7 Ways Northampton Businesses Can Improve Their Local SEO
In today’s digital age when increasing numbers of people are using the internet, it is not just big companies that should be creating a website for their business. For example, even if you are the owner of a simple clothing store or a small restaurant in Northampton, it’s vitally important that you have a website that will help you attract more customers. With an online presence, not only can you advertise to local customers, but you can also reach out to people who are just visiting the area and are looking for something that you might be able to provide.
Nevertheless, in order to succeed in business, it is not enough to just publish a website. Due to the ever-increasing competition, you must also ensure that your site is “search engine friendly”. To achieve this, you firstly need to focus on local SEO (search engine optimisation).
Why Optimise for Local SEO?
Research on local SEO conducted by ReviewTrackers in 2017 revealed that 35% of all search traffic has local intent and 53% of searchers usually visit a local business within 48 hours of looking them up online. This means if your website is not optimised for local search engines, you could be missing lots of search traffic and potential customers. Business-wise, this is a big no-no because you’re passing up the opportunity to make money.
So why local SEO and not just normal SEO? Optimising for local search is more budget-friendly for Northampton businesses. Unlike conventional SEO, it provides a more focused approach to getting your name out there since it is more specific and relevant to local customers. Also, it allows you to compete against bigger brands and businesses that can spend lots of money on brand recognition campaigns and broader keyword searches.
How to Improve Your Local SEO
There are many strategies you can use to optimise for local search. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Create a Google My Business account
First off, you’ll need a Google My Business account. This is very useful for local businesses because not only does it help establish your presence online, but it also allows your business to show up on Google Maps and search results on all devices. If Google found that your business is legitimate, your site could also show up in the valuable sidebar space of a Google SERP (search engine result page).
Creating a My Business account on Google is free so make sure you take advantage of it.
2. Encourage customers to leave a review
Encouraging customers to give your business a positive review has two major benefits. First, it helps optimise your Google My Business presence. Second, it encourages more customers to visit you.
Of course, you cannot just ask customers to leave a glowing review without having anything to support your request. First, you have to make sure that you’re providing quality products or services. Positive reviews stem from good services so make sure you offer plenty of that.
You can also speed things along by asking customers for a review in-person after closing a sale. Alternatively, you can send them an email asking them for their opinion. When dealing with complaints or negative reviews, meanwhile, make sure you address them professionally. Never lose your temper because it could reflect badly on you.
3. Customise your content for the local audience
Most people are interested in topics that are familiar and they can relate with. Therefore, to increase your local following, you should create content tailored for the local audience.
You can start by writing about local events or activities. For example, if you’re in the food industry, you can create a blog post about the Northampton Winter Food Festival. Not only is it related to your niche, but it is also a great way to promote local events.
Another strategy is to create location-specific web pages. For instance, let’s say you own a real estate firm. You can create different pages for each location you serve. This will help you rank for each of them.
4. Create a specific page for every product/service
Instead of simply putting all of your products or services in one web page, you should create a specific page for each of them. According to experts, this allows you to squeeze out more local SEO juice from your website, helping you rank better on SERPs.
5. Optimise for voice search
With the popularity of online assistants such as Siri and Alexa, you should consider optimising your website for voice search. SEO experts predict voice search growing rapidly in the future so it would do you well to be prepared for when this day comes.
Since users tend to use more long-tail keywords when doing voice searches, you should make the necessary SEO adjustments to your online content. Try to create posts that answer search queries starting in who, what, when, why, and how to optimise them for voice search.
6. Use local keywords
Because you’re targeting local customers, you should use local keywords. If you don’t know what search terms people are using to find products/services similar to yours, you can utilise Google’s Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner allows you to filter keyword searches according to location, giving you an idea of the popular search terms being used in Northampton.
Apart from local keywords, you can also mention the names of Northampton landmarks or places of interest in your content.
7. Make your site mobile-friendly
As more and more Internet users are shifting from desktop to mobile, you must ensure that your site is viewable regardless of screen size. This way, you won’t miss the opportunity to reach out to those who frequently use their smartphones and tablets to access the Internet.
To make your site mobile-friendly, ensure that it won’t take more than three seconds for it to load completely. Also, use bigger fonts so your content will be much easier to read. Finally, avoid putting up images and videos that take forever to load.
Optimising for local search is an excellent way to reach your target market without requiring a huge marketing budget. What’s more, it helps set a solid foundation for any search algorithm update Google may have in store for us in the future. To expand your reach and help your Northampton business succeed, therefore, ensure that your site is local SEO-friendly.
At Springhill Marketing, we can help you optimise your website for local search engines. Contact us today to get started.
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