Why Your Blog Needs Location-Specific Content (and 5 Tips to Get Started)
As a blogger, it’s tempting to go wide with your audience. Targeting a national, general audience exposes you to a greater number of potential readers, and therefore seems like it gives you better odds of eventual success.
However, if you want to maximize your relevance to local readers, and help your blog stand out from the crowd, it’s a good idea to include location-specific content on a regular basis.
Examples of Location Specific Content
In case you aren’t familiar with it, location-specific content can take a few different forms. For example, if you’re blogging about vehicle recycling, you could write about New Jersey junk cars, specifically, detailing demographic trends within that state. Or if you blog about restaurants and bars, you could write about the best places to eat in LA. You could even cover a local event or gathering, such as covering conventions in Las Vegas. In any case, you’ll be tailoring your content to an audience within a specific state, city, or country.
The Advantages of Location-Specific Content
So why is location-specific content so valuable if it means narrowing down your potential audience?
- Relevance. First, you’ll narrow down your audience and boost the relevance of your content for that audience. Someone reading about their hometown is going to be much more engaged than someone reading about a general trend worldwide. Generally, this is worth the tradeoff; it’s better to have a handful of people very interested in your content than lots of people only fleetingly interested in it.
- Optimization. Writing about a specific location is also a good way to boost your optimization for local keywords. If you plan your strategy consistently, you can improve your rankings for local search queries, and attract more people within that area to your blog.
- Differentiation. Writing local content is also a good way to distinguish your blog from those of your competitors. Most bloggers focus almost exclusively on a national audience, so you’ll stand out if you target a narrower audience segment.
Tips on How to Get Started
Now let’s turn our attention to how you can get started with this strategy:
- Start with one location. You may be tempted to start writing content for lots of different cities, but it’s better if you start with one central location. If your city of residence has a suitable population, start with that, or choose the nearest large city to your current location. You can always add more areas once you’ve got your foot in the door.
- Add a location-specific category. Your blog categories are a helpful way to help readers find the perfect content for them, so make sure you add a category specific to your chosen location. When you write a new location-specific post, tag it as belonging to that category (as well as any other categories it happens to fall into).
- Put a local spin on your top-performing posts. If you’re looking for an easy way to build early momentum, put a local spin on a piece of content that’s performed well in the past. For example, if you’ve written a post about the best strategies for going camping, consider writing a post about the best strategies for going camping in and around your target area. You know the topic will be popular, but you’ll get the advantage of targeting a local audience within that readership.
- Watch out for local events. Keep an eye out for press releases about events in your chosen area; events are an enormous opportunity to boost the popularity of your blog. Get involved with the event if you can, as a volunteer, visitor, or planner, and document the experience on your blog. Then, engage with locals attending the event to raise awareness of your blog, and make sure you post actively on social media—especially if there’s a hashtag available for the event.
- Keep a good blend of local and national content. After a handful of local posts and finding a groove with your chain of local content, you might be tempted to convert your blog to a city-specific content resource. However, it’s better if you seek a blend of local and national content for the foreseeable future; that way, you can reap the benefits of both angles in your strategy. Eventually, you may fall on one side or the other, but utilize both until you know how they’re going to perform.
After you spend a few months writing local content regularly, it’s going to come more naturally to you—both because you’ll be more familiar with your target area and you’ll get a feel for the “flow” of local content. Listen closely to your local readers, and incorporate their feedback so you can keep improving your work.