The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on many businesses around the globe, with local businesses being particularly badly affected as they tend to rely hugely on local footfall. During the last twelve months, then, it has been more important than ever to have a solid local SEO Manchester strategy in order to be able to gain visibility for your local business online.
COVID-19 and the lockdowns associated with it have forced many local businesses to go online in order to be able to continue to reach their customers and keep them engaged. It is really important that local businesses are prepared for this to continue so that they can carry on competing in this competitive and quickly changing landscape.
Some local businesses will have had to suddenly move to sell online, quicker than maybe they originally planned on doing so, while others may have already been online but have had to tweak their local search engine optimisation manchester strategy to ensure it reflects their customer’s new needs and wants which may have been changed by the pandemic.
Here are some tips for you, from our local SEO team, on how your business can gain visibility online during these unusual times:
Tip One: Be in a position to quickly react to changing circumstances
Thinking back to this time last year when we were at the start of the pandemic, a lot of businesses were in a state of uncertainty about the best course of action and how to overcome any obstacles in their way. Fast forward to now, and things haven’t changed that much – businesses are still having to quickly react to changing circumstances in order to stay afloat.
Rules and regulations around businesses and COVID-19 are constantly changing and it can be hard to keep up – but it is really important for business owners to do so. Things that worked before COVID-19 won’t necessarily work now so you should pay attention to the wants and needs of your existing customers and potential customers as well.
For example, if you had a website pre-pandemic and it was used to advertise products that were only available in the store, then you might want to think about selling them online as well as offering a click-and-collect service. This can be a great way to improve sales and encourage customers back into the store as well.
Tip Two: Team up with another local business
Times are tough for all local businesses at the moment, so why not support each other by teaming up with another local business? As well as helping someone out who may be struggling, you will also be able to access their pool of customers and get a fresh pair of eyes on your business as well.
How you decide to team up is entirely up to you, but we would advise that you keep in mind your business values when you choose who to partner with, and make sure their business values echo yours.
Some ways you could partner up with other businesses include:
- Creating a collaborative product range
- Generating an interesting social media campaign together
- Hosting a joint online event or masterclass
- Offering service packages or product bundles
- Running an online competition
Tip Three: Re-marketing is critical
One thing the pandemic has done is turn many local business strategies on their head and forced them to think their online business strategy. Remarketing, for example, has become a critical tactic to help identify what customers are looking for during this strange time – as focusing on this can really help you with your conversion rate.
Remarketing works by helping you to retarget your online spend towards customers who have already engaged with one of your adverts or who has indicated that they are interested in your product or service – rather than people who have no interest in what you do at all.
Tip Four: Ensure your website is optimised
Having a well-optimised website is crucial in this day and age – and something we discuss with our clients a lot. By targeting relevant keywords in your site content, your product descriptions, your product guides and all other areas you are helping your website to be seen by your potential customers as it moves up the search engine rankings.
Talking of keywords though, it may be worth asking us to do a review, as some keyword trends will have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – for example, customers may want to know if your restaurant offers take-out during the times it is closed, and so you could create some content around this to help answer their questions.
Tip Five: Host a virtual event
It is highly likely that both you and your customers are feeling slightly out of touch at the moment, given the current situation but you can make sure that they don’t forget about you by hosting a virtual event. You can share business news, and make it a two-way thing where you find out what products or services you could offer them that would help them at the moment.
Your customers are sure to appreciate it and it will also help them focus on something they love – which can bring dividends for you in the future.
Tip Six: Share the knowledge
We highly recommend that our clients build a knowledge hub as part of their marketing strategy, and if you don’t already have one now is the time to start building. Creating shareable information that helps people solve a problem is a great way to engage with customers and prompt them to talk about your business with other people in their lives.
Some examples of content you could create include:
- Guides – in-depth pieces on topics that are relevant to your business
- Inspirational Pieces – based around certain trends and events
- Product Manuals
As you can see, this COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to think a little differently about our local businesses’ marketing strategy. If you want your local business to stay afloat, and are looking for help with SEO in Manchester, then please get in touch with the SEO Mcr team.