Miriam Ellis

Announcing: The Local Business Content Marketing Guide

The author’s views are entirely their own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

What kind of content will help my local business achieve its marketing goals?

This was the topic sentence I began with when writing this guide, and four chapters later, I feel I’ve truly had the space to answer it more fully than any other single resource anywhere on the web.

I hope you will think of The Local Business Content Marketing Guide as your big book of ideas, inspirations, tutorials, workflows, best practices, and real-world examples. Turn to it at different stages of local business growth for actionable tips from twelve of the world’s most respected local marketers, including Amanda Jordan, Amy Toman, Carrie Hill, Claire Carlile, Colan Nielsen, Darren Shaw, David Mihm, Greg Sterling, Joy Hawkins, Sherry Bonelli, Stefan Somborac, and Mike Blumenthal.

There are many good guides to online content marketing, but this one is written specifically for the unique circumstances and opportunities of local businesses and their marketers. There is so much information across the internet on what local businesses should be publishing, but this guide organizes dozens of topics into a single resource. In keeping with the 80/20 rule of thumb that you should spend 20% of your time writing and 80% marketing what you’ve created, this resource will teach you not just what to write but where and how to promote your work.

Why I wrote this guide for you

I had two key inspirations for taking a thorough approach to this guide.

The first was all of the local business content marketing FAQs I’ve identified over a twenty-year career of consulting with fantastic business owners. I’ve seen the in-house expertise that exists at every local business, and I’ve empathized with the struggles of turning that knowledge into customer-centric content that becomes a major asset to the company in meeting its goals for discovery, engagement, acquisition, and retention. I wanted to share both what local business owners have taught me, and how I have helped them.

Second, I was watching one of my favorite gardening programs some months ago in which researchers were documenting how a single tree can become the host to hundreds of different species, from animals to insects, from ferns to mosses, from tall vines to microscopic fungi. Great trees not only feed us, but they absorb carbon and contribute to the very air we breathe. All at once, I felt I had a working analogy for the role local businesses play in communities, and the way in which they can come to host hundreds of types of useful content that contribute to the overall quality of local life. Because of this inspiration, I’ve structured this guide along the phases of the life of a tree, and I hope you’ll enjoy each of the stages of growth.

Beyond this, and because of the heartfelt respect I feel for the vital role local businesses play in our daily lives, I’ve included some straight talk in this guide about the societal, economic, and environmental challenges in which most small companies presently exist. You’ll find some thoughts on how using your voice on these issues as part of your content marketing plan can improve life quality in the communities you serve, and perhaps even in the world.

Who is this guide for?

This guide was written specifically for local business owners and marketers at the small to medium business level. It is also meant for SEO and marketing agencies with local business clients. It teaches a multi-faceted approach to local business content marketing through the understanding that the umbrella term “content” comprises everything from text to video to images to audio media.

Something as small as the text on a button or a quick answer to a question on your Google Business profile is content. And something as huge as the decision to launch a local podcast for your community can be part of your business’s content strategy, too. Local business owners become publishers the moment they step online, and this guide is for anyone who wants to know what to write, photograph, film, record and promote.

What’s in this guide?

Four stages of local business content marketing

Read this comprehensive guide for insight into all of the following topics:

Chapter 1: Plant a Healthy Sapling — Foundational Content Assets

  • Set goals

  • Do customer research

  • Do keyword research

  • Do market research

  • Create and market assets

  • Create your USP/UVP

  • Product/service descriptions

  • Fulfillment ecosystem

  • Contact ecosystem

  • Domain and Page URLs

  • Logo

  • Real world signage

  • Slogan

  • Mission and vision statement

  • Company & customer policy

  • Proofs of Local Business E-E-A-T

Chapter 2: Grow a Strong Trunk — Core Website-based Content Assets

  • The local business publishing mindset

  • Onsite local SEO

  • Basic website pages

  • Location/city landing pages

  • Practitioner landing pages

  • CTAs

  • User-generated content (UGC)

  • Image content

  • Video content

  • Blogging, vlogging, and podcasting

  • Accessibility

  • Internal link architecture

  • Local business schema

Chapter 3: Root Down and Branch Out — Offsite Content Assets

  • Local business listings

  • Review acquisition, management, and analysis

  • Unstructured citations

  • Inbound link strategy

  • Featured snippets

  • Email marketing

  • Public relations (PR)

  • Paid advertising

  • Social media marketing

  • Social media marketing and social marketing

Chapter 4: Play Host to Thriving Local Life — Further Content Opportunities

  • Continuous remarketing of assets

  • Ongoing asset refresh

  • Continuous growth of internal link architecture

  • Publishing for all phases of the customer journey

  • Publishing for B2B relationship development

  • Publishing for good

Growing your own content tree may sound like a major undertaking, and it is! But in this guide, you’ll find both quick wins and longer-term strategies for a continuous harvest of business benefits. Well-rooted local companies operate for years – even for generations – and that goal of longevity gives you plenty of time to experiment, implement, reflect, and grow over time. From getting started with identifying a unique selling proposition, to seeing opportunity through a big forest that includes major questions on topics like AI and changes in consumer behavior, this guide is here to help you act with intention, purpose, and excellent information as you reach up towards success on behalf of the local brands you market.

Please, come have a read, and share and bookmark this guide as a reference you can return to as your local business grows and thrives. And, please feel free to reach out to me on X if new questions arise as you’re reading. Wishing you all success!

About Miriam Ellis —

Miriam Ellis is the Local SEO Subject Matter Expert at Moz and has been cited among the top five most prolific women writers in the SEO industry. She is a consultant, columnist, local business advocate, and an award-winning fine artist.