There are always going to be those who try to look for the easy way out. The ones who try to find every shortcut and get it to work in their favor.

We’ve seen this a lot in the business world when it comes to SEO: People want to find that magic element that will get them on page one easily, keeping their competition easily at bay.

Again: This magic element doesn’t exist. You’re going to have to put in the hard work if you want to get results that you’re looking for.

One thing that you’ll hear in your quest to fully optimize your site is that you need to create unique content. This is technically true, but all businesses are creating unique content all the time.

If you truly want to set yourself apart, you need to look into producing local content.

Finding that Differentiator

Unless you sell something way off the wall, chances are you’re going to have competition that you’ll have to deal with. Depending on how much you’re making and where you’re located, this competition can be in the dozens all the way to the hundreds.

All of this competition is going to be fighting fiercely to get SEO on their side and climb to the top spot. This will make things that much more difficult for you to reach your goal.

Again, unique content is an important factor in upping your SEO game, but it’s not the only thing. Consider it: you and every competitor are going to be writing unique content. At base, though, it’ll all be about the same thing. Every page will relate to the type of product that you’re selling or the service that you provide.

Citations used to be what was happening in the local SEO game, but that’s no longer the case. It used to be that sites were crawled for content that was addressed locally and prioritized accordingly.

In the same way that this used to be the big thing in the market, so too is unique content becoming the same basic thing. You should consider citations to be something like a buy-in; they’re necessary to get started, but that’s only the beginning. Other means have to be used in order to secure a unique and profitable site.

When everyone is super, no one is. That’s the basic premise behind what’s going down with unique content today. Everyone is generating unique content for their site.

What used to be a key differentiator for sites trying to get a leg up on the competition has now become nearly obsolete. In a market that’s saturated with the same thing, the market is practically begging for innovation to come and save the day. That’s where local content comes in.

The key here is to write content that’s 100 percent about the local area. It’s not enough to write unique content and then toss in the city and state. It’s not even about including city and state info on every page. If you want to stand out, you’ll have to craft content that is truly local and built around the experience that customers can have with the product or service in a local setting.

Not only are people going to be more comfortable with your brand as a whole if you’re more local, Google is going to reward you with higher page rankings than you might have had before. But again, you have to actually write the local content and have it apply to your customers and their experiences.

If people feel like they’re being addressed directly, they’re more likely to feel validated and ultimately will be more likely to take action. So don’t be afraid to reach out and give it a shot!

Local is the New Unique

Unique content made plenty of sense when it was being used to bump up websites in Google. In a world of copied content and online drudgery, this was the way for companies to stand out and show just how they differentiate from the competition. As we said before, though, the entire market got complacent when everyone was writing unique content and trying to get to the top of the page.

This doesn’t mean that unique content should be shunned entirely. In fact, once you write your local content, it will have to be unique.

The only difference here is that you’re cornering a certain geographical area to reach a segment of the population and focus intently on their experience. This is the way to shoot to the top of Google search results and this is the way to make your customers feel validated.

You can do all of this by sharing local community information, interviewing a local figure, or sharing news and events in your area. Don’t have to limit all of this to your blog, either.

Put just as much focus on local content in your standard website as well. Whatever you can do to sway opinions and convert leads will work.

In reality, this is more of a fundamental shift in the way you operate than you might think. If you aren’t already involved in the community, you should be. You can spend time volunteering for a local cause, donating, or even interview someone who matters in the community. The possibilities are limitless when it comes to figuring out how to secure that local game.

Ultimately, though, you can’t fake it. You have to be legitimately connected to your community in order for this to have the desired effect. If you’re actually involved in your community, then it will be easy for you to write this unique local content.

If you aren’t, it will come across as artificial. There’s no fake it till you make it here.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it should give you an idea as to how to take advantage of local content to expand the reach of your company.

Article by Jared Sherwood