The 2020 guide to local SEO: How to market mid-pandemic

Running a small business? Need an online marketing strategy to adapt to  the coronavirus pandemic? If so, we recommend focusing on local SEO.

With less people travelling/commuting, and more people staying in-city bounds, your market will most likely be online. And they won’t be shopping internationally. After all, the entire world is experiencing delays in courier and shipping services (source).

Thus, your market is most likely to shop locally.

This is Where Local SEO Comes In.

You want to optimize your online presence for buyers close to your location.

You’ll want to do that, especially if you’re selling an offline service.

With the ease of movement restrictions in Australia, more customers will start looking for nearby open services.

And you have to be at the top of that list – making you more likely to re-establish a list of long-term clients.

Below, we’ll show you how to do that. We have a few tips on setting up excellent local SEO.

Apply these tips, and enjoy more conversions!

First – Start With Google My Business (GMB)

GMB is the foundation of local SEO.

It’s a listing service for businesses with an online presence. By using GMB, the average business gains a whopping extra 1000 searches per month (source)!

How it Works.

GMB acts like a listing service. You give Google as much contact info as possible, while mentioning your address, industry and services. The info you submit helps with your local SEO. It makes you more likely to show up in search results for your area.

It also makes you more likely to show up on Google Maps, which is common for clients to find your services.

How Do I Sign Up?

All you have to do is create a Google account, then head to the Google My Business Page (link).

From there, fill in information on your business. You’ll then receive a code from Google at your business location to confirm your account.

And speaking of Google…

Second – Encourage Positive Reviews.

Reviews are a trust metric for anyone seeking your services, where at least 72% of customers don’t commit to a business without checking reviews (source).

Additionally, reviews are one of your more visible trust signals on Google – and they’re the first thing clients look at.

How to Get More Reviews

Encourage current clients to write a review about your business.

You can offer coupons or additional services (like newsletter subscription, or an e-book) to clients that oblige.

Also, ask them to mention what they liked about your service. Details give your searchers a sense of comfort when buying from you!

Third – Add a Local Page to Your Site.

Local pages are similar to “About Us” pages – except that they’re location-heavy.

On a local page, you’re not just discussing your service. You’re also discussing its location, how to find it, and the landmarks in your area.

Basically, it’s a chance to use local keywords as much as possible.

Another Suggestion – Local Articles

If your website has a blog section (it should), start writing articles about your local area.

You can discuss anything from local events, to problems that your business solves in your area, and even local stories!

Important Note

You need to focus on local keywords when writing the previous content. Local keywords follow a set of rules (which we’ll mention below)…

Fourth – Focus on Local Keywords.

Local keywords differ from regular keywords, where a local keyword has a location marker.

It either mentions your location’s name directly. Or, it’s a phrase that directs searchers to services near their addresses.

An example of the first type would be “pharmacies in Melbourne Kensington.”

Using a similar keyword ranks you for that exact location. Plus, being a local keyword, there’s less competition for it than a general one, giving you an opportunity to rise above the noise. 

You’re more likely to show up in first page results using it, and fast.

As for the second type of local keyword, you can use something like “bookstores near me.”

A searcher in your area using that phrase has a high chance of finding your business. And they’ll usually find you listed on Google map’s results!

Five – Buy Local Online Ads.

PPC ads on social media and Google come with excellent pay-offs.

With the easing of movement restrictions, people in your area will want to search for open nearby services.

And they’re most likely doing that online.

They’ll do so to get a variety of information, including…

  • Opening hours.
  • Delivery schedules.
  • Special coronavirus-related rules (if it’s a business that offers a public space service – like a café).
  • Distances from home.

Beyond Google, the second best place to buy ads is Facebook.

On Facebook, you can send out ads based on address. So you’re guaranteeing that your ad money goes to people near you!

And there you have it, you’re now ready to adapt and increase your conversions in the midst of the pandemic. Stay safe and healthy, everyone!