Running a small business today takes time, effort, and planning. Considering how quickly COVID-19 impacted the economy today, it would be wise to plan early by investing in digital marketing.
While digital marketing is effective for all types of businesses, there is one particular strategy that every small business needs: local SEO. Here’s what you need to know about local SEO and why it is essential for small business in 2021.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LOCAL SEO
Local search engine optimisation (SEO) is similar to organic SEO in which it affects the web visibility of a website in a search engine’s unpaid results. The difference is that local SEO focuses on optimising a site’s online presence for local search results.
The process of local SEO involves similar strategies to organic SEO, such as keyword research, content creation, and mobile optimisation. However, these digital marketing techniques are specific to improving a site’s online presence locally.
Compared to other digital marketing services in Singapore, local SEO is somewhat new. You can trace its origins from 2003 to 2005 when search engines started to provide users with proximity-based results. Over time, local search engine optimisation has evolved into a more efficient and reliable digital marketing strategy for businesses improving their online presence.
When it comes to optimising your website for local SEO, there are a few ranking signals you need to consider:
- Mobile responsiveness
- Social media visibility
- Google My Business (GMB)
- Local keywords
All of these ranking signals play a vital role in your site’s online presence. Search engines like Google usually determine how businesses rank locally based on the mentioned ranking signals.
In the long run, local SEO can help your products and services appear on search engine results pages (SERPs), extending your website’s reach to more customers. But that is not the only reason why local search engine optimisation is essential for small businesses.
WHY IS LOCAL SEO IMPORTANT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES?
1. IT HELPS YOU SELL MORE PRODUCTS
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of online transactions worldwide. In that case, it would be a great idea to optimise your website and expand your online presence locally. Doing so will eventually boost your sales and help you sell more products.
Local SEO is essential for small businesses in 2021 since many people prefer to stay at home and purchase their products online. By optimising your product pages for local search, more people could discover your products.
2. YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE WILL IMPROVE
When it comes to digital marketing services like local search engine optimisation, improving your online presence is crucial as COVID-19 remains a threat.
For instance, many establishments are closed, so people are searching on Google for nearby businesses that are still open. In that case, try optimising your website to reach people within your proximity. They can discover your business on Google and see if your business is currently available.
Search queries containing “open now” and “near me” are more common these days, which is not a surprise considering the current COVID-19 situation. The good news is that local SEO will allow you to help customers within proximity to find your business.
3. YOU CAN REACH OUT TO MOBILE USERS
Did you know that 95% of mobile users have performed business-related local searches? Also, 65% of these searches have resulted in the mobile user contacting the business.
Considering the number of mobile users and the impact of COVID-19 on the Internet in general, now would be a good time to optimise your website for mobile devices. Part of local SEO is mobile optimisation, meaning you need to optimise your website for mobile devices to improve the user experience (UX).
Improving your site’s UX is crucial to local search engine optimisation. To do so, you can follow some of these effective mobile optimisation strategies:
- Boost your website speed
- Optimise your videos and images
- Use responsive web design to make your website fit any device
- Improve your website’s layout and design
Mobile optimisation is not only vital for local SEO but also digital marketing and SEO in general. By providing mobile users with an excellent user experience, you can earn their trust and enhance your site’s overall performance. It will also help you pass the Google Mobile-Friendly Test, allowing your website to rank higher on Google Search.
4. IT IS IDEAL FOR BUILDING YOUR REPUTATION
Local search engine optimisation is all about establishing your online presence for unpaid results locally. Besides the opportunity to engage with nearby customers, you can use local SEO strategies to build your reputation.
Part of local search engine optimisation is acquiring relevant and authoritative inbound links. Doing so will boost your local online presence and prove to Google that your website is credible and trustworthy.
Here are some digital marketing strategies that will help you get inbound links:
- Guest Posting – Create blog posts for other reputable websites.
- Content Marketing – Write blog posts for your website and share valuable information.
- Content Creation -Design infographics and post them on various marketing channels, including social media.
CONSIDER OUTSOURCING YOUR LOCAL SEO
Digital marketing services can be time-consuming and challenging, which is why you might need help from a digital marketing agency in Singapore. Consider outsourcing your local SEO services to save yourself some time and effort.
By outsourcing your local SEO services to a digital marketing agency, you can reduce your costs and use quality software tools to enhance your performance. Here are a few reasons why outsourcing is a good idea.
1. FOCUS ON OTHER TASKS
Managing a small business is not easy. It will be even more challenging if you decide to do SEO, so think about outsourcing to focus on other essential tasks. By hiring a digital agency, you have more control over various parts of your business, while the agency shall take care of your digital marketing services.
2. LEARN MORE ABOUT LOCAL SEO
It takes time to understand the fundamentals of local SEO. On the bright side, you could partner with a digital marketing company in Singapore to learn more about local search engine optimisation. Experts shall give you sound advice on how to rank higher locally.
3. SEARCH ENGINE ALGORITHMS ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING
Google is always looking for ways to improve its search engine. While most changes with Google Search benefit everyone, it can be hard to keep up with the constant updates. Fortunately, you can hire a digital marketing company that is always on the lookout for Google’s algorithm changes.
LOCAL SEO 101: HOW TO RANK HIGHER?
There are thousands, perhaps even millions, of competitors trying to achieve higher rankings, same as you. Going up against these very same competitors is challenging, but the results are worth achieving.
Worry not about the obstacles that you have to overcome. Instead, focus on improving your local SEO strategies to rank higher and attract more customers nearby.
Here are some local SEO tips to rank higher locally.
1. ENSURE THAT YOUR CONTACT DETAILS ARE ACCURATE
Continue to create high-quality content through blogging, social media marketing, and copywriting in Singapore. As time progresses, your reputation will improve and reach out to a broader audience. That means many people will most likely mention your business, including your contact details and physical location, to others.
Whether online or offline, word of mouth spreads quickly, so you have to ensure that your contact information is accurate and consistent. The worst thing that could happen is when people mention inconsistent details about your business, thus confusing others.
2. CREATE A GOOGLE MY BUSINESS (GMB) PROFILE
A GMB profile is a must when it comes to local SEO. You can set up a GMB profile to provide Google information about your business directly.
Think of it this way: a GMB listing is the equivalent of getting listed on a telephone directory. By creating a profile and claiming a GMB listing, your business will become much more visible on Google Search, Google Maps, and local search results.
Also, a GMB listing serves as a vital ranking signal for SEO, making it essential to create and claim a GMB listing as soon as possible. Fortunately, creating a GMB profile is simple. All you have to do is visit this website, log in with your Google account, and provide some vital information about your business, including its name and address.
After filling in all of the necessary information, you can verify your local listing. To do so, you have to check if your listing is eligible for verification. If the option is not available, you can request one by using a postcard instead.
Sign in to your GMB profile and choose which business you wish to verify, then wait for Google to send you a verification code to your phone number. Once you have received the code, enter it and wait for your business information to appear on Google Search and Google Maps.
Verify your GMB profile on other Google properties to establish your credibility. It will be easier for Google users to spot your business on Google once you have claimed your GMB listing.
3. USE LOCAL KEYWORDS
When using keywords for your website content, you need to choose terms and phrases relevant to your location. For instance, if your company offers digital marketing services in Singapore, you probably want to use keywords that contain “Singapore” as well.
However, identifying your keywords is just the beginning. The next step is to use them properly for your website by inserting local keywords into relevant pages. You can include such keywords in various ranking factors of your website, such as:
- Meta Titles
- Meta Descriptions
- Web content
When using local keywords, make sure that your content sounds natural and organic, not forced. The most common mistake of SEO copywriting is overstuffing the content with keywords, so use your keywords properly by writing in a conversational tone.
4. RESPOND TO ONLINE REVIEWS
Customer reviews are ranking signals that can improve your web visibility. As such, you should try to respond to online reviews regularly. Doing so is an excellent indicator of your willingness to engage with customers anytime.
Whether it is positive or negative, you have to reply to customer feedback. Positive reviews and ratings can give Google a good impression of your business. On the other hand, negative reviews can badly affect the way Google sees your business.
The trick to managing negative reviews is by responding with the intent to resolve the problem. Listen to your customers and prove to Google that you are willing to improve upon your mistakes by replying to negative feedback. Not only will it help Google’s perception of your business, but you can also regain your customers’ trust.
5. PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media visibility is not a direct ranking factor but rather a ranking signal that refers to shares, likes, and other forms of engagement with users on social networking platforms.
While it may not affect your local SEO directly, your social media presence can have a positive impact on your rankings. That means your social media activities may not cause your search engine presence to improve, but it can leave a subtle but long-term effect on your SEO.
For example, you can promote your business on social media by sharing links to your website. Many people could share your links with others and visit your website.
In the long run, being active on social media and posting links should help in driving traffic to your website. You can also post quality images and videos on your social media page to attract more followers and gain their trust.
Local SEO is an effective way to improve your online presence and attract customers nearby. But if you want to expand your reach even further, consider integrating other digital marketing services with your business, such as content marketing, copywriting, search engine marketing (SEM), and many more.
Get in touch with a digital marketing agency to outsource your local SEO and learn more about its benefits for your business.