How Do I Find Local Content to Curate? Here Are 3 Tactics
When you do a Google search for “How do I find local content?” the results are disappointing. They focus on SEO strategies that teach you how to rank in Google’s geotargeted search results. They don’t, however, explain how to find content from a specific geographic area.
So, what do you do if you want to find content about events in San Francisco? New York? Chicago? Sheboygan, Wisconsin? Well, let me show you…
When do you need local content?
Before we jump into finding location-specific articles, videos, blog posts, etc., let’s talk about when you might need this type of content.
Imagine that you work for the tourism bureau for Chicago. You want to create a portal on your site that notifies people of upcoming events and provides people with reviews of those events.
To keep that page fresh with new content, you could have event planners submit upcoming events to you, and you could have local journalists submit their reviews of those events, as well. Then, you could assign a marketer to the task of digging through all the submissions, picking out the most relevant ones, and posting them to your site.
Or you could take more ownership of the process. Instead of relying on others to submit their events and reviews, you could find those reviews and actively share them.
Imagine that you are a financial planner. You are not Suze Orman, and you never plan to be a Suze-style evangelist to the masses. You have found your niche, and it is targeting people in Northeastern Pennsylvania, specifically in Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming, and Lackawanna counties.
To stay in touch with your clients and discover new ones, you have decided to be active on social media. In addition to sharing tax information for students and valuable retirement information, you want to stand out from your competition in another way. You plan to share information on arts and culture in the area. You know, show your customers that you know what really matters to them – in all walks of life.
But how do you stay on top of everything going on in those four counties? Where do you find content about local festivals? Here are three different ways to do that…
1. Save Your Google Searches
Before you start, you need to enable Google save searches. (This works only if you have Google account.) To do so, you need to navigate to your account history page. Then, you have to allow Google to track what you search for.
Next, you will want to create a new search. For the sake of example, let’s use the first scenario from the section above. And let’s say that you are looking specifically for information on jazz in Chicago for the tourism bureau.
For starters, you might search for “jazz Chicago” or “jazz in Chicago.” Next, set your location to “Chicago.” To do that, click on “Search Tools” in the Google browser window, and enter Chicago if it is not already set to Chicago.
Now that you have your location set, you will want to set a time frame. Visitors to Chicago don’t care about content from 2010. They want to know what’s happening now.
So, you’ll want to go to “Search Tools” again. And you will want to change “Any time” to the “Past week” (or “Past 24 hours”.)
When you go to your search history page, you will find that Google has saved your search criteria for you. And you can use it for a later date.
Every time you want to find new content, you can click on “jazz Chicago,” and Google will take you to that search.
There are limitations to this strategy. As you can see from our results, Google will not necessarily find unique content. The top search results might be what everyone else in the Chicago jazz scene is already discussing.
Plus, once you do find a piece of content that you like, you will have to copy and paste it to your site, social media channels, e-mail lists, etc. Saving Google searches is not an efficient way to find new local content. But in a pinch, it can get the job done.
2. Geotargeting with Trapit’s Discovery Capabilities
Trapit’s discover capabilities are similar to Pandora. But instead of helping you find new music, Trapit helps you find new blog posts, articles from professional journals, videos, articles from newspapers, and more.
With discovery, you start off with a broader topic. When you look at your discovery results, you give a thumbs up or thumbs down to content. Then, Trapit’s artificial intelligence learns about your preferences, and it delivers more personalized results.
When using Trapit’s discovery feature, you can filter by geographic locations. As you can see in the example below, we have set the location to “Chicago, Illinois.”
If I hit “New Trap,” Trapit will save my discovery criteria, learn my preferences, and look for content for me 24/7. When I find a piece of content that I like, I can publish it to my website, or I can share it on social media.
Unlike Google search results, I will receive articles tailored to me – not what the 3.5 billion daily Google searches indicate is popular or relevant.
3. Finding Location-Specific Content with Trapit’s Search Capabilities
In addition to offering discovery based on artificial intelligence, Trapit offers boolean search. In some ways, it is similar to Google boolean search. However, Trapit does not rank your results according to other people’s search preferences. Instead, whenever Trapit runs across a piece of content that matches your terms, the platform will show you that piece of content.
Here’s what a trap might look like for the “Chicago jazz” topic:
Since you are looking for a specific set of words when conducting a search, Trapit’s artificial intelligence is turned off. In other words, you cannot give a thumbs up or a thumbs down, and Trapit will not personalize your search
That said, as we saw with the discovery capabilities, Trapit will save that search and look for content for you 24/7. When you find a piece of content that you like, you can easily post it to a variety of end points – your site, social media, e-mail or a tablet.
What about You?
Above, you’ll find three techniques that I have used over the years to find local content. What about you? What strategies have you used? Leave a comment below!
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