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Web Copywriter from Toowoomba on Why ‘Local SEO’ is Trending
Jade Reardon (professional web copywriter, Toowoomba) has been watching local SEO searches surge upwards – and she is itching to share her insights.
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There is a lot of information to share on local SEO. As such, the information will be spread over two blog posts.
Stay tuned for next week’s post for some seriously impressive, actionable takeaways to improve your local search rankings. In the meantime, let’s get started with this week’s blog!
‘Local SEO’ isn’t the only keyword trending1
- ‘Local SEO services’ have had some incredible search numbers in Australia – particularly in NSW.
- ‘Local SEO Brisbane’ and ‘Local SEO Melbourne’ have also shown impressive growth.
Explore what keywords and topics are on people’s minds using Google Trends.Jade (Page 88 founder, copywriter Toowoomba)
Help with Local SEO for Local People
Local people need help with implementing local SEO. It can be incredibly daunting for a business owner to try and make sense of all the SEO jargon and then try to learn how to implement local SEO strategies (AND then maintain them). It’s a massive job, so it is no wonder it is often outsourced. Click on this link for more on outsourcing copy and content to professional copywriters.
The sky is the limit if your business is willing to adapt to local buying behaviour.Jade, Page 88 (Founder and Toowoomba Copywriter)
Buying Behaviours Have Changed
Although the world is slowly reopening for business after COVID-19, buying behaviours have changed. Have they changed for the better? Well, that depends on who you ask. Talk to the local home DIY store, grocer, drive-thru café owner, butcher, wine merchant (i.e. Summer Hill Wine Shop) or even a local cheese-maker (i.e. Cheese Therapy), and you’ll likely hear good things. Talk to the owners of major shopping centres or overseas exporters, and they may say otherwise.
Some Toowoomba Businesses are Doing Better Than Ever
Jade Reardon, (copywriter Toowoomba) had a chat with her favourite coffee shops to find out how they have been managing. If you don’t already know, Toowoomba is one of the largest regional cities in Queensland. It is the ‘gateway’ to the west. Toowoomba is a beautiful city filled with trees and, as it turns out, HEAPS of coffee drinkers.
Jade has a favourite coffee shop in the CBD on Margaret St and another on the southern side of the city heading towards Kmart. The CBD coffee shop is trendy and quaint. It mostly services busy professionals, mum’s squeezing in a quick shop and plenty of foot traffic. It had a lull that lasted about one week at the start of the lockdown and has since absolutely snow-balled. Business has never been better!
What a strange result given the majority of coffee sales have moved away from take-aways to high-grade coffee from the supermarket to make at home2.
On the southern side of town, it was the same story! This café is out of the CBD but draws the crowds via its drive-thru service. Full credit to the owners and super friendly staff because although there is always a line, there is never a long wait for coffee (Nutella croissants, sandwiches and even milk to take home).
One of the local pubs on the southern side of town also started promoting takeaway meals just after lockdown, and they haven’t regretted it. Staff have been cut back purely because there haven’t been any bums on seats, but they have been able to keep the doors open.
A wine shop down in Sydney not long ago set up a complete online store. Just as well they did because as Aussies went into lockdown, they started looking for a fine drop to try. In fact, booze was almost as high on the list as toilet paper!3 Wine and liquor sales have boomed, and this little wine shop in Sydney was able to ride the wave via their online shop stocked with 1000s of local and imported wines.
Alright, so, we know some businesses are doing better than others. Most successful small businesses have implemented local SEO. What is local SEO? Let’s break this down step-by-step before we get into the seriously good stuff (graphs and data).
Below, you’ll find an explanation of what local SEO is. Then, the data starts pouring in. If you like graphs, you’ll love the data on local SEO searches.
Following this, we delve into what the during and post-coronavirus buyer looks like. What has changed in consumer buying behaviour?
Firstly, What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimisation (SEO) is the baby sibling of SEO. SEO is a comprehensive set of techniques to make all the digital content you produce:
- Easy to understand.
- Indexable by search engines, and;
- Responsive. No matter what device your content is viewed on, it loads correctly and quickly.
Local SEO is about tweaking online content (back end and front end) to ensure it reaches your local community. Your local community could be:
- Other like-minded people within, say 25km.
- Local businesses.
- All potential customers in your postcode.
Local SEO strategies put you in front of your local people. Grow with and captivate your local community with local SEO.
‘Local SEO’ Searches Are Skyrocketing (Here’s the Data)
2010 – 2020 search volumes for ‘local SEO’1.
Reardon suggests that businesses are preparing for this ‘trend’ to be a change in long-term purchasing behaviour (which would be a game-changer for local, independantly run businesses).
Whether the surge in local searches is a mid-to-long-term trend or an indication of a greater change to purchasing motivations, it’s worth getting on board right now.
Do you think local SEO searches have increased because of COVID-19?
Perhaps COVID-19 has just bolstered and given an advantage to certain search terms purely because of the changes in the market?
Share your thoughts at the bottom of this page in the comments or on Page 88’s social media pages.
A Surge in Local Buying Behaviour Means it is Time for Businesses to Optimise for Local SEO
Australians are increasingly looking to local suppliers for what they want and need. Australian made, and Australian grown are at the top of the list5. This means:
- Local businesses.
- Local food producers.
- Major retailers that source their goods locally.
Speaking of major retailers, have you seen this Aldi catalogue? It is jam-packed with organic cotton, environmentally friendly kitchen containers, travel mugs made of recycled materials – and heaps of Australian made and grown goodies. It seems Aldi are responding quickly to the changes in consumer behaviour.
Australians Want to Support Local People
What has caused this surge in consumer behaviour? Most recently, COVID-19 had us all house-bound with plenty of time to think about where we are sourcing our goods. Australian businesses are under massive amounts of pressure to adapt and survive. As a result, Australians are banding together to support local people.
Consumers want to find local businesses and help them, plus they want to feel confident knowing where the products they purchase come from3.
To do this, they need to be able to find your local business online. Click here to start a conversation and get some help with local SEO.
Local Employment and Socially and Environmentally Conscious Purchases
Before COVID 19, consumers were already thinking about their shopping behaviour and how it impacts the local and global social and environment.
· Environmental Awareness
The environmental element comes down to everyone taking on the responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint. Most people are really keen to do their part. The ways people are making environmentally conscious purchasing choices include:
- Buying locally-made:
- Choosing products that have had minimal air and road freight.
- Purchasing from environmentally responsible companies and manufacturers.
· Socially Conscious
The social element comes down to supporting locals and not supporting companies or manufacturers with poor social values, i.e. low wages, poor working conditions.
· Buy Your Supplies from Other Local Businesses
Run a bakery? Share with your customers where you source your flour from. Show them you are supporting Australian farms and agriculture. A prime example of this is Coles ads that show Curtis Stone visiting local farms.
· Employ locals
The standards of Australian work conditions are high, which is great because customers want to support ethical companies.
Local SEO – Inbound Marketing
(That is Better Than the Yellow Pages of the 1990s)
Local SEO is a great chance to make inbound marketing work for your business. After all, it is the modern version of the printed Yellow Pages from the 1990s.
Not only will local SEO connect you with customers before they’ve left their house, but it will literally guide them to your front door via map services.
Local SEO is here to stay, and if your business is looking to stick around, it’ll need local search engine optimisation.
Next weeks blog will uncover how local SEO searches work, plus what you can do with your content. Not to mention, a few tweaks for your website to improve your local search engine rankings.
1. Google Trends. Local SEO. 2020
2. Horsler, J. From Piccolos to Percolators: How Australians’ Coffee Consumption Habits Have Changed During Covid-19. Nielson. 2020.
3. Wine Australia. How COVID-19 is Changing Australia’s Domestic Wine Market. 2020; Market Bulletin, no. 202.
4. Australian Retailers Association. Australia’s Roadmap for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions. 2020.
5. CPG, FMCG & Retail. Recalibrated Consumption Dynamics in a Covid-19 Altered World. Nielson. 2020.