Tips for Local SEO 2021
When running a small business, the question we get asked the most is how can I raise awareness of my brand more effectively? There are no quick solutions, but if you are a business that operates mainly to clientele in a specific geographical area, there are immediate measures that can be put into place to start to maximise your local visibility online. Here are our latest tips for local SEO 2021.
LOCAL Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Local search, this is the term given to people who are searching for goods and services that are based in their own communities.
In the early days of Google when we could only really find websites, getting to Number 1 on Google was the goal for businesses to get found. In those days businesses could do this by putting their location in their domain name. Google had basic local indexing tools such as maps, but as it has evolved it has enabled local search to be more relevant. Small businesses have a wonderful suite of free tools that allow users to find information about them swiftly without having to leave the search engine. Interactive buttons also make it easy for users to directly call you , visit your website, or get directions instantly. One of the main features Google has brought in is Google My Business.
Google My Business
If you are a small business and your target market is predominantly within a local radius, claiming your Google My Business listing is vital. If you don’t you are missing out on some key visibility and putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage.
If Google My Business is new to you and you are not sure how to set it up or use it, then read our Google My Business guide. Once you have set up your Google My Business you will then need to do the same for Bing as this is the UK’s other large search engine. This is straightforward and can be done via Bing Places which simply pulls through your GMB listing information and syncs it up. If you have a physical premises, be sure to claim your Apple Maps pin.
Local directories are useful for local businesses to register with. Some may charge a fee and some will be free. The most important factor to consider before jumping on any local directory you find is quality. Google and other search engines will penalise you if you link to poor quality external sites, so make sure the directory is highly regarded locally as a good source of information and one that the community regularly relies on for up-to-date information. This could be the classified section of your local paper, local councils, local business groups, or Chamber of Commerce.
Building links on directories is also known as citations, so over time to boost your overall online visibility it makes sense to periodically list your business across UK reputable websites that may be specific to your sector e.g if you were a counsellor the BACP website. There are also more generic business directories such as Yell.com or Thomson Local and it is important to spend a few weeks building up your presence on these as well. Here is a list of the top UK directory sites and a tool to help you with this task.
Word of Caution
Google sees instant mass presence as spamming. For example if you are on no directories today and then suddenly appear on 50 tomorrow that would look like spam to Google. This strategy should be approached over a period of weeks maybe adding 2 a week to make it more organic.
Building citations is a time-consuming task and this is another reason to list on directories slowly. It would be wise to keep a record of all the directories and online platforms where you have listed your Name Address and Phone Number (NAP) to keep track of where you have listed your business and where to go should details change.
The critical element of this is to ensure that your NAP is consistent across your online channels. This includes your own website, Google My Business, Bing, Apple Map, Eventbrite, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Basically, anywhere you list your business, the Name Address and Phone Number must be identical. This allows the search engines to correctly identify your business and build up a healthy profile of your activity which will boost your online visibility.
Lesser Known Tips for Local SEO 2021
Here are some more unusual tips for local SEO in 2021 that you may have overlooked.
Do you naturally network or work closely with other local businesses, running joint campaigns, doing guest blogging or putting reciprocal links onto each other’s website or social platforms will also add credibility to your online presence.
Keywords are the heart of your online content, from social media bios, posts, about sections, web pages, blogs. Local SEO is no exception. Carry out keyword research for the topic your posts, pages or blogs are about and make sure 5% of the copy incorporates them. To be effective keywords or phrases need to appear in the heading or title, the first paragraph and one or two subheadings depending on the length of the content. They should also be featured in your meta description.
To optimise local search, research keywords and phrases that are relevant to your location and business and the variations.
Creating Local Content
If you regularly blog or write features on your platforms, create some of your content around local matters. This will add to your relevance score and be great for SEO.
Multi Location Listings
If you have multiple locations for your business you can create a page for each location either on Linked In through Showcase Pages or on Facebook, or even on your own website. Vary the content on these pages though as search engines hate duplicate content.
Getting reviews from customers is a great SEO booster, not just for local SEO but generally. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile or your Facebook Page. This will give you credibility with the search engines that you give great customer service and therefore you will rank higher in online searches.
Sponsor a local football team or event and this will give you content to post online, affiliate links and mentions online.
Advertising on Facebook allows geo targeting, the selection of who to display your ads to down to postcodes. This will make you extremely visible to local potential audiences. If you collect an email list or have lots of followers you can even display to look alike audiences to double your exposure. This will only be for as long as the ad is live but it is a great way to boost visibility during quieter times of the year.
For taking the time to read our blogs. Positive Sales and Marketing is a small business in the North West of England passionate about educating the UK hospitality and freelance artist sector on understanding their marketing.
We offer training and education to enable businesses to take control of their own destiny rather than blindly relying on agencies. We can also offer transparent website design services and copywriting should this be taking up too much of your time.
We work with clients all over the UK and also operate directories for the holiday accommodation sector.
We would love to hear from you, give us a call on 01257 433331 or 01744 670055 or email Caroline@positivesalesandmarketing.co.uk