Do you want to get more customers to your local business? If you want to attract a local audience, you need hyperlocal content. Hyperlocal content is focused on a specific community and allows you to improve your “near me” rankings. In this post, we’re going to talk about how you can create hyperlocal content to boost your local rankings and traffic.
Research Hyperlocal Keywords
The first step in any successful SEO and content marketing campaign is keyword research. In this case, your goal isn’t to find the most popular keywords. You’re looking for hyperlocal keywords – ones that target a specific community/neighborhood.
Hyperlocal keywords will often have a lower search volume than keywords related to major metropolitan areas. But the traffic those keywords attract will be more likely to convert for local businesses.
Within SEMrush, change your keyword research settings to focus on your country.
Next, enter a list of community/neighborhood names that you want to target.
Click through to each to see keyword variations, questions, and related keywords. You may notice your options become a little more limited.
Once you’ve compiled your list of best hyperlocal keywords for search, your next stop is content research.
Analyze Popular Posts by Local News and Media Outlets
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with hyperlocal content. You can learn what content is popular with your local community. Tools like BuzzSumo will allow you to search for hyperlocal content based on the number of social media shares.
In the above analysis, a local small homebuilder in Calgary would be pleased to know that tiny homes have been a popular topic of discussion within the last year. Search for your city, neighborhoods, and subdivisions for more popular hyperlocal content.
Take part on Local Social Media Platforms and in Groups
Many local marketing professionals find local social media sites and features to be an invaluable source for trending topics. Tools like Google Trends will show you what people are interested in at a state, province, and country level.
Local social media, on the other hand, shows you what people are interested in at a city, town, neighborhood, and subdivision level.
Examples of local social media for North American marketers include the following.
- Facebook Groups – Facebook allows you to search for public (posts are visibility to everyone) and private (posts are visible to members only) groups. You will find groups for cities and towns, neighborhoods, subdivisions, schools, and other hyperlocally focused topics.
- LinkedIn Groups – Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to search for private (posts are visible to members only) groups. You will find professionally-focused groups for cities, towns, and other hyperlocal topics.
- Subreddits – Reddit allows users to create subreddits (subtopics) on any topic. Use the search to find popular subreddits in your area – search results display the number of Reddit users following each subreddit.
- Nextdoor – Nextdoor is a local social media network that allows you to connect with people in your postal code. Members join by verifying their home or rental address via mail or mobile text (on a phone billed to your home address).
- Ring – Amazon’s security system and accompanying neighborhood watch app are available to users throughout most of North America (except Quebec).
Each social network offers different options for following hyperlocal discussions that are relevant to your business. Be sure to like/save the discussions that give you the most inspiration for hyperlocal blog content.
Review Discussions on Local Forums
In addition to local social media, forums also provide a hub for people in specific areas to discuss regional issues. You can find them by searching for forum your city/state/province/country or “discussion board” your city/state/province/country on Google.
The following are examples of local forums with hyperlocal discussions for people interested in moving to, living in, or traveling to Canada.
- The Canadian Immigration forum has over 8 million posts from 797k members. Popular topics include immigration to Canada, moving to Canada from the US, temporary entry, working, housing, education, and health.
- The City-Data.com Canada forum has over 198k posts and subsections for major metropolitans like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa-Gatineau.
- TripAdvisor’s Canada forum has over 187k posts and subsections for each province.
After you sign up as a member of the forum, you can follow specific discussions and subsections to keep track of hyperlocal discussions relevant to your business.
Join Local Slack Channels
Like social media groups and forums, Slack channels are another way people come together online to discuss hyperlocal topics. You can find them by searching for “join * on slack” your city/state/province/country on Google.
The following are examples of local Slack channels with hyperlocal discussions.
- Join Vancouver Developers on Slack with 5.3k members.
- Join TorontoJS on Slack with 3.6k members.
- Join DesignX on Slack with over 1.5k members.
- Join Kubernetes Canada on Slack with 1.1k members.
- Join DevOps Toronto on Slack with 800 members
- Join Vancouver VR on Slack with 600 members.
- Join OpenStack Canada on Slack with 280 members.
You may also find hyperlocal topics hidden in general Slack communities, like Online Geniuses. In this Slack community of over 27k, there are dozens of local channels for people in specific cities worldwide.
Slack offers a save option to keep track of the best hyperlocal discussions in each of your communities.
Now that you’ve found hyperlocal keywords for SEO and communities discussing hyperlocal topics, you should start getting inspired to create the following types of hyperlocal content.
Cover Hyperlocal Trending Topics
Have you noticed several people in local social media groups, forums, or Slack channels discussing a particular topic related to your business or vertical? If so, that’s a trending topic you can cover on your blog.
For example, if you have a local extermination company, you may know that certain neighbourhoods are invaded by a particular pest. These would make excellent informational blog posts on your business website. Ones that will be easy to share during each pest’s peak season.
Once you have published content on hyperlocal trending topics, you can share that content with people in your local communities. Be sure to review community rules to determine whether you can promote your new content to the community, or if you need to save promotion for post replies and direct messaging.
Interview Hyperlocal Celebrities
Do you know the most popular people in your community? You can search for them by following your local news and media outlets to see who are talking to or about. You can also find them using social media search or advanced Google searches.
For example, if you have a local plant nursery, you may want to interview local “celebrity” gardeners. A Google search for site:instagram.com Calgary gardener followers will show you gardeners in a particular area, along with the number of followers they have.
Ideally, if you interview a local celebrity, they will share the interview with their audience. This should drive some local attention to your business. So seek out local influencers in your vertical on each social network. Connect with them and see how you can work with them to create content that both of your local audiences will love.
Share a Hyperlocal Events Calendar
Do you know of the best events in your area? Ones that your ideal customers would be interested in learning about or attending? Share that list of events on your blog. Sites like Eventbrite, local chambers of commerce, and local association websites can be a significant source of conferences, meetups, and other community events.
If you publish monthly event updates and promote it in your local online communities, your blog could provide a resource that drives local returning visitors back to your website again and again.
Recap Hyperlocal Events
Are your customers interested in events around your community? You can find information about upcoming conferences, meetups, and other gatherings using Google and sites like Meetup.com.
When you attend popular local events, you will want to take notes and photos. Recap posts of popular events will be popular amongst attendees of the event and people who wished they could have attended. Both of which should attract local readers to your blog.
Review Hyperlocal Businesses
Are there businesses in your area whose customers would be interested in your products or services? If you can find noncompeting businesses whose local customer base is similar to yours, you can add local business reviews to your blog content.
When you recommend a local business to your readers on your blog, you will be accomplishing two things. First, you get the opportunity to be found by local consumers who search for a review on that business. Second, you get the opportunity to partner with another local business who may appreciate your review and return the favor.
Contribute to Local News and Media Outlets
In addition to writing hyperlocal content on your own website, you can contribute content to local news and media outlets. You can do it in a variety of ways.
- Local newspapers accept letters to the editor and guest columnists.
- Local magazines and blogs accept freelance writers, guest contributors, and guest bloggers.
- Platforms like HARO and Qwoted send inquiries from journalists and writers to your inbox daily. Look for ones from local news and media outlets to get featured as a source in a hyperlocal article.
Getting your letter, article, or interview published in local news and media outlets will help you gain visibility in front of a new, local audience. Each new piece of content could lead new local consumers to back to your website.
Not only do you have the opportunity to drive local customers to your business, but you also have the opportunity to build quality links back to your website. These links will can help boost your website’s rank in local and “near me” search results.
Use Hyperlocal Media
In each piece of hyperlocal content you create, you should aim to use media that is hyperlocally optimized. Instead of a stock photo or stock video, take your smartphone or digital camera out into your neighborhood and capture real local media.
When you insert your images or video into your blog posts, be sure to use the best hyperlocal keywords possible for the filename and ALT tags of your images or title and descriptions of your videos. This will ensure that your content ranks well in regular Google search, video search (if you upload hyperlocal video content to YouTube), and image search.
You can also hyperlocally optimized media to your product and service pages. So long as your media is relevant, it can help your landing and sales pages rank in image and video search for local customers.
Promote Your Content to Hyperlocal Audiences
Each local social media group, forum, and Slack channel holds multiple opportunities for promoting your hyperlocal content. As mentioned before, you will want to review each of your online community’s rules for self-promotion.
You will also want to observe any other content promotion made within these communities. Make note of the communities that engage with content shares – those are the ones you will definitely want to bookmark for promoting your own content.
The goal is not to spam your local networks with advertisements and sales. Instead, you want to be confident that the content you are promoting will be interesting to everyone who sees it. Local event listings, celebrity interviews, trending topics, and other content that doesn’t directly promote your products or services will likely be welcomed.
To promote your post in local online communities:
- Create a one to two sentence introduction to your content that will entice anyone who sees it to click through to your link.
- Share the introduction and link, along with any relevant hashtags, as a new post (where allowed). In forums, Reddit, and Slack communities, be sure to post within the appropriate subsection or channel as applicable.
- Alternatively, if you can’t share your content in a new post in a particular group, forum, or channel, look for people who are talking about the subject of your content instead. Reply directly to their posts instead of adding it as a new topic or send them a direct message.
Monitor your notifications on each network for anyone who likes, comments on, or shares your content. A simple thank you could help you build new relationships with brand ambassadors who are already willing to promote your business with others.
If you want to boost your local rankings and get more local visitors to your website, then hyperlocal content is the answer. Publishing hyperlocal content and promoting will help build brand awareness for your business amongst your ideal local consumer base. And as your rankings in local search increase, the number of local visitors you receive from search will increase as well.
I have been working as a web designer for several years. I’m continually learning better ways to rank websites within reputable search engines. When I’m not working or studying, I’m spending time with my family exploring random activities.