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How to Make Content the Voice of Strategy

I talk about marketing strategy a lot. It is for me the most important element when it comes to building a long-term, sustainable marketing system.

content strategy

photo credit: Giandomenico Ricci via photopin cc

Your strategy informs every marketing decision. It must be considered when you decide what products you will offer, how you will serve your customers, what your packaging looks like, what your followup entails and how you generate leads.

Today, the common thread in almost every element of delivering on strategy is content. Content is how you move people from know to like to trust. Content is how you give your marketing strategy a voice and, because of that, you must take a strategic and systematic approach to how your content is developed.

I know I’ve said this before and I know I’ll say it again: Waking up every morning and deciding what you are going to write on your blog does not scale.

Below is a refresher of my approach to developing and implementing a content plan with your overall business objectives and strategy in mind. I’ve updated the calendar element with my plan for 2014.

A Total Content SystemTM approach allows you to plan, delegate, curate, create, collaborate, repurpose and generally get far more out of every piece of content you produce. Once your system is in place it will build momentum with each passing month and begin to multiply in value to your organization.

The Total Content System goes like this:

  • Create a list of monthly Foundational Content Themes
  • Develop your Content Delivery Platform
  • Integrate your content with Core Business Objectives

Foundational Content Themes

Either through your own knowledge or by using a keyword tool like MOZ or Wordtracker, develop a list of core content topics and assign one to each month for the next 12 months.

Each theme should be a substantial topic related to your business or industry and represent an important keyword search term. It might be helpful to think about it like a book. Each month might represent a chapter in what will ultimately make up an important body of work by the end of this year.

You can also designate terms that you know you would like to rank higher for, but currently have little or no content that leads people online or off to you.

I’ll use my organization as an example to help illustrate this point. My business and model may be significantly different than yours, but examples always seem to help fill in the blanks for people.

My editorial themes for 2014:

  • January – Planning and organizational development
  • February – Offline marketing
  • March – Content marketing
  • April – Inbound selling
  • May – Outbound marketing
  • June – Marketing automation
  • July – Marketing strategy
  • August – Mobile marketing
  • September – Networking/Referrals
  • October – Community practices
  • November – Social media
  • December – Personal growth

These are all topics that I believe my community is interested in learning more about and that I personally have an interest in developing more content around. (I’m working on a sales book and will be heavy into daily writing on that project in March – all content has a purpose!)

Develop your Content Delivery Platform

Now that I have my list of foundational themes I can organize my Content Delivery Platform components accordingly. Again, this is my model, but many of these elements work for any kind of business and should be considered in your business.

  • Newsletter – I put out a weekly email newsletter. I will add themed content to each issue either through some of my own writing or by finding other people’s content related to the theme and highlighting it.
  • Blog posts – I write a daily blog post and may schedule a post related to the theme on a weekly basis. This still gives me lots of room on topics but helps me focus both from a content and SEO standpoint.
  • Guest posts – We currently run one guest post a week and use our monthly theme to suggest topics to potential guests. (If you would like to submit a guest post see the themes above for guidance and submit your idea here.)
  • Podcast guests – I produce a weekly audio podcast and the monthly theme really gives me guidance in lining up topic experts well in advance.
  • PR Pitches – We use our themes to promote stories and pitches to the media.
  • Sponsored pitches – We receive invitations to write sponsored content and conduct sponsored webinars and use our theme to guide these pitches. We also reach out to organizations that might have a special interest in a particular month’s theme with sponsor opportunities.
  • Webinars – Since we are creating all this rich, topic specific content we host monthly online seminars to deliver the content in a new form.
  • eBook – People really seem to love eBooks and they are an essential element in our list building efforts. Most themes lend themselves nicely to an eBook compilation.
  • Curate a Scoop.it topic – As we are doing the research and preparing all of the ideas for our own content, we bookmark tons of other people’s content, books, experts, tools and the like related to our theme and save the entire collection as a curated topic on Scoop.it. This allows us to attract even more readers and creates a nice library to draw from.
  • Create a content package – The final step is to take all of this content from each month and create a membership or community offering that would allow people interested in the monthly topic to access the entire package in one tidy resource. One of the things I’ve discovered over the years is that while so much content is free and available, people will pay for content that is packaged and delivered in the way they want it. Figure that piece out and you’ll really make your content efforts pay directly.

Integrate your content with Core Business Objectives

Okay, so now you’ve got your themes plotted out and you’ve got a plan for creating, filtering and aggregating all manner and form of content into your delivery system. It’s time map your content plan to your core business objectives.

This step allows you to better understand how to get return on your content investment and how much you should actually invest in creating a certain form or package of content.

For example, if one of your stated annual objectives is to dramatically increase the sale of information products, you would produce content with product creation in mind. Or, if one of your stated objectives for the year is to significantly increase your subscriber list, you would focus on producing, delivering and sharing content that attracts email capture, links and strategic partnering.

One of the most important aspects of a Total Content System plan is that it changes the lens you use to view all the information that comes at you all day long. When you know what your theme is this month and next month all of a sudden books, tools, articles and conversations take on new meaning and seem to somehow organize themselves for the benefit of your ongoing, long-term approach.

3 Tips for Creating a Strong Connection between Audience and Content

It is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Steve Giangola – Enjoy!

Great content isn’t only well written but also makes a vital connection with current or potential clients. Consider the below three ways to boost the link between your company’s self presentation and your target audience.

1. Don’t be afraid to be informal

Although professionalism is always key, quality content doesn’t have to feel clinical. Make a joke, relate to readers’ experiences, and be casual as well as friendly while remembering you are representing a business that thrives on the respect and trust of a loyal base.

This means explicit references to the debaucherous antics of your past weekend are probably not okay, but comments about people enjoying themselves outside the confines of their respective industries are permissible.

Nobody wants to read content that feels like it was generated by a robot, so don’t be afraid to inject personality while adhering to the goals and image of a specific brand.

2. Create a sense of community

Clients enjoy original content because they find it useful, informative, and entertaining. They should also feel that it is being written by people that understand them. Of course there are many facets to any individual, but, as English poet John Donne succinctly put it, “no man [or woman] is an island.” Look for the common bonds between a business and its clients that go beyond services rendered. Here the type of valuable relationships that benefit both parties are formed.

Ideally, through social media and comment sections, a similar relationship will be forged between your clients, which will, in turn, help build a community. When clients begin to rely on your content and know their experiences are shared, they start vocalizing their ideas and interacting with others. Once this process is initiated, it is not only the content but also a positive and active community that will keep clients engaged.

3. Connect to other businesses

It’s a big world, and each business has a significant internet presence. This can be used to the advantage of content marketing strategies. Forging links with similarly minded associations, while avoiding advertising direct competitors, is integral to growing an audience.

Businesses can establish mutually beneficial relationships by sharing published content that gains exposure on two platforms and thus expands an audience’s awareness of business generated content. Even if it means temporarily sending traffic outward, cross pollination between blogs and social media accounts is highly beneficial. A network of great content will always be valuable to both businesses and clients.

For further tips, check out How to Convey Your Passion in Prose and 8 Tools for Finding the Content People Really Want at the Prose Media blog.

Steve GiangolaSteve Giangola is a staff member at Prose Media, a writing service that creates high quality content for brands. Solutions include blog posts, social media updates, website copy, newsletters, white papers, and emails.

How Great Business Writing Gets Done Quickly

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Steve Aedy – Enjoy!

5780578430_fb473e636bGreat writers know a thing or two about how great writing is done. After all, that’s their job. For you, the business owner or marketer who needs to do some writing, it’s helpful to know what counts for your particular needs.

I Think, Therefore I Have a Headache

Blogging for business is not like writing a great novel. It’s about getting to the point in as few words as possible. That means thinking, which is painful and annoying, but you have to do it.

“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” (Letter 16, 1657) – Blaise Pascal, The Provincial Letters

KISS: Keep It Short & Simple

Blog posts are “quick reads” and are often skimmed for key points by people who are very busy. Respect that fact. Format your work with headings and bullet points. Keep your word count at or below 500 words. This is truly a case of “less is more”.

“Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time is wasted.” – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Ham and Eggs Beats Eggs Benedict

Great authors know that simple is better, fewer words beat lengthy prose and it’s more important to not be misunderstood than to try and make yourself understood with a lengthy explanation.

“To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.” – Aristotle

“Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.” –  George Orwell

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” – Thomas Jefferson

Ready, Fire, Aim

A business blog post has a specific target to hit. That target doesn’t always have to be a sales pitch or an attempt at customer retention. Sometimes, that post is just a statement of how your business does business or some other non-sales theme. The point is, write your blog post freely, then edit it to conform to your main point, which you discovered while writing it.

“I write to find out what I’m talking about.” – Edward Albee

“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” – E.M. Forster

Procrastinate Later…

This brings you to the most important point: write. Procrastination never helps, when it comes to writing. Despite the fact that what you start out with is less than perfect, write. Put down everything you can, then go back and cut out the fluff.

“Don’t get it right – get it WRITTEN!” – Lee Child

The Benefits of “Quick and Dirty”

Avoid the trap of “perfection”. Yes, you do want what you write to be good, but the beguiling temptation to craft exceptional prose is a time waster. This is NOT a novel, nor an excerpt thereof. Make it good and stop.

“Don’t try to be different. Just be good. To be good is different enough.” – Arthur Freed

Summing Up

The Marine Corps of the United States has a proven method of getting a point across to recruits:

  1. I’m gonna tell ya what I’m gonna tell ya.
  2. I’m gonna tell ya.
  3. I’m gonna tell ya what I told ya.

Use this formula when crafting a blog post. After all, I told ya I was gonna tell ya what counts, right?

aedyAbout the Author:

The article was written by Steve Aedy, who is a staff writer for Fresh Essays – a company that provides online paper writing service and editing help. He likes to write on social media, small business and education related topics. Follow him on Google+.

3 Tips for Starting a Small Business Blog

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Collis Ta’eed – Enjoy!

Image credit: Shane Pope

In the age of social media, blogging is even more important as a small business marketing weapon and if anything, it has been enhanced by social media. A blog can establish you as an expert, open you up to organic search traffic, help you grow an audience, and be a part of a coherent marketing plan for your business, but getting started can be tricky. What do you write about? How frequently should you write? What if nothing happens?

The truth is that starting a blog for your small business is like anything else.  It takes time, effort, practice and a bit of patience. It also can be very achievable for any business looking to create a web presence if done correctly.  Here are three tips to help you get started:

1. Make it genuinely useful

Ironically the best way to make your blog a marketing weapon is to first forget about everything else and make the blog genuinely awesome in its own right. If you can build a blog with posts that are just plain interesting, relevant, educational, insightful, inspiring, or useful, then you are off to a great start. It’s only after you have established the blog as a valuable tool that you can truly consider its marketing impact.

To create a useful blog, you have to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Since this is a small business blog, the reader could potentially be interested in your business. Ask yourself what those readers would find useful and valuable? Let’s look at some examples.

Consider a small niche electrical store selling energy efficient products. For a business like that, I would expect a blog that offers tips on saving money off energy bills, choosing a great energy provider and how-to articles about repairing broken electrical products.

What type of blog does a hairdressing salon building up a local presence create? This blog might have posts about hair care, tips for creating different hair-do’s out of a single haircut and fashionable celebrity hairstyles.

You’re probably seeing a trend here, but let’s look at one more example. What about a copywriter looking to do corporate work? A blog for a copywriter might have posts about top faux-pas that you can accidentally create, how to map out all the copy needs a small business might have and how copy can affect a business promotion’s success.

The underlying principle is to think about valuable information that you can offer readers related to your business. Creating content like this is also one of the best ways to get ranked for search results, especially when combined with good on page SEO.

2. Target Social Media

As a new small business blog with good content, your biggest challenge is building an audience. Having a steady baseline audience is important because it allows you to gain momentum around social sharing, comments and interaction, and links. These things all feed off each other and you can gradually build from there.

But how do you get the initial audience? There are lots of different ways depending on the business, but for a purely online solution assuming no prior audience base, you can’t beat social media. The beauty of social media is it allows you to tap into existing audience groups, but it’s not necessarily easy, and there are a few things you will need.

After establishing great content, the next thing you need to do is target the right social media sites and this depends entirely on the business/content niche you are in. Let’s look back at our previous examples.

For our energy saving blog, I would look at Reddit as a good place to target. There are channels on Reddit with strong environmentally conscious audiences, perfect for tips on energy. There are also DIY type channels which might be good for how-to topics, especially if they are a bit geeky/tech.

For our hair dressing blog, I would suggest Pinterest, and would aim to get some very image heavy posts prepared. Pinterest has the right audience mix for fashion and hair, and it’s a great place to share imagery, tips, and links.

For the copywriter blog I’d look at LinkedIn. Social sharing on LinkedIn has been growing and there are more and more features to help you build followers. For a blog aimed at business needs, LinkedIn is the perfect place to create an audience.

Of course sharing content on social media is almost an endeavor in itself. The keys are to identify the right social media site, spend time actively using the site apart from trying to spread your own blog content, build up personal networks, and then slowly and occasionally introduce your own content.

3. Keep At It

The best advice I ever got in blogging was to think of it as a marathon, not a sprint. Like most everything in life, you will get better and more effective with time and effort. When I first started out blogging, I began where everyone does – with no audience, no network, no experience, and writing skills that were in need of practice.

I spent hours every day on my blog for months, and during that time I would network with other bloggers, read about blogging, engage with social media sites in every niche I could find, experiment with different post types and techniques, and do everything I could think of to find readers.

In time I went from dozens of page views a day to hundreds, and eventually much, much bigger. Today my business runs a blog with millions of readers, but I still think the biggest accomplishment I ever had in blogging was getting from zero readers to the first hundred regular visitors.

If you put in the time, effort, energy and determination, your blog will eventually blossom and you will reap the rewards!

As cofounder and CEO, Collis Ta’eed leads Envato, one of the world’s most thriving digital marketplaces and creative educational blog networks. Envato is recognized for the educational Tuts+ and Tuts+ Premium networks as well the ThemeForest Marketplace, but oversees more than 30 sub-brands, where close to 2 million people buy and sell digital assets from site themes to stock media, or hone their creative skills.

The Impact of Better Design

I’ve been investing in better design lately and it’s making me money.

But, what is better design?

Better design

photo credit: jm3

For some that term might simply mean better visual appeal, more pleasing to the eye or stylish.

To me it means better communication.

The primary thing I have to offer is information and better design allows me to communicate that information more effectively and more profitably.

I’m not suggesting that aesthetics of better design aren’t important, but of equal importance to me is hierarchy of information, white space and information way finding that is delivered with the right fonts, spacing and appropriate use of size and color.

Good design costs money, but so does poor design, clutter and confusing information.

As you may have noted if you’re reading this on my site, ducttapemarketing.com has undergone a total redesign and now runs on a custom theme on the Genesis framework. The design was completed by Rafal Tomal and Josh Byers of Studio Press, part of the Copyblogger Media.

The redesign was badly needed as my site had sort of become like some of the Christmas trees I remember as child where my brothers and sisters would just keep putting more and more stuff on the tree because, well, we could.

The overarching goal of the redesign was to more effectively communicate and more effectively deliver information. Comments from readers suggest we made huge strides in that aim.

Statistics also reveal site traffic is up 22% over the previous six month trend, page views are up 104%, time on site and bounce rate have both made significant improvements and sales of our core product, with any change in promotion, are up 219% over a six month trend.

Invest in better communication through better design – it always pays when you get it right.

Not Having a Blog Is Not An Option

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Joel Libava – otherwise known as The Franchise King – Enjoy!

If your business doesn’t have a website, it doesn’t have a chance. And, I’m not even talking about a professionally designed and optimized one. If you don’t have even a basic website up and running these days, your prospective customers and clients are going to have a hard time seeing you as being relevant.

And, if you don’t have a blog attached to your website, those same prospective customers and clients aren’t going to have a chance to learn about your expertise, and about the human side of your business.

55,000,000

That’s how many blogs there are (in the world) at the time of this writing.

And, those are only WordPress blogs. There are millions of other blogs that are on other blogging platforms like Typepad, Drupal and Tumblr.

Now, you can let that number motivate you, or you can let it freak you out-it’s your choice. (Personally, I hope that it gets you motivated to get a blog up and running right now.)

Blog Benefits

  1. Visibility
  2. Your visibility-especially online, will increase with a blog. The more you write, the better the chances are that you’ll get noticed. And, not just by your potential customers/clients. Reporters, writers, and PR people read blogs too.

  3. SEO
  4. Search engines love fresh, new content. Search-engine spiders-those little robots that are scouring the web, 24/7, get energized when they locate something new…especially if it’s closely related to the words that are being searched by your customers/clients.

    Active blogs…ones that have at least 1-2 original posts published weekly, provide that fresh, new content that search engines crave, which in turn, can increase your company’s chances of being found online by your target audience.

  5. Cred
  6. You need some. If you don’t come across as being a credible source of information, your customers are going to have a difficult time opening their wallets up to you…your business.

    A great way to show just how much you know is to write about it. These days, there’s no better way to do it, then on a blog. (It doesn’t even have to be done on your own blog. See #4.)

  7. New opportunities
  8. Once you’ve been writing posts-articles of your own on your own blog for a while, you can start approaching others in your industry, or even a related one, and write a blog post for them. (A guest post)

    Writing an article on someone else’s blog can provide you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge to an entirely new reader base. (And, possible new business opportunities and/or strategic partnerships.)

    Just make sure that your post is informational and helpful in nature-not promotional. (You’ll get an opportunity to promote yourself-your company at the end of your post, along with a link to your website or blog*.)

  9. Keeps your head in the game

There’s something to be said for writing your thoughts down, as opposed to verbalizing them or keeping them in your head.

You know things that others don’t. Why would you want to keep those things inside of you?

Do you have an idea that potential customers/clients can put to good use right away? Share it through a blog post. Do you have some opinions about your industry…and what needs to be changed to make it even better? Consider sharing those opinions on your blog. (Only if you’re comfortable doing so.)

Having an active blog keeps your head in the game-your game…your industry.

You want some more? Check out these 9 hidden benefits of blogging.

Thousands of articles…blog posts…have been written over the years on the importance of having a blog. If you don’t have one yet, what are you waiting for?

No more excuses

If you don’t consider yourself to be tech-savvy, have no fear. There are literally thousands of talented designers and programmers that can help you set-up your blog. It’s not expensive either, so scratch that one off your list of excuses of why you can’t do this right now.

If you haven’t written anything of substance for a while, don’t sweat it-I have a solution. Start a blog, and start writing. You’ll get better. Just keep writing.

And, if you think that no one will read it, you’re just plain wrong. Do you have any friends? Ask them to read your blog. Do you have employees? Do the same with them, and ask others in your industry to read it, too. Add a link to your blog on your main website. Do you have a LinkedIn account? Add a link there, too. Think of some other places that you can include a link to your new blog. And, before you know it, you’ll have a handful of readers.

That’s all you need at the beginning.

The more you write the more interest you’ll garner. Your early readers will start to share your posts with others. They may start reading your blog…they may even subscribe for free to receive your newest blog posts.

Have I succeeded in convincing you to start a blog?

The Franchise King®, Joel Libava, is the author of Become A Franchise Owner! He’s on a mission to create a new generation of super-successful franchise owners. He provides much-needed advice to individuals interested in franchise ownership with his top-notch advisory services and to the masses via his award-winning franchise blog. He’s on Twitter constantly @FranchiseKing.

Today I Think I Shall Blog in My Underwear

Odd as it may sound the title to this post isn’t really odd at all. In fact, most days I blog before the sun comes up and most days I wear whatever I feel like while doing so.

One of my favorite bits of Hugh MacLeod inspiration

Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not serious about my blog. It is quite easily the most important business asset I’ve built. Today’s post title, however, is a nod to the freedom that my blog and the Internet in general have created for my business over the last ten years.

This week, my friend and long time blogger, Hugh MacLeod releases his 3rd book, Freedom Is Blogging In Your Underwear, a sharp tongued tribute to the freedom we now have to work how we want, where we want and with whom we want. Hugh’s humor and wit, expressed through his unique characters and drawings, is one of the most inspirational romps anyone in the world of business can enjoy.

Hugh credits his blogging habit with altering the course of his business and personal life and creating the flourishing business that allows him to work at his craft.

A few words from Hugh:

I wrote the book as a love let­ter to the blog­ging, as it were. Blog­ging mat­ters. Sure, the apps are good things. Sha­ring pho­tos and fin­ding out new res­tau­rants is a defi­nite posi­tive. But as an artist, I come from a back­ground where get­ting your work seen and heard was REALLY HARD. Gate­kee­pers galore. Had blogs exis­ted back when I was a kid, a lot of my crea­tive peers wouldn’t have given up their dreams in order to go do some bill-paying govern­ment job.And what’s true for artists is also true for ANYONE who gives a damn about their work. Too many voi­ces, lost unnecessarily.

I too would make a similar claim. While some are quick to rush in and hail the next new online tool as the death of blogging, I would suggest that blogging is never going away. Blogging is the underpinning that launched a revolution of sorts in business and the only thing that will kill that off is a radical retreat in our desire to work in ways that allow us to control our destiny.

See, it’s not really about the tool; it’s about the behavior it unleashed. It’s about the fact that anyone, with any roots, experience, or desire could freely publish information directly to the audience they wished to influence. And that the stories, images, opinions and ideas shared would stand on their own merit and be consumed and shared by others regardless of what the established media, gatekeepers and experts said about it.

And for me it’s not even about the exposure my ideas enjoy. I wrote my first blog post in 2003 and knew immediately it was something important. It’s not that I knew blogging would become an essential tool, but I did sense that the act of blogging would change my business forever.

There are a few about blogging I did not know at the beginning, however, and it is these things that have produced the most profound and lasting benefits.

  • Blogging would make me a better thinker – (understand that better is relative!) In an effort to create content for a blog that is succinct, reveals new ways to look at common things, or apply simple solutions to seemingly complex problems, I believe I now think about business much differently.
  • Blogging would make me a better listener – When I engage in conversation or listen to radio interviews, I listen with a writer’s ear and often find my head filling up with blog post ideas by simply listening to others discuss sometimes unrelated subjects.
  • Blogging would make me a better writer – The fact that I practice writing daily has made me a better writer. It doesn’t mean I’m the world’s greatest writer, but practicing something makes you better at it – hard to deny that. Of course writing publicly like this also allows for community reaction to help you get better faster.
  • Blogging would make me a better salesperson – I write like I speak and often I write to sell an idea or even a very specific tactic. It’s amazing, but I find that clearly stating idea pitches in writing has improved my ability to quickly articulate them in a selling or interview setting. It’s like you build up this reserve bank of pre tested discussion points.
  • Blogging would make me a better speaker – This one falls nicely from the previous point but I’ll also add that working through blog posts on meatier topics, those that readers weigh in on, has produced some of my best presentation material to date.
  • Blogging would keep me focused on learning – The discipline required to create even somewhat interesting content in the manner I’ve chosen requires that I study lots of what’s hot, what’s new, what’s being said and what’s not being said in order to find ways to apply it to the world of small business.
  • Blogging would allow me to test out ideas – I’ve made some incredible discoveries about some of my ideas (okay, and had a few flops too) based on the immediate and sometimes passionate response from readers. Many of the ideas in my upcoming book were tested and molded here.
  • Blogging would make me a better networker – I have developed hundreds of relationships with other writers that provide me with ideas, tips and resources to share and who willingly pass on my ideas, tips and resources. Some of these relationships remain professionally on the surface, but some have evolved into very strategic and fulfilling personal relationships as well. (Sharing a beer at a conference helps that along)
  • Blogging would allow me to create bigger ideas – This one is related to testing out ideas, but the habit of producing content over time also affords you the opportunity to create larger editorial ideas that can be reshaped and repurposed for other settings. I’ve taken a collection of blog posts on a specific topic and turned them into an ebook more than once.

So Hugh, thanks for the inspiration and to all the bloggers, readers, commenters, linkers, sharerers and grammar defenders that stop by, thanks for collaborating on the canvass that gives me the freedom to practice what I feels like art.

5 Ways to Make Your Website Scream Local

local floristSearch engines have become one of the primary ways that people find products and services right in their hometown. This growing reality significantly increases the need for small local business owners to master this thing called local search.

There are many ways to make your website pages much more localized. This is one of the underlying elements that tell the search engines that yours is indeed a local business.

There are a number of things that website owners can do offsite, such as social media participation, that help them come up when people look for local goods and services, but the first step is to make sure that the content on your own site is local focused.

Below are five ways to make your website more local friendly.

Geo content

Simply adding geographic content to your web pages is one of the fist steps. This can include your physical address, directions with street and town names, maps, suburb names and names of communities or neighborhoods where you do work..

It’s also a great idea to do keyword research with local terms to find the best phrases to localized phrases to add to your pages. Google Keyword Tool or Wordtracker

Geo meta tags are also something worth investigating. Google continues to ignore them Bing has admitted they do use them to help determine business location. These tags go in the head section of a page and list the latitude and longitude of a business as well as city, state and country.

The tags for my business are:
meta name=”geo.region” content=”US-MO” /
meta name=”geo.placename” content=”Kansas City” /
meta name=”geo.position” content=”39.040409;-94.598657″ /
meta name=”ICBM” content=”39.040409, -94.598657″ /

Here’s a great Geo Meta Tag tool that will create these for your business address

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