The main advantage of an online business is also a weakness. There’s no doubt it has enabled many companies to grow out nationally and internationally. And, they have done so quicker than they could have dreamed before the Internet arrived. However, too many businesses often fail to take advantage of a fundamental source of custom – their local markets. So, the question is; is your company as local as it could be?
There are definite advantages in doing so. Primarily, it will help you rank higher in your area for keywords that you cannot possibly hope to rank for on a national basis. Secondly, it can help you grow a robust customer base from which to grow from. Here are some tips you can use to get you up and running.
First of all, be clever with your keywords. As you know, the keywords that you use on your website will help Google and the other search engines find you. If you have an excellent site that fulfills all their needs, then you rank higher – it’s as simple as that. But what about being more local?
Well, make sure that your phone number and address is on every page of your website. Why? Because Google will attribute your address and area code with where you live. Also, write as much as you can about your local area on your web pages. Use local clients for testimonials, for example. Or talk about your business experiences in your town. The more you can write about your company in terms of its location, the more signals Google will pick up.
There are hundreds of tools that you can use out there to improve your local ranking for your startups. Some are free – updating your business on Google Maps, for example, sends a very strong signal. Some, however, offer a little more in depth analysis.
You could, for instance, use a local rank checker to see how your website is doing in terms of the competition. You can also use these kinds of tools to find out where your rivals are getting things right, and where you are slipping down. Once you balance out those results, you will be neck and neck. Then all you have to do is deliver better content and keep fleshing out your links – which we will go into now.
Finding local links
How do you go about getting more local links? It’s easier than you might think. Start with adding your company to your local business directories. There are dozens of them around in most areas, from city level through to county level. Next, try and find companies in your area that you have done work for or sold products to – and ask them if they can mention you on their website.
Finally, build up a relationship with the local press. Local news outlets get a lot of visitors every day and are seen by the search engines as authority figures. Any links from them will be strong – and safe. So, see if you can come up with an interesting piece of news about your industry. Perhaps you have noticed a pattern in your sales, or maybe you have some impressive statistics to share? Anything you can use that might make an interesting story could get your name in some interesting positions.
Do you have any more tips for getting a more local audience? Let us know and we’ll get right back to you!