SEO Overrated Compared to Local Influencers

May 4, 2016

2:00 pm

Search Engine Optimization: The term covers a range of tactics aimed at luring search engine users to your website. It is taught throughout numerous online courses and many terabytes of YouTube videos as one of the most important ways to attract customers. But what if technology has surpassed this popular method? Has SEO jumped the shark? Compared to the impact of local influencers, absolutely.

For most businesses, life doesn’t get much better than when a local influencer is around. Some global influencers have a reach that would help any company, for example Mark Cuban. But it is the local influencer that brings the conversions to a website. Local influencers are easier to form a connection with and are close to the action.

It takes effort and trust to build relationships with local influencers, but it is more than worth the energy. When it comes to influencers, a local business has more in common and better mutual connections than the big guys. The tough part is finding them.

Who

The first question is, “Who are local influencers?” Generally, they are individuals who have a lot of trust within your target audience. They have proven to be credible with your ideal demographics, making them an important factor in their decision making process. An influencer can help get the word out about your site because of their reputation.

How

Local influencers help improve your local SEO by getting the word out through social media, traditional methods and natural links. The idea is that publicity from a reputable source serves to spread the word through more natural links and reviews. A great local influencer will help a business owner become more authoritative in their niche. The more trustworthy a business owner becomes, the higher Google ranks the site.

Where

There are several different methods for finding local influencers who can help improve local SEO.

Networking Events

Attending networking events should be a no-brainer. This is the go-to place for meeting local influencers and starting to build a relationship. It’s smart to be candid at these events and ask everyone who they see as an influencer in your industry. Mention that you are seeking to expand your network, and you’ll be surprised how open people will be.

Research

Use social media to find local influencers. Start by finding those in your area and those who have a decent number of followers. Chicago Computer Classes, a Chicago-based computer and Internet training site , suggests you search for “middle level” influencers or those having between 500 and 1500 followers. An A-list influencer will not be interested in leveraging your business in the beginning stages. Try Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

You can also look at Google Analytics to see if you see someone is sharing your content. When you find them, do your research. Make sure to try looking at your competitors’ page to find out who their influencers are. Regardless of what network you’re searching on, make sure to look continually at their content and quality of followers.

Photo: Flickr / Christian Schnettelker

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Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist.

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