Top Local SEO Tactics That 2020 Taught Us
As we near the end of a horrible year, let’s review the local SEO tactics that we’ve learned.
With the Coronavirus pandemic, BLM, global riots and the political turbulence in the UK and the US, 2020 has been a memorable year for all of the wrong reasons.
For businesses, growing and thriving in today’s ever-evolving corporate landscape is a constant struggle. That means that leaders have to work harder than ever before to streamline their businesses and market their offering to customers.
Thanks to the pandemic and the lockdowns in place to halt the spread, digital marketing is now more critical than ever before.
Online shopping has risen by more than 129% over recent months, as consumers seek out convenient ways to buy the items they need and want.
While larger companies are seeing a significant increase in sales, consumer expectations and priorities are changing. Many brands are also noticing that consumers are increasingly focused on buying from local businesses, and as such, they’re changing their marketing strategies accordingly.
To adapt to these changing consumer priorities, brands are focusing more on local SEO- the practice of getting their business name associated online with the area in which it is based or offers services.
As lockdowns lift and businesses that rely on local custom start to get back to work, local SEO is becoming a key focus for almost every organisation.
It might sound simple, but it takes a lot to get your website ranking for local keywords and phrases. In these changing times, you also need to be aware of new techniques, tactics and platforms that can benefit your business.
To help, here’s a practical guide to the top local SEO tactics that work in 2020. Some are timeless, but others have become more relevant in today’s corporate climate.
Take Advantage Of Online Business Listings
One of the most basic, easiest and cheapest ways to boost your business’s local SEO is to take advantage of the free online business listings provided by major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others.
Despite this, some businesses still overlook their listings. If you’re listing is left unattended, then it could contain misinformation provided by a source that isn’t connected to your firm.
As such, it won’t benefit your clients and any search engine users who are searching for businesses in your area.
So, make sure that you take advantage of your Google My Business Listing, as well as any other relevant listings from other search engine providers. Some directories and former phone books, such as the Yellow Pages, have also moved online, so consider adding your business to their directory.
By taking full advantage of the online business listings available to you, you’ll be able to keep your potential customers up to date with any changes to your opening hours or contact details.
As restrictions change and businesses adapt, this information will change, and if you don’t keep your listings updated, then consumers might not be able to reach you or know when they can visit your business premises.
Update Your Coronavirus Policies
As your business reopens, you’ll need to change more than just your opening hours and contact details. You’ll also need to alter the way that your business operates in order to incorporate social distancing and other safety measures.
That makes now the perfect time to share blog posts and other written content about your business and its premises. This content can include locations and other local keywords to get your business name and website associated with the area in which you operate.
As well as boosting your local SEO, sharing updates on your business’s safety measures and developments will help you to increase online traffic to your website and offer better usability for potential customers. After all, if they don’t know that your business is still open, then they won’t be able to visit your premises or buy from you online.
Make The Most Of Local Publications
Local newspapers aren’t just the cheap circulars that come through your door anymore; today, they’re valuable online platforms that could provide you with relevant, quality backlinks and significant exposure to potential new clients.
Local radio stations also offer a valuable platform to share news and comments and earn quality backlinks that benefit your local SEO.
One of the easiest ways to earn backlinks from local platforms is to offer comments on events happening in your area. For example, if there’s an event happening near to your business, then you could comment in support of it to your local newspaper.
Local newspapers, blogs, and forums all benefit from comments from business owners, as they add gravitas and relevance to their articles. As such, you could earn free publicity for your site, and a quality backlink, if you offer quotes to local publications.
To get your quotes featured in articles on websites that focus on your local community, you need to build relationships with journalists by commenting on their articles, or by emailing them directly and offering your opinion.
Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable source of quotes and information, then you can share quotes and opinions, which will get you additional backlinks and increased visibility for your brand.
Optimise Your Website For Mobile
Mobile SEO is closely linked to local SEO, as many consumers search for the businesses they need on their smartphones when they’re out and about.
Statistics show that 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to use a local company if they offer a mobile-friendly website, so optimising your site for mobile is a must.
Before you contact your website developer, you can use Google’s free mobile checker tool to see if your site works on mobile.
If it doesn’t, then you can work with your website developer to make your site compatible with mobile devices. Smartphone and tablet technology is constantly evolving, so you should check regularly and adapt your website as required.
It’s safe to say that 2020 has been one hell of a year. For businesses that want to remain relevant and successful into 2021, a strong digital presence optimised for local and overall SEO is essential.
This guide should help you to find the local SEO tactics will get your website noticed and help it to reach the local audience that you need to target.
Hannah Stevenson is the Content Marketing Manager at UK Linkology, one of the UK’s highest-ranking link building and most respected link building agencies. She writes extensively on the topic of local SEO and is eager to share her ideas.