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Lockdown Business Tips

Lockdown Business Tips

As the business world adjusts to new ways of working remotely, you may find that you have more time on your hands.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tackle that to do list or find ways of improving your business.  We have a few ideas for you:

Budget

Your cashflow may be suffering so review your outgoings:

  • If you aren’t using a particular service as much, ask them for a discount
  • If you are about to enter into a new contract with supplier, see if they can do you a special offer
  • Do you pay monthly bank fees? Time to look at some of the free alternatives including Starling Bank or Tide
  • Ask your accountant for their opinion – they might be able to suggest other ways to save money

Social Media & Website Updates

Firstly, make sure that your website and social media clearly reflect your trading situation during this time.  If you are operating reduced hours or telephone only service then put this information on a social media post and pin it to the top of your profiles.

If you have a website then include a clear message on the home page so again people are aware of your trading situation.  If you are unable to do this yourself then either ask your web designer or if it is a WordPress website then we are able to help.

Potential and existing customers will be looking at the internet a lot more during lockdown so ensure that your Google Local entry is up-to-date, including the opening times.  There is now an option under ‘posts’ on your Google Local entry to add a ‘Covid-19’ Update – do use this – it shows your business is being conscientious in the current climate and keeps your clients up to date.

If you have a newsletter, now is the time to communicate with your customers.  Let them know how you are doing, ask how they are doing and most importantly how you will be trading during this difficult time.

Marketing

Once you’ve addressed the immediate issues, it is time to focus on a more long-term plan.

  • Local marketing – this is potentially the most effective way for a small business to promote themselves. Ensure your website, Google Local and social media are using geographical keywords and search terms ie “plumber in Muswell Hill”
  • Digital marketing plan – follow our tips on promoting your business online:
    • Use hashtags
    • Use Twitter hours
    • Use Keywords in your Website URL & in your Website Content
    • Check your Insights & post at Optimum Times
    • Make the most of your Google Local Entry
    • Post in relevant Facebook Groups
  • Website review – improve your website and ranking by
    • Verifying your site with Google Analytics & Google Console
    • Fix broken links using https://www.brokenlinkcheck.com
    • Installing WordPress Classic Editor’ plugin
    • Installing Yoast SEO plugin
  • Optimising images – review the images on your website so that they are not only the right size but also improve file names and tags so they reflect keywords in your SEO strategy

lockdown business tipsCommunity Support         

If you have worked through these business ideas then think about how you can help your community?  All businesses need our support at times like these.  A few suggestions for you:

  • Order a takeaway and help keep your local restaurants afloat, plus share your recommendations with friends, neighbours and local online groups
  • Before ordering items from Amazon, see if a local business is able to deliver the item – many are finding inventive ways to still serve the community via their website/email/telephone/social media
  • If you’ve had a particularly good experience from a local business recently, review them on Google. Good Google ratings will help improve their exposure on the internet
  • Many areas have local traders groups and are collating directories of businesses which are delivering to customers. Help gather information for them (if you pass a notice in a shop window for example) and share widely on social media
  • Does your business offer something that could be shared for free during lockdown? You’d not only be doing others a favour but it is a good promotion for you

As for Red Desk, we are still operating to support our clients remotely, offering suggestions on social media strategies and getting their businesses found online.  Please get in touch if you need any help – mel@reddesk.co.uk

 

Local Marketing and SEO: Website & Google Local

Local Marketing and SEO: Website & Google Local

Local marketing is potentially the most effective way for a small business to promote themselves, they will usually supply to their geographical area so it is essential to work on getting your brand seen online to a local audience.

The important factor to bear in mind is that Local Marketing should be a constant & continuous process, unlike large nationwide brands that will launch short term campaigns, your local marketing needs to be continually working & building relationships with your local clients.  Small businesses work far more on relationships & repeat customers so give some time & effort to your online presence in your local area.

In this article we take a look at how you can build your Local Marketing SEO strategy via your website and Google Local.

 

Website

An important fact to know is that ranking highly in local searches is much more achievable than other searches, search engine algorithms are well set up for geographical searches & Google will bring up local businesses above those further afield.  Therefore, you need to ensure that your website has the right keywords & searches that your local audience will use.  Use geographical keywords & search terms such as ‘plumber in Muswell Hill’.

The more localised the keywords the greater chance of your ranking higher so if your company services all of North London you may want to add keywords for specific locations within that area as well as using North London in your SEO.

local marketingCreate blogs and news articles which local customers might find of use to read.  Are there other businesses in the area you can cross-promote?  They could give you a little mention and you can mention them in return.

Double check your website is mobile-friendly.  Local searches are more likely to happen from a phone to search for directions, reviews or contact information.

Finally, keep your website constantly updated with good information.  Gone are the days when customers or clients will give you a call if they have a query, they are much more likely to search for you online.

 

Google Local

Your Google Local entry is an essential part of Local Marketing.  Make sure your profile is optimised with all the current information, such as opening times, telephone number etc.

Do check your location is marked correctly on Google Maps, you can move the marker if for some reason Google has your location wrong (this has happened with a few of our clients).

Add good images & ask for Google Reviews, you can add a link to your email encouraging reviews. You should also monitor your Google Reviews & respond.  If by chance you get an unfavourable review if you act quickly you can get your reviewer to remove it or indeed approach Google if you feel the review is unfair.

Lastly, Google Local does now allow you to post to it, much like posting to your other social media, each post lasts a week & it’s a brilliant way of bringing more information & valuable keywords to your Google entry.

 

If you would like help with your Local Marketing then send us an email lindsay@reddesk.co.uk

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