If you run a local business and are setting up your first website or updating an existing site, one thing you will need to do is publish content that will attract local customers and enable them to find you. In this post, we’ll explain why this content is so crucial to your business and show you what information you need to put on your site.
Is your company a local business?
In essence, a local business is one which serves a specific location but that location can be large or small. A newsagent, for example, might focus on customers within a mile radius of where it is situated, the restaurant next door might serve the whole town, the builders across the road might do business across two or three towns. All of them, however, are what you might consider as local businesses but the type of services they offer will determine the locality in which they operate.
The important factor, here, is that you need to make it clear on your website where the extent of your locality is so that potential customers know they are in your catchment area.
Why local content is important
Local content is important for both your customers and for search engines. For customers, it enables them to see that the services you offer are relevant to them, both in terms of what you do and where you operate. If they do not see this information, they may take their business elsewhere.
For search engines, local content helps them understand where you are operating and this can be very helpful in ensuring your website appears in search engine results for people in your locality. If you are a hair salon in Harrogate, you want your website to show up in results when some searches for a hairdresser in Harrogate. Local content can help this happen.
What local content do you need on your website?
Here are some of the main things you will need.
1. Name, address and phone number
The most important thing you need to do to establish your locality is to put your company’s name, address and phone number (often referred to a NAP) on your website. In fact, it’s so important, it should be placed in the footer of your website so that it appears on every single page.
Doing this makes sure that whatever page a visitor lands on, the key information of where you are and how to contact you is always there for them to see. It’s is also a vital piece of information for search engines as it enables them to identify your location and discover how relevant you are to an individual’s search.
One important detail is that you should always use the same NAP for all your business listings on the internet. In other words, if you use street, suburb and town in your address on your website, make sure this is identical to listings on other websites or business directories. Something seemingly as trivial as missing the suburb out could confuse a search engine about whether both NAPs refer to the same business. This could affect your website’s ranking.
2. Customer testimonials
Customer testimonials are a great way to show potential customers how you have provided a good service to customers in the past. In this sense, they can be very helpful for your marketing. However, for local businesses, you should make sure that the location of the person giving the testimonial is also included in the information.
By adding the location, you can make your business seem more trustworthy to those who live nearby. Local customers value the opinions of other locals very much, so by including the place where the person giving the testimonial lives, you can prove that other locals like what you do and this can be an effective way to increase leads and sales.
At the same time, testimonials show customers and search engines that your business specialises in delivering service in your area.
3. Customer reviews
Reviews have a powerful influence on customer purchasing decisions. 7 out of 10 people now read online reviews before making a purchase and two-thirds of customers are more likely to buy from a company which has reviews. This is because reviews are independent and come from genuine customers, and this makes them highly trusted.
The power of reviews for local businesses can be seen simply by searching for restaurants and takeaways in your own town. If you are looking for somewhere to eat out, you are not going to pick a place with an average one-star review. Even when it comes to the best-ranked restaurants, you’re likely to read the recent reviews to help you make your choice.
If a company has no reviews, there is no independent evaluation for potential customers to base their choice on. This means using your service is taking a risk with the unknown. For many, that may be a risk not worth taking, especially if there are competitors that do have good reviews.
You can collect reviews using a service such as Trustpilot which also enables you to display them on your website. Adding these to your site can be a game changer provided your service gets good reviews.
4. Contact Us page
Every local business should have a Contact Us page on their website to provide customers with all the information they need to get in touch. If they can contact you easily, there is far more likelihood that you’ll make a sale.
For this reason, there should be a link to your Contact Us page on every page, either in one of your menus or in the footer. The information needed on your Contact US page should include:
- Company name and address
- Telephone number
- Email address (or addresses for different purposes)
- A contact form which can be completed there and then
- Live chat for helping customers in real time whilst on your site
- Business opening hours
- A map, preferably with directions
- Links to your social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
5. Product and service pages
Although providing detailed pages about products and services is vital for any business, for local businesses it is a chance to reinforce the fact that you cater for a specific location. You should make it clear which area your business caters for by including the details in the page’s URL, title, subheadings and in the actual content. For example:
- URL: mybusiness.co.uk/decorators-norwich
- Title: Decorating Services Norwich
- Subheading: Domestic Decorating Throughout the Norwich Area
- Content: We offer a specialist decorating service to customers in Norwich and surrounding area.
Including this type of content can have a powerful effect on your search engine ranking and ensure that customers know your business is local to them.
The content you put on your website will have an important role to play in helping customers decide whether to use your company or not. For many people, two of the key factors in making that decision are whether the company they are using is local to them and whether it has a good reputation. Hopefully, this post will have helped you understand how to put that essential information on your own website.
If you run a local business and are considering creating a website, check out our great range of affordableÂ business hosting packages.