Q: Can getting mentions in blogs help with local search rankings, and if so, what are some good ways to find and connect with local bloggers?
A: Absolutely. With the personalization and localization of search results, a relevant local link will be much more helpful and valuable to you than a generic non-local link. A couple good ways to connect with local bloggers:
• Offer to write a guest post. Most local bloggers will welcome high-quality, relevant guest content.
• Find something the blogger has written and leave a relevant comment. After making a few relevant comments (so the blogger knows you), introduce yourself via e-mail. Then, let the relationship evolve naturally.
This advice is spot on for improving local search. It's also a business blogging best practice. Writing guest blog posts for other industry related blogs is a great way to build reciprocal links (i.e. great for search). Compendium takes this approach , both providing guest posts for partners and asking for guest posts to feature on our blog. It works! Also, commenting on other blogs is an ideal way to participate in the social conversation, build credibility, and increase thought leadership.
3. Every business should heed this advice from this Open Forum article:
"The more relevant your site is to customer needs, the more likely that you'll sell to them."
One great way to continuously make your site relevant and engaging to your customer is through a blog. I'm still shocked that only about 50% of businesses are currently blogging as part of their digital marketing strategy. It is an ideal way to stay relevant, improve conversions, and increase optimization.