If you want to win at local search engine optimisation (SEO), but you don’t want to depend on content marketing, you can do that! There are other techniques you can use to succeed. For instance, you could switch your focus towards usability and building a community. Content marketing is certainly a favourite way of building website authority and, depending on local competition, it can bring really quick results. They say content is king and this is true. In fact, the techniques below will help you to do well in search engines. But if you combine content marketing with these 8 methods then you’ll likely do even better. In a nutshell? There’s no winning formula. Just have a SEO strategy and implement it. And keep on implementing it! Don’t give up!
Try these strategies to attain high local rankings in the search engines for search terms such as SEO Barnsley, SEO Wakefield, SEO Sheffield, SEO Leeds and so on:
- Consider building a community. Perhaps you’re good at bringing people together. You should play on your own individual strengths – what you’re good at and, of course, what you enjoy doing. If you’re a particularly social creature, then why not start a local business networking group. This article has been written during the Covid-19 pandemic, so we aren’t networking face-to-face so much. But business meetings over video chat software solutions, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and so on, may be something you can put together and get people using. Alternatively, you could create a forum or build your social media presence devoted to the needs of your prospective customers. As this community grows you can then send your audience towards your offers. You could combine all of these things and even build your own social media website. The world is your oyster.
- Use a brandable domain. If you go back a few years, everyone was trying to build their websites on domain names that exactly matched their keywords. This worked for a while, and you could rank these websites near the top of the search engines with very little effort. Nowadays, things have changed and brandable domains are the way to go. When you create a brand, you create a unique presence for your business, essential when attempting to rank locally. As a search for various keywords in Google such as ‘SEO Barnsley’, I see that the top spots are occupied by brands, not exactly match keyword domains.
- Build an intuitive, responsive website. Even with the free web-builder software available today, there are still plenty of local businesses with poor websites. Sometimes it’s best to pay for an expert to create a professional website – especially if you want to outrank these poorer websites. It depends what you want really, very few local businesses need and will go to the expense of investing in a bespoke website and I don’t blame them. Yes a bespoke site will have just what you need and none of the bloat. But when it comes to adding new features and functionality your developer will be charging an arm and a leg to basically reinvent the wheel. Is the costs-benefits of slightly high web pages speeds vs very high development costs really worth it? Does it make business sense? In most cases, for small to medium sized (SME) local businesses, we don’t think so. We build websites in WordPress and are proud of it. WordPress is great. Want to use Wix? We don’t use this or support it, but whatever works for you. If it fits your business requirements then go for it.
A responsive website is essential to ensure that the website works on all devices. These days, most web traffic comes from mobile devices, so you must make your website mobile-friendly in addition to desktops.
- Use on-page SEO. To rank highly, it’s important to optimize your website. Ensure that each page on your website is optimized with a title, heading tags, and properly labeled images. Choose keywords that are appropriate for your website.
Forget about trying to rank globally, but instead, look at adding local place names. For example, “web design in Barnsley” instead of “web design.”
- Speed up your website loading time. Website loading time is a ranking factor that many website owners fail to address. If your website is slow to load, users will click off it quickly. This high bounce rate will have a negative impact on your SEO efforts.
- Verify your business with Google My Business. If you want your business to appear on Google Maps, you’ll need to verify it with Google My Business. Once you’ve done this, your business will have a greater chance of appearing on the map on the first-page search results. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic Google is delayed in synchronising reviews between Google Maps and Google local listings, due to staffing issues. So bear with them as there may be a few day’s worth of delays in syncing reviews when your customers/clients leave you reviews.
- Build local citations. Citations are when your business name, address, and phone number are listed on the web. These citations help to boost your visibility on Google Maps and the local search results. The more of these your website has the better your website should perform.
Be consistent with the wording across all your listings. If you are not consistent, it may harm your overall visibility.
- Earn reviews from customers. Encourage your customers to publish reviews of your products or services. These reviews help to build trust in the search engines, plus you will be building trust in the general public too.
If your aim is to succeed at local SEO, you won’t need to focus too much attention on content marketing.
When you focus on these local SEO techniques, you might be able to beat those competitors who invest heavily and solely in content. However, if your competition are following these 8 steps and doing content really well. Then you had better start doing some content marketing too!