services.

Let's take a look at this fictional example:

"Welcome to Vinny's Maid Services of Buffalo, NY - Home of the World's Ugliest Cleaning Ladies! We offer comprehensive maid services in the city of Buffalo. If you're looking to hire a cleaning lady in the Nickel City, you can end your search right here.

We offer the following professional home cleaning services in 14201:

  • Service 1
  • Service 2
  • Service 3

If you would like a free consultation, please contact us via or contact page or call us at (716) 555-5555."

That's a bit simplistic, but you get the idea. Notice how we were able to use four different keywords in a natural way.

Follow this section up with a testimonial. Whether it's real or made up doesn't really matter.

"My wife and I just had our second child and keeping our house clean was nearly impossible with our schedules. I was on the hunt for someone to clean my home in our city of good neighbors. I found Vinny's cleaning service on Yelp and contacted them for a consultation. By the time I was done with that phone call, I knew I'd found the cleaning lady for my family. Their service is phenomenal. We are truly grateful for how much time they free up for us by creating a safe, clean, and germ-free living environment. - John Smith - Buffalo, NY"

Slap a nice big Call-To-Action banner right underneath the testimonial and you'll be in good shape.

Now, the trick here is creating a different version of this sales copy portion of your content for each of your target locations. This can get tedious, but it's more than doable. Spend the time to make sure you have unique variations of this copy for each location and you'll protect yourself from any kind of duplicate or thin content penalty.

Write for Search Engines

Now that we have given our visitors exactly what they wanted, we now need to appease the search engine gods. We do this by increasing the relevance of our content, so it works with both our service and our location. This is where website content writing becomes a little bit of an art form.

If you didn't already know, the relevance of your content is a major ranking factor. We need to create content that tells the engines that we're about X SERVICE in Y LOCATION. We don't just need to let them know... we need to smack them over the head with the most relevant content for both our base and location keywords. We want to make it completely obvious that our content is the most obvious and relevant choice for each respective SERP.

Now, most people will immediately think that this is easy and that they should just create demographical content related to the location. Their subheadings will look something like this:

  • History of Buffalo
  • Weather and The Nickel City
  • Tourist Attractions

While these section headings, and their subsequent content, make it completely obvious that this content is relevant to the city of Buffalo, it doesn't exactly tie into our service. It's almost as if there are two separate articles on the same page.

You can probably argue that this isn't really that big of an issue and that you have done enough already to create a relevant article that will rank just fine. You're probably right.

The question you need ask yourself is, "Is This Content Future Proof?"

Eventually, the search engines will be smart enough to see that you're just gaming the relevance factor of their algorithm by writing a ton of facts about the location you're targeting. If we're doing all this work to rank for this SERP, I want to make sure it's going to stay ranked for a long, long time.


We can future proof the demographical section of our content by interweaving our services with the location information. This is easier than it sounds - we just need to use our thinking caps for a minute.

So, for example, if we're going to have a section about the weather in Buffalo, we're obviously going to talk about the cold winters and average snowfall per year. Why not use this as an opportunity to talk about Vinny's Maid Service and their spring cleanup service? You can go into how your visitors know all-to-well how cabin fever sets in after a long winter and how our spring cleanup service is the perfect way to revitalize their home in preparation for summer.

Another opportunity can be found in the tourist attraction section. You can talk about how much fun it is to go check out a Buffalo Bills or Sabres game. Of course, not everyone can afford to go to the games regularly. Why not invite the boys over to watch the game at your place? Vinny's Maid Service can come over take care of the pre and post-game clean up duties.

These are subtle, little changes you can make to your content that will pack a big punch. Do your best to work them into the location section and you'll reap the rewards (just remember to send me a 5% consultants fee).

Tying It Together

You now have everything you need to create smart content for Local SEO. Let's take a quick look back at what we just went over. Our process looks like this:

  • Keyword planning with semantically relevant base and location keywords

  • Giving your visitors exactly what they want with keyword-rich sales copy

  • Creating highly-relevant demographical content for the search engines

With a little practice, you can be creating powerful Local SEO content that will stand the test of time. Taking the time to future-proof your writing is what will allow your site's rankings to stand the test of time.

Amazing Pizza
Stop looking at the pizza, you need to focus

The Content Cure

You have probably figured out by now that creating top notch content that converts isn't as easy as loading your WYSIWYG editor and telling people to buy your service. There is a level of work involved that you can't avoid if you want premium results.

If your business is at the level where it can afford to outsource these tasks to a professional, I invite you to contact me to learn about how our team of 40+ American WordAgents can create custom Local SEO content.

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