How to Put Your Business Back on Track with Local SEO
Local businesses are well aware that participating in community activities are good neighbourly acts. Providing support to the community can also boost your local search engine optimisation (SEO). You can say that it’s a ‘win-win’ situation for all.
This article will provide some Local SEO tips that can enhance your business’s standing within the local community. You must implement them, especially during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Follow the law
Check the local and national news to ensure that your business is complying with the changing rules. The COVID-19 situation could be unpredictable at times. Authorities might impose policies intended to mitigate the effects of the disease. However, the laws may change depending on the region. It’s vital to know which regulations apply to one and what is not. This will help your business decide what products or services you can offer for every community.
Social media can act as a communication bridge within the community. However, you should be careful since the platform also contains misinformation and scams. Make sure that you’re getting your news from reliable sources to avoid spreading false information. If you don’t understand a particular policy, contact the local authorities directly.
2. Always communicate about your product or services
In times of crisis, you must provide your community with truthful information about your products or services. The three best places are:
Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business is an excellent go-between between your local business and the public. The search engine has allocated four GMB fields for communicating your latest updates to customers. The four sections are:
- Name – You can now edit the business name to include services, such as takeout, delivery or curbside pick-up. For instance, if your GMB name is ‘Jack’s Burger,’ you can change it temporarily to ‘Jack’s Burger – takeout and delivery’.
- Contact number – Even if your shop is closed, customers can still call your home number or cell phone. You only need to edit your shop’s answering machine or phone number to update your customers.
- Operating hours – Google now allows you to set special working hours. This feature is critical if you’re running various shops located in different regions.
Google also introduced on 25 March 2020, a ‘temporally closed tab’ in the GMB dashboard. Once a business uses this option, their search engine ranking may suffer as a result. However, you can remove the label once your shop resumes operations. The reason why such a tab has been introduced is to put the safety of your customer first.
Social networking platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, allow you to communicate with your customers instantly.
Aside from using social media for your benefit, you can also help your local community. You can post information that can help people live safer or better, especially during these uncertain times.
3. Conduct as much business as you can
Not every country or region adopts the same social safety net. This means making sure your business can still operate despite the restrictions imposed by the government. Here are the six modifications you can implement while the epidemic is still going on.
a) Meet essential demands
Businesses considered by law as essential can still operate. However, they still need to adapt to the current situation. Here are some examples.
- Supermarkets and grocery shops can provide delivery services to their customers.
- Companies and brands can donate essential goods and services to the local communities.
b) Invest in E-commerce
If you have a website, you’re set up to conduct online communications and deliveries to your customers. If you still don’t have any online selling platform, consider the following options:
- You can take orders using the phone and provide curbside pick-ups or deliveries.
- Accept payments through credit cards or PayPal.
c) Make virtual connections
Many businesses and services thrive on face-to-face meetings. However, since personal contact is now discouraged, you need to find ways to engage your customers. This is where virtual meetings come in. For example,
- It’s now possible to conduct yoga classes online.
- Medical appointments and consultation are being conducted virtually.
d) Equip yourself for the New Normal
The COVID-19 epidemic has affected almost all businesses. If you’re finding more free time than usual, don’t panic or despair. Instead, use this period to learn how your business can cope and even thrive under this new normal. For example, you can take some online courses to improve your business in terms of marketing or local SEO. Better yet, you can offer your time as a consultant on topics related to your business. This will also help build your brand as an authority in your industry.
Epidemics and other forms of crises are unavoidable, and they can hit your business hard. Your only option is to adapt to the new normal. It will take some creative thinking and even the use of technology to thrive in this environment. However, the success of a business today will often depend on its ability to engage its customers. Business owners and companies should also connect. These interactions include forming groups that will provide support or ideas for the benefit of all. Crises offer challenges to businesses, but they also provide opportunities.
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