Last year, many small and local businesses were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to business closures and small companies scrambling to get online so that customers could continue to buy products in a safe and socially distanced manner. While things are looking up this year due to the COVID-19 vaccine and much of the world getting back to normal after the pandemic, small businesses are having to work hard to catch up and recover from the crisis after a difficult year for many. With businesses now reopening and things beginning to slowly get back to normal, making sure that it is easier than ever for your audience to find your local business online is one of the most crucial aspects of recovery. If you do not have a strong local SEO strategy in place for your business, you could easily end up missing out to your competitors that do. According to the latest insights from Safari Digital Perth, “near me” local searches grew by more than 136% between 2020 and 2021 which means that now, more than ever, consumers are looking for local solutions.
Why Does Your Business Need Local SEO?
Today, more and more customers are making location-based searches. Let’s say that you own a business selling auto parts. A customer in your area needs a new part for their car, and they make a search for ‘car parts near me’ in Google. Your competitors have a local SEO strategy, but you don’t. This means that your competitors are going to come up in the top local spots in the Google search while your business will be much further down the page, and will probably go unnoticed by the customer, who’ll get the address for your competitor and go there instead. For Houston businesses, check https://johnnychenmedia.com/.
The stats for local SEO are difficult to ignore, with around 80% of location-based searches resulting in an offline purchase, and a massive 97% of users searching for information on local companies online. Just under 90% of people who search for a local business will usually visit or call the company on the very same day, and ‘close by’ or ‘near me’ searches are on the rise, increasing by a huge 900% over the past few years. So, what can you do to make local SEO work for you in 2021 to help your local business recover from the effects of the COVID crisis?
Use Google My Business
A key step in making sure that your local business is in with the best chance of getting the top results spot in Google’s local search is to make sure that your Google My Business listing has been created and verified. You will need to head to Google My Business and create a listing that includes all the relevant information on your company and your website link. Once the listing is completed, you will receive a letter from Google in the mail which contains a code that you will then need to enter into your account to finalize and verify the listing. Doing this will significantly boost your chances of appearing at the top of the list when users make searches for relevant search terms ‘near me’ in your area. Keeping your listing active and up to date can also improve your ranking, so spend some time uploading photographs and leaving positive responses to any Google reviews. Go through your listing to make sure that all the information is correct and matches your website.
Hire a Good SEO Agency
For most business owners, trying to do SEO on your own is not a good idea. If you’re not clued up on SEO, it’s best to outsource this work to somebody who lives and breathes it. This is especially true right now if you want to up your local SEO efforts in order to help your business recover after a difficult year of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Throughout this year, you will want to ensure that your business website is getting as much traffic as possible, and more brand awareness will help your business recover from the impact of the pandemic. You’ve also got many other business aspects to think about as you reopen and rebuild your company after the COVID-19 crisis, so consider working with LNP Media Group for a tailored solution to improve your local SEO and increase your organic rankings in Google. LNP Media Group offers customized strategies for your local business website with a unique plan of action developed specifically to help your business reach its overall goals.
Voice Search Optimization
We have already seen an increase in voice search in the past few years, with smart devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home now used by more people than ever before. Because of this, over this year and beyond we are going to see an increase in the need for companies to optimize their content for voice search. This is especially important when it comes to improving your local SEO rankings since many local searches are going to be made via voice search rather than text search in the future. When users use voice search and ask questions to their device, they tend to use different language compared to when typing. Users will be more likely to ask questions that are grammatically correct compared to text search which is often typed out in such a way that unnecessary words and phrases are eliminated to make the process as quick as possible. In addition, long-tail keywords will become more important. Voice search users tend to make the intent of their search much clearer, so ensuring that you add as much relevant information into your website’s content is a must.
Post Some Local Content
A business blog for your local business website can be an ideal way to connect with customers and improve your local SEO results. A blog itself will provide Google and other search engines with more site pages to index, keep your site active and provide more information for visitors to stay on the site and read, which can help your SEO results overall. Posting local content on your business blog is an ideal option for boosting your local SEO results. Posts that are centered around local events, local news stories that are relevant to your industry, or education on the area where your business is situated can all be very useful information not only to users who might be traveling to the area, but for search engines when algorithms decide which local businesses get the top listings.
Reach Out to Surrounding Towns
To get the best results from local SEO and boost your brand awareness even further, it’s a good idea to not only include keywords and content for your local area, but also surrounding towns and areas. Local online directories and services such as City Pages are an ideal option for helping your local business appear in local search results for users who are looking for a business like yours but are located a little bit out of town. Work with an SEO agency to put together a local SEO strategy that doesn’t just target the town that you are located in but the neighboring areas also to reach out to customers who are not too far away and could easily travel to your business to find what they need.
After the events of 2020, it’s no surprise that many small local businesses want to focus heavily on rebuilding and repairing their company throughout 2021. If the COVID-19 pandemic hit your business hard, a good local SEO strategy can help to build brand awareness and put your local business out there this year.