You’ve heard it again and again— SEO is vital now because internet use is the highest it’s ever been. While it’s crucial to launch your local SEO campaign today, knowing why it matters and how to approach it during a global pandemic needs more careful consideration. 

The impact of COVID-19 on internet use

Undeniably, internet use has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s the thing, though—internet use doesn’t only refer to online search. It also includes digital activities, like gaming, streaming, virtual meetings, electronic bank transfers, social media use and more. This recent increase in internet use has surely benefitted brands with growing TikTok or YouTube channels or gamers or digital influencers who’ve made a living in content creation.

That’s not to say online search has not boomed in the past years. Stuck at home, thousands of people went online to buy products and services they suddenly needed or would usually get. But this recent increase in online search might look different depending on your industry. 

For instance, searches on health topics and services have gone up. If you run a company that offers health-related services, you need SEO to beat the competition and target the growing market online. The opposite is true for badly hit industries. People no longer search for movie releases or theme parks online as often as before the pandemic. Still, they can use local SEO to reinvent services and re-establish their brand presence online. 

Nevertheless, your business needs local SEO services today. Your approach may differ, depending on the industry you belong to, but what matters is you remain visible online.

Why include local SEO in your arsenal?

Now we’ve established that SEO is vital, it’s time to dive a little deeper into why you should include local SEO in your digital marketing arsenal. And if you already have local SEO campaigns, find out why it’s more important now than ever to boost them significantly. 

Local search optimisation is crucial.

With many closed shops and people hesitant to go out, local search optimisation has become crucial. Consumers rely on “open now” and “near me” searches, as well as geotagged searches, to find a shop or company that can cater to their needs quickly. 

Local SEO tactics, such as creating and optimising your Google My Business account and posting blogs around local news, stories and events, can come in handy these days. You can also boost your local SEO presence by focusing on local keywords and creating location pages on your website. That way, people nearest to you can easily find and reach out to you.

Even if you belong in an industry that can’t provide your usual services right now, you should still optimise your business for local search to get found. Use local SEO strategies to direct people to your online services or other business details, like reopening dates. That way, you sustain your online presence and set up your business for success when it opens up again.

Consumers are looking to support small and local businesses. 

One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is the #supportsmallbusiness movement. Across Australia and the rest of the world, consumers make an effort to support small businesses in their towns to help their neighbours and keep the local economy alive. 

A-man-and-a-woman-shopping-at-a-local-grocery-store-during-the-COVID-19-pandemic

With a solid local SEO strategy, you can position your brand in front of consumers in your area who are going online to look for local brands to support. That can help increase your new buyers or even simply nurture your relationships with your existing local customers.

Local SEO improves your brand recognition.

Even if local consumers don’t buy from you right away, local SEO still matters. Keep in mind that consumers online don’t often turn into customers quickly—it takes multiple encounters. With informative blog posts that centre around your community, you create trust-building encounters. Once local consumers start looking up businesses like yours near them, they’ll likely call you. They’ll remember your brand as they’ve seen it a few times in the past year.

Say you run a small, local indie movie house. Right now, you probably can’t open your business at maximum capacity, but you need to continue engaging the local audience online. You can create a series of blogs (and social media posts) about starting a drive-in cinema in your town. Doing so won’t only help you see how your community thinks about the idea, but it’ll also make your brand constantly visible online.

How to start your local SEO strategy during a pandemic

Maybe, you’re finally convinced that local SEO is essential for your small business right now. Or perhaps, you’ve realised you need to boost your existing SEO campaigns by focusing on local SEO strategies. But where do you start? Here are some basic local SEO tactics you can adopt:

  • Create blog posts about local news, events and community.
  • Target location-based keywords, along with health-related search terms.
  • Create or update your Google My Business account.
  • Do a local listing audit
  • Do outreach by getting featured in a local magazine or by local influencers.
  • Update location-based content that’s already performing or low-hanging fruit.

With a focus on local SEO, you can make your brand visible to the people nearest to you. In times of a global crisis, it pays to turn to your community. It’s a win-win situation. They can get services quickly and show their support to you to keep the local economy alive—while you continue serving the community as you make your business stay afloat or even thrive. 

Craft a local SEO campaign with Canty Digital

If all of this seems overwhelming, Canty Digital is here to step in. We provide creative and results-focused local SEO services, including maps optimisation and link-building. We’ve helped many local small and mid-sized businesses increase their brand presence online —and we can do the same for you. We’ll help your brand dominate local searches and more.

Let’s start with a quick call. Set an appointment with us today, and let’s discuss your local SEO needs.