Here is the second part (tips 8 through 15) of our guide to help your website rank better locally, see part one here
8) Photos are a big deal in local SEO – A picture tells 1000 words so use them to your advantage to rank higher locally.
When searching online (especially Google) a lot of people use the image filter because they can see lots of pictures for what they are looking for. When using images on web pages, make sure they have as much info as possible included. Use a camera that provides the image with a geolocation, name the image correctly and it will help your site get found in local results and you’ll rank higher locally.
Don’t call it pic 1, call it what it is (e.g. TV cabinet in pine, Pine Factory Shop, Main Street, Mansfield) meaning you would know what the image is without even opening it. Always make sure your images on your website are optimised, a 10mb image file online will take ages to load and will have bad effects on your website SEO and ranking.
I recently did a search for furniture in Mansfield within Google images, a local firm that had named their photos correctly were displayed in the results.
So, make sure that if you’re selling items and using a lot of images that you tag them with a good description and location.
9) Create great local content because it’s one of the best things you can do for ranking your webite higher in local results.
If you have a blog, news page or portfolio pages, utilise the content well by mentioning local words, link to other local companies and share your content in the local online arena. If you’re a Mansfield web design company as an example and have customers wanting new websites in Mansfield (like us here at Midas Creative) then this is a good way of promoting your business through worthwhile content.
Your content HAS to be of value to the reader. Saying how great you are as a business may be true, but people will quickly get turned off. Make sure the wording on your website addresses a need or a want from the reader, it needs to be useful and engaging. Amazing fresh content is key to rank higher locally.
Let’s use an example of a gardening company. If a blog post was created about a new wall that was erected for a client, it’s of not much value to the reader. If you said that the wall that was erected because the client had a problem with A, B and C (like what your current website visitor also has) and how this has been overcome by the new wall, then it starts having value. Adding a customer testimonial/review is the cherry on the cake. Good, relevant content backed up by a review is exactly what your visitor searching for a “gardening company” locally may be looking for.
10) Who are the online movers and shakers locally?
Do some research on social media and online, find out where your potential customers will be watching. Who writes to them and engages socially? Think about who your market is, who your ideal website visitor is and where they will likely be.
It may sound obvious but if you’re a solicitor offering legal services to business, it’s probably not likely your audience will be found in a Facebook group focused on local wildlife. Your audience will more likely be on groups and forums for ‘start-up’ businesses for instance. Likewise, if you’re a business selling ‘outdoor clothing’ then the local wildlife page is probably well suited.
Once you establish who and where these ‘gateways’ to your audience are, produce content that is helpful and engaging and that your audience will be thankful for. Over time, that will help with SEO and how you are perceived as a business.
Don’t be a salesperson, engage – share content where relevant and build a relationship which can be of value both ways. It’s a great way to help rank higher locally.
11) Local events and lead magnets can help your website to rank better locally
By running local events, offer some type of hook ‘too good to be missed’. Everyone likes something for nothing.
Think about what you could offer that would be of great value?
We’ve recently started working with a restaurant, they have great feedback, great prices and the food is exceptional, but they need the extra push to get people through the door when they’re open.
We’ve be helping them with their online promotions and pushing this through social media, advertising and blogging.
One promotion they are running is ‘book a table for Tuesday night’ for four people and get your first drinks for FREE plus 10% off your next booking.
It has created engagement in social media, brought more people through the door, allowed reviews to be left therfore you can see a lot can be done with a simple promotion.
Try to get a following and create a buzz!
12) Social media selfies!
In social media, a picture does speak a thousand words. Working on the above example of free drinks with a table booking: if these people tweeted or shared a photo to their Facebook wall, think of the localised coverage you’d generate!
13) Paid Search & Social Campaigns
Most of the companies I’ve spoken to about local marketing want to get their websites working for them ASAP, wanting instant success, although in reality all techniques to rank higher locally does take time and consistency. With the best advice, SEO and strategy in the world, most SEO approaches to your business and website does take this time to implement and for you to start seeing real benefits.
So what next?
I’d suggest that until your website and SEO strategy starts to kick in, and even after they do, sometimes it’s better to bolster this by paying for advertising and promoted social exposure.
Depending on your business objectives and customer demographics there are many avenues you can take to do this. There is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Adwords, Bing etc. etc. etc.
The reason that this can work really well, is the fact that you can really drill down and target specific audiences with targeted messages and advertising. You can select filters criteria such as location, distance from location, age group, personal interests, gender, languages, other similar sites they have liked…the list goes on depending on the platform.
Imagine you’re a clothes shop with a website in Mansfield (without an e-commerce site) that sells locally. You sell items aimed at teenage girls aged between 14-16.
I’d potentially say, opt for two social media platforms, to begin with – Facebook and Twitter or Instagram. Target some promoted posts with pictures of the latest on trend fashion item that you have recently in stock or maybe a promotion or discount.
Target of the post:
Mansfield + 5/10 miles
Aged 13 – 16
Post time between 6-9pm Mon-Fri + 9-1pm Sat/Sun (when not at school)
Interests in “Fashion” and “Katy Perry” (seen wearing a similar item recently in social media/news)
As it’s so niche and targeted the cost/budget you allocate shouldn’t be that much. Hopefully, with the right content, it will start the “likes”, “shares” and “reposts” – it’s slightly different method with Google and Bing but the idea is still the same – target and drill down to your audience.
I know this is an easy example to illustrate but It’s like this for most businesses no matter what you sell.
14) The value of your customer
Don’t just think about that one item that you just sold, think about the lifecycle of the customer, make sure they return. Get your store right and create the right impression and atmosphere, make sure your customer service is on point. Responding to messages in social media and send out newsletters to your old audience. Re-market to them (I’ll discuss this in a future post).
Using the above example:
You’ve just sold a £20 rucksack, with the right follow-up, nurturing and pushing brand awareness, your £20 customer becomes a £2k customer as she’ll probably keep buying from you until she is no longer your target market.
Think about it, do you think that McDonald’s had a turnover of £24 billion in 2016 by selling a £2.99 hamburger meal once. They have built their image, environments, marketing and online activities (their business) to build up repeat customers. Your £2.99 hamburger buyer will possibly buy from them for the next 20-30 years… that’s a lot of money.
This could possibly change your thinking about paid advertising – if you think about the lifetime value generated by one customer.
15) Reputation is Everything – Good or Bad! Get it right and it will help you website to rank higher locally.
The world that we’re living in is getting easier for consumers everyday, they can pick up their smartphones and instantly find things online and who to buy from.
This is a double-edged sword – yes, they can instantly find what they want, likewise, they can instantly get an impression of your business that you simply can’t control.
Word of mouth and reputation is even more important today than it ever was. We’re all connected, we all share and like. We also have platforms to post our comments and opinions in and this is visible to everyone! Word of mouth still exists (and always will) but a lot of it is now digital.
Make sure that even though you use your website to drive your business through strategy, SEO and marketing, that you don’t forget the basics. Your reputation is key to surviving and thriving.
I really hope you’ve found some useful help and advice to build, strengthen and get your website to rank higher locally.
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