For local businesses, being a member of a local Chamber of Commerce has many traditional benefits. Those include:
- Local publicity opportunities
- Networking opportunities
- Mailing lists and referrals
With the emergence of Google+, another major benefit now is available to those Chambers that provide enhanced online opportunities. They are:
- Blog posts with Authorship links
- Community Posts and Engagement
- Enhancing Trust and Authority
- Linking back to Profile and then Page and Website
- Chamber’s “Authoritative” status on Google
These benefits will translate into improved Google Search results. This is not a short term strategy and does not provide instant results. But as part of your overall content and search marketing strategy, this is another valuable opportunity you can’t miss.
What makes these opportunities so valuable?
For many years membership with a local chamber provided a number of SEO benefits to your web presence. First is the value of a local citation from a trusted organization. Chambers are considered a valuable search “signal” that you and your website are a real and credible business. Being listed in the membership directory is a major “legitimacy” signal and the backlink from the Chamber site is important to Google. Obviously, if you are active in the cChamber and that gets you and your business on other Chamber pages, then you get more of those premium backlinks to your site.
But now there are even greater benefits: Authorship! Your Chamber’s blog provides you another venue for your content that has automatic “authority” that you can build upon.
Authorship and Building Trust and Authority Through Your Chamber
Your chamber’s blog is a valuable opportunity for your business to expand its content marketing strategy. In addition, if your Chamber has a Google+ community then you have even more opportunities to expand the building of your trust and authority by being active in their community. That activity can grow as the Google+ community grows. Therefore you have a vested interest in expanding the membership of that community.
If your business has a website, and even better a blog, then you can re-purpose much of that content to the chamber blog. DO NOT JUST COPY THE CONTENT. Take the basic ideas and target that content to the local Chamber audience. Also include local activities you engage in and how your business enhances the community. If you don’t normally generate content on your website, you should re-evaluate that strategy and the Chamber blog would be a good place to start creating content about the value of your business to the community.
The Chamber’s Google+ Community
Google+ Communities are, and will increasingly become, a major opportunity for businesses to build trust and authority. Google has made it very clear that they will be leveraging trust and authority as major search signal in the coming years. Those businesses that miss this opportunity will be left in the dust.
If your local Chamber is sponsoring a Google+ Community, this should be a major part of your strategy for building that trust and authority. Not only does it benefit your search rankings but it connects you to the local community and helps you build personal connections to a wider range of people in your community. Think of it as networking on steroids. You are reaching a wider audience, every day, and you don’t have to leave your office.
A Call to Action
Contact your local Chamber now and see what opportunities they are offering. If you find them wanting, then get active on helping them expand those opportunities. If they are not on Google+, then that is a good place to start. If they are and don’t have a community, help get them set up. Not only will it create new content marketing options for your business but you will also build your presence in the local community.