You are a local trader. You have always been and always will be. You are not particularly looking to discover new customers from the Outer Hebrides or Tipperary, are you? Well, not unless that is where your business is based. The point is, there is almost no point to your website reaching the far reaches of the planet.
The truth is it might not benefit a plumber from Peckham to have a vibrant Venezuelan audience. Websites that represent tradespersons need to be geared towards serving the immediate locale.
So how do you make sure that your website is reaching the locals?
It all starts with a little local SEO
Even the least teach-savvy people in the UK will have heard of Google. It is a powerful company that has entered our language as a verb. It has all but monopolised the search industry. This is why every company needs good SEO. It is paramount to success. However, it might shock you at how often there are problems. Even basic geotagging in the metadata is often overlooked.
This basic local SEO is important to give your company the best chance of appearing in the “snack pack”.
Never heard of the snack pack? Then search: “Carpenters near me”:
And there you see them. All those business with stars and a point on the map. Why wouldn’t you want to be there? One of the first things you should be considering, especially as a tradesperson, is your local SEO.
If you are unable to properly optimise your site for SEO then outsource. It is worth the money.
Make use of landmarks, language and trust marks
You could have a page saying “Hey, I’m from Northampton”. But that isn’t enough to sell yourself to local area. You know yourself, that a lot of local businesses are proud institutions in the community. You probably know a few yourself. That favourite Fish and Chip shop. The pub that has been there since the ice age ended.
These businesses and their patrons could easily become the advocates you need to do well in your local area. So, it is best to start speaking their language.
That doesn’t mean you start writing phonetically like Irvine Welsh and finishing every sentence with “innit”. Use your websites to celebrate parts of the community that they will recognise. Landmarks and local heroes are always good to draw traffic to your website. Use your website to demonstrate how proud you are to be part of your local community.
Get your community involved
Let’s run an experiment. When you have finished your website, or at least the first stage of your website, go onto Facebook and share the link.
Write: “Hey y’all, just finished my website! Anyone fancy looking at it and letting me know what they think? I want it to have a local feel”.
I predict excellent results.
You will get a lot of thumbs up, a few hearts, a couple of shares and a lot of comments.
You see, people like to be useful and helpful. You are asking them for their advice, and at heart everyone is a “Dear Deirdre” waiting to happen. You have given them carte blanche to give criticism and feedback. Hence, you have just made them important.
Sneakily though, you have instantly attracted people to your website and engaged your local area.
This information is probably useless if you are a global ecommerce site looking to take over the world with your superb creations. But you’re not. You’re a tradesperson making your living by travelling from place to place. And, it only makes sense, that if you can get work closer to home, then it will save you money and time.
Surprisingly enough, people do care about where a business is from. We are asked constantly. Sometimes it is simply a customer who wants to find a little bit of common ground whilst they are trying to build a relationship with us. They tell us “Oh yeah, I know where you are, I once drove through there.”
For small businesses they probably feel more connected to their local area, and your focus on the “local” may just increase your website enquiries.