You may think that Local SEO is just about optimizing your website, but it’s actually more complex than that. In order to make your business successful, it’s essential to maintain its presence online as much as possible and to keep contact with your customers via your website and on social media as well.
There are certain search engine ranking factors that play a big role nowadays, and one of them is strongly related to the overall visitor engagement of your website through social media. In 2009, Google mentioned that they started working on a 10-year plan, and their main goal is to make social media data an integral part of their organic search algorithm. I can say with confidence that social media signals play a big role in rankings today.
It’s much better to combine your content updates with the well-known social media websites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, resulting in more site visits and greater engagement. The more people visit your website, the higher your search ranking will be. It’s as simple as that.
This statement is particularly true when it comes to local businesses. The location details of your business, the opening hours, the prices all need to be regularly updated. But there are still a few questions to answer. There are other types of content that you should post to your website and social media on a regular basis. Let’s discuss four beneficial options that can improve the standard of your site.
1. Consider Adding a Blog to Your Website
If you want to post valuable information about your services, products, customers or community, a blog is definitely the right place for that. Here are a few ideas for blog posts:
Find out more about the customers who visit your business or store most frequently and take a picture of them. You can always ask them questions in a form of an interview, thus gathering some information about how to improve your business in order to serve them better.
Once they allowed it, publish the photos with the interview to your blog. Spread it out on your social media accounts with a returning link to your blog post, and you’re set. If you do this regularly, it will ensure the engagement of your followers and fans. It’s all about leading a business that cares about its customers.
Take photos of your business monthly or even weekly. Keep your blog fresh with regular photo updates and descriptions. Also don’t forget to post it on social media as well, and you should update your local listings on Yahoo Local, Bing Places and Google My Business with your new photos.
Keep your customers informed by featuring a particular entrée (for restaurants), pruduct or service every week, or even day-by-day.
You can post some extreme cases related to your business with photos included. Suppose you are a dry cleaner and someone brought you a totally dirty wedding dress that you had to clean. Ask your client how the dress got so dirty and post the story to your community. It gives them a little insight into your workflow and maybe you will get more loyal customers as well.
2. Videos Can Help a Lot
Most online users are in rush and are looking for a fast solution for their problems. Instead of writing hundreds of words about your business and expect your potential customers to read it, you can create a short video overview of your company. Videos are a great way to present your business and engage with your audience.
Reports shows that videos get more organic traffic than simple, plain text results. Even though creating a video takes more time and effort, many marketers still choose to drive traffic to their websites through videos. Uploading your videos and commercials to Youtube can give and initial boost however to achieve high rankings in Google can only be done through video SEO.
3. Keep Contact with Community Influencers
Social media offers a great opportunity to connect with influential people like radio DJs, local television personalities, the mayor or other important figures who represent a part of your community. Besides following them, react to their tweets and posts with likes, shares or even with your comments.
Try to keep in touch with them, since they will likely respond and have a chat with you even if they’re traveling. Connecting with them will certainly help you in the future, because whenever you want to tell a story, they will be there to listen and help promoting it via social media. All you need to do is to have a few conversations with them every now and then.
4. Try to Take Something Viral
Even if you have a small local business, it’s not a problem, you can still figure out something that will go viral. It causes people to search for your company name and start engaging with your company, which makes it more appealing for the search engines. When something goes viral on social media, people usually start engaging.
For example, you can come up with a service that is completely unique in the market and grabs people’s attention. Then try to promote it by using your social media connections or a local news outlet. If it receives a decent local news coverage, you can also leverage it by creating fresh content. The progress you make in promoting your business can be posted both on the blog and the website of your business.
5. Optimize for Mobile Traffic
According to an older post from Adwords.blogspot.com 93% of smartphone users have searched for local info. So having a responsive website is crucial for your local business to serve the needs of those customers who are browsing from their mobile phones. Google also takes mobile compatibly as a ranking factor. Having a mobile-ready website will not only create a better user-experience for your customers but will also help in achieving higher Google rankings.
When optimizing your website content for mobile traffic you have to consider the fact the most users will access your website through their mobile-internet, which is considerably slower than a WiFi. If your website consist in text, there will be no problem with the loading time, however if you are using images, you should optimize these for smaller screens. Resizing and reducing the size of your images will help your website load faster on smartphones.
6. Connecting with the Local Community
Since your business needs to be a big part of the community, it’s essential to find out how to connect with it. One of the best ways to do that is by organizing local events.
Don’t forget to take a few photos and post them on your site and social media accounts during the course of an event. Your followers and fans might share them, thus attracting more people who are interested in your products or services.
Consider adding a local event calendar to your site and keep it updated whenever a new event comes up. There are a bunch of plugins available for that purpose. In case of annual events like fairs or festivals, bring up last year’s event and post some pictures of it to make people excited about the upcoming event.
7. Provide Guides and Tutorials
Creating guides and tutorials for your audience will make you trustworthy. Showing your expertise and skills along your face to your potential customers will make them trust you. Creating an initial trust is very important especially if you are in a very competitive market.
It is obvious that you won’t reveal everything in your public guides, because don’t want your competition to take over. However giving away a good amount of information can bring you lots of benefits. Besides getting new customers, other websites in your niche can refer to you as a reliable source, which can bring you authority and trust.
A few additional notes
We said that it’s recommended to organize a blog in addition to your website and the social media accounts you have, but you can do it slightly differently. For example, a Facebook page can work quite well as a blog, so it’s an outstanding replacement. You can gather followers there and upload every kind of content, as your customers and potential customers will most likely keep track of your stuff and even ask questions via chat.
On Facebook, everyone can see you and you can also interact with everyone. You don’t even need to apply an event calendar because Facebook has its own system for creating events and keeping track of them. You can upload photos, post articles, reply to comments and feature your products at the same place. However, you should take care of your website as well by uploading and posting the same material. There will be always some people who are only interested in your website and they don’t want to miss anything.
Your customers consume information from various sources, so if you want to do a thorough job, you may consider using an email marketing service like MailChimp. Some people use Google, some use Facebook, and some of them read their emails regularly. Therefore it’s not a bad marketing idea to somehow arouse their interest by sending out email blasts and thus obtaining some new followers.
It’s a great advantage that you don’t have to write something new for each source, you can just update in multiple locations at the same time and with the same content. With all these methods, it doesn’t matter how your customers are using the web or which social media website they go to, you can always reach them in one way or another.
First of all, you should optimize your website to make it search engine friendly and also make sure it contains no errors at all. Secondly, spend your time on keeping your website and social media accounts fresh and up-to-date by regularly adding content. Don’t forget about creating couple cool videos about your business and upload to Youtube or other video sharing websites. Also keep in mind that over half of online users are using a mobile phone to search online, so optimize your website for mobile devices.
Your website traffic, social media involvement and the interests of the people on the web will determine the value of your business in terms of search engines (especially Google). Therefore, in order to achieve high rankings on search engines, you need to properly balance out the following factors: regular fresh content and interaction with followers, customers, fans and prospects through social media. These have the potential to engage more people while significantly increasing the search engine ranking of your website.