In this age of affordable web design and local business directories, getting online is no longer an issue for even the smallest of businesses. Being seen, however, is an entirely different ball game. By virtue of the fact that every man (or woman) and their dog are now able to establish at least a basic web presence with ease – for those businesses dependent on local trade staying ahead of the pack has never been more important.
In this guide we’ll outline some key tips for staying on top of the pile – from social networking to business directories and a few pointers in between.
Getting Local Search Working For You
Local search is gaining importance, quickly becoming an essential part of a localised online marketing strategy. The following tips are designed to outline what that strategy should include.
1. Size Up the Competition
Obvious maybe – but a vital component in building a successful strategy. Experiment with a few searches to find out who’s showing up on the first page in your local area. What tools are they using? How does their meta-description read (the sentence that follows their entry)? What keywords are they using? Identifying some of the top search terms will enable you to start to building them into your copy.
2. Never Forget Where You’re From
SEO (search engine optimisation) isn’t rocket science, but there are certain basic rules to follow. When it comes to local business and the internet – it’s all location, location, location. Don’t be afraid to tell people (and more importantly search engines in this case) where you are.
Display your address wherever possible (at the bottom of the page for example) to give the search engines something to pick up on, and consider using local landmarks such as railway stations to give directions.
3. Get Yourself On the Map
Free facilities such as Google Maps and Yahoo Local are probably one of the easiest and most effective ways of raising your search engine profile quickly. Many of the major players such as Google even display a map and corresponding businesses as part of their local results, so if you’re lucky you can appear near the top of the page with very little investment.
Longer term of course this strategy alone won’t suffice, but to get started if you haven’t already – do it now.
4. Be Sociable
Social media is currently one of the most powerful online marketing tools available. To start with, reach out to your audience by setting up a Facebook page for your business (free, and very easy). Use Twitter to promote various offers and tell people what’s going on in an informal, interactive atmosphere.
Lastly, starting a blog is a great way to engage your demographic, promote your business and invite discussion. Use regular updates and take any opportunity to offer advice and present yourself as an expert in your field.
5. Organic is Best
As with any good strategy, relying on one approach alone is unlikely to yield results in the long-term. Compliment your active efforts by submitting your business details to local trade listings – or use one of the many sites who offer multiple listings on major directories for a small fee.
Link building, otherwise known as organic growth, is as important as applying any amount of SEO wizardry to your site. Remember – the majority of these simple tips are achievable with even the most basic of technical knowledge. Local search is gaining importance, and you don’t need to be left behind. If you would like to improve your local search results, please call 01454 261111.