The point of ‘local’
How many times have you Googled* a service in your local area e.g. ‘hairdresser Clapham’?
Probably quite a few times, and what usually happens?
You find a bunch of search results for review sites, directories or more recently maps results, all of which when you click through tend to either be out of date or not what you are looking for.
So in that quick experiment we can see the clear results; if your business relies on local footfall, you need a local marketing digital strategy.
Not only that though, from an SEO point of view, you want your business to pop up either at the top of, or instead of those results, right?
*Other search engines are available but usually only used by accident
Five tips on how to ‘do local’ in 5 minutes a day
Here are five tips and tricks that you can implement without being a techie whizz-kid that will benefit your local marketing efforts:
1. Set up a local pages and also claim ‘free’ listings
Google now prioritises content from brands that maintain an up-to-date and optimised Google Plus page, so it’s no secret that Google+ Places, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places are important to your local toolkit.
These links show at the top of your SERPs, on maps pages, but also within natural search results, so it’s best to have it linked correctly with your website.
2. Optimise your website
You’ll have read all about SEO for keywords, but are you doing it for your location too?
Make sure each page of your site has a good chance of being found by combining the service you offer with your physical location. Here are a few ways:
- Update your page titles and ensure they are unique e.g. About us: About hair dresser clapham SW4 or Contact us: contact hairdresser clapham etc.
- Select your most important pages that you want to get found and add links to and from them from other pages within your site
- Ensure link anchor text is on important keywords e.g. ‘hairdresser’ not ‘click here’
- Add your address throughout your site
3. Create a blog and include local events
Content marketing is one of the most-used phrases in digital at the moment because of its importance to SEO.
The better quality content your website contains, the better chance there is of authority sites and key influencers sharing and linking to it.
But that’s not where it ends, as fresh original content on your site covering local events can also provide huge benefits – especially when shared through Google Plus.
Using the hairdressing example, you write an article about a wedding fair you attended in the local area including a review, good quality imagery and even including some customers. There is a good chance the venue and your customers might share the content, but also the phrases ‘hairdresser from Clapham’ and mention of weddings can be included in a natural writing style.
4. Get involved with local organisations
As well as writing about local events you go to, try to build relationships with other local businesses, as well as local press and media. For example, your local chamber of commerce, local press business directories or sponsor a local school football team.
These methods can be very effective for securing local, trusted links, which will work to improving the overall authority of your site.
5. Use video
Or rather more explicitly, YouTube.
Upload a related video and make sure you promote your location at all available opportunities:
- Geo-tag it
- Add a link in the ‘description’ field
- Include address details in the transcript
- Use tags
- Link to your Google Plus page
- Embed it in your website