With 2020 representing something of a horror show for many businesses, but with more awareness of the importance of ‘shopping local’ there is even greater emphasis on solidifying local SEO strategy to ensure strong performance in the local area. Local business communities are coming together to support each other and with many people willing to eschew the online giants in favour of supporting their local businesses, the importance of ensuring that a local business has strong online presence linked to local searches has never been greater.
Excellent local SEO strategies always involve a combination of short term and long term approaches, but in the current climate let’s focus on some of the best ways in which you can improve your local SEO in the short term, generating real, measurable results as soon as possible.
Provide unique, locally relevant content
Having your pages and blogs populated with up-to-date, strong content that addresses real consumer concerns represents strong SEO anyway, but to address local SEO you will want to narrow the focus further, integrating local news stories and collaborating with other local businesses to generate interest in local affairs. Research what local customers want to read about and then set about writing consistent new articles to reflect and expand your readership.
Create a Google My Business Page
This is such a quick win in terms of local SEO. It helps customers find you, helps to garner reviews, which are increasingly important and essentially serves as free advertising. Make sure you keep your listing updated so the information you are proving is accurate.
Local landing pages
If you are a business with more than one geographical location then local landing pages are a must. The crux of the idea is to filter organic traffic to pages relevant to each specific bricks and mortar business. With 58% (and rising) of smartphone users searching for local information on a daily basis, this is becoming more and more vital.
Encourage positive feedback / reviews
Ask happy customers to write positive reviews on your Google listing. You will not only make an exceptional Google My Business presence, but also encourage more local customers to deal with you. A 2017 BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey found that 85% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations and with more and more people researching reviews before shopping for products and services, it will only become more important to have excellent reviews in the online domain. In order to achieve these reviews you can:
• Send satisfied (screened via internal survey) customers an email asking for a review, with a link to your Google page.
• Ask for a review as you finish providing your service or close a sale.
Engage on social media
Social media is an excellent mechanism through which you can forge closer bonds with the local community and improve your online visibility, brand awareness and credibility in a local context. Establish a strong identity and engage with local news and local hashtags on a regular basis in order to make the most of the opportunities social media can offer when it comes to boosting your local SEO in the point ‘Engage on social media’.