If you are running a local business, you may be wondering how you can target even more customers in your region. If you already have a website, that's a great start, and if you don't, it's definitely time to join the digital marketing revolution.
More and more people are searching for businesses like yours online. That means they are using their computers, tablets and phones to find you. If you're not online, or your website can't be found, you can kiss goodbye to the chance of doing business with them. Whether you are selling products or services, you could be missing out on a huge chunk of your market.
But I have a website. Isn't that enough?
No, you need to ensure people can find your website. The only way to do this, short of delivering your website address to everybody in the area by hand, is by making your website known by the search engines. And the only way you can do that is through local SEO.
Local SEO - It's Not As Hard As It Sounds
When it comes to ensuring local customers can find you, the process is easier than it sounds, but it needs work. It also needs constant maintenance if you want to ensure you stay in front of your target audience and ahead of your competitors. Fortunately, there are companies offering professional assistance with search engine optimisation that can do everything for you, but more on this later.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your chances of being found by local customers:
1. Create a Google My Business account - by claiming your own Google My Business page, you will be joining the millions of businesses that are benefiting from this service. It's almost like an additional web page, and is just another way to get your business known. This services allows you to add all the important details of your business, and to receive and show customer reviews too.
2. Acquire as many local reviews as possible - local reviews also have a direct impact on local search, and so try to get as many as possible. Use Google, Yell and other review sites, and ask previous customers if they would be happy to leave a review.
3. Optimise your landing pages - every single page on your website is a chance to get your business noticed in the search engines. By using the keywords that your audience is using to search for you online you automatically increase your chances of being found. So, if prospective customers are searching for "roofing", make sure your pages contain that search phrase.
4. Build a link strategy - business is largely based on trust, but how do you convince people to trust you if they haven't dealt with you before? The answer is to become an online authority in your field. Blog posts are a great way to do this and will add more keyword juice for the search engines as well as showing you know your stuff. You should look to write blogs on your website that link to good quality sites within your industry, and also look to write guest posts on relevant blogs that then link back to your own website.
5. Don't forget social media - social media is another way you can boost your search engine rankings, so use it as much as you can. It's also a great method to build a rapport with your target audience, and yet another way you can advertise your service, communicate directly with your customers and attract reviews.
If You Don't, Your Competitors Will
Search engine optimisation is one of the best ways to reach your target audience. When it comes to attracting local business, you have a lot of tools and options open, but you must use them well to get the best returns. It's only a matter of time before your competitors start to take up these methods, if they aren't already doing so.