In the run-up to Small Business Saturday on 6th December, people around the UK are preparing to show support for their community by spending money with local businesses.
But what about the rest of the year? Whilst the awareness campaign is an invaluable initiative for Britain’s small and micro businesses, we must not forget that entrepreneurs need the support of their local community all year round!
This week on the Sage One blog, we’ll be providing you with daily tips and advice to help you make the most of your local community on Small Business Saturday, as well as every other day of the year. But because small businesses are not all about the high street, we’ll be focusing on tips for online activity, helping you keep in touch with your customers in the digital age.
So stay tuned for our daily blogs and in order to take your local relationships a step further, download our free toolkit for small businesses – 10 pages of easy-to-read advice on social media, e-marketing, SEO tips and more.
What if we told you that the way for your local community to find out about your business online could be summed up in three letters? SEO, standing for Search Engine Optimisation. Don’t run away! Whether you like the sound of SEO or not, we can guarantee it will make all the difference to your business.
Did you know that in 2012 the number of local searches quadrupled? In fact, out of an estimated 30 billion annual searches on mobile, 12 billion were local! This means there are many people in your area, searching for businesses near them. And if that’s not enough for you to take SEO seriously, remember that local mobile searches are projected to exceed desktop searches for the first time in 2015 meaning that people are searching whilst out and about, potentially looking for the best results near them. Get it? Read on.
Optimising your website and business content for search simply means that when people type relevant keywords into Google or any other search engine, you’re more likely to come up in the results. And the higher you rank, the more likely you are to see your traffic – and so your sales – rise. With so many people searching for businesses in their area, whether they’re sitting at home or searching on the go, SEO is your best friend to make sure your local community find out about you and your business.
So how do you go about making sure your local community find you in their search results? To give you a head start, we asked expert Andrew Isidoro, SEO manager at GoCompare.com to give our readers some top tips.
“Organic search is a huge opportunity for small businesses. Creating content around small niche issues within your marketplace, solving customer problems and presenting your brand in front of users exactly when they are searching for help is a powerful marketing strategy. Thinking about your content strategically is key to success within organic search.”
“How can you solve customer problems through solid keyword research, content strategy and PR/outreach? Who are the major players in your industries (and other related industries) who would be interested in sharing and linking to your content?”
“To make sure your local community finds out all about you, start using local events, partnerships with other local businesses and even local establishments like Universities to drive links, citations and relevance from within your own neighbourhood.”
“It’s not easy but success in organic search can be low cost. It just requires planning, a keen understanding of your customer and a bit of blue sky thinking.”
Find out more
Social Media can also be a powerful tool to boost your search results. Find out more in our earlier blog on ‘How to build relationships with your local community online‘ and download our free 10-page ‘Sage One Toolkit to Connecting with Local Customers Online‘.