Owning a bakery is a full-time job in and of itself. Marketing that bakery comes with the territory, and today’s digital marketing world requires a more dynamic solution to local marketing and optimization than just making sure people know where your business is located. There’s an entire category of your optimization efforts dedicated to this: local SEO. In this guide, we’ll help you understand how local optimization can improve your Bakery’s reputation and make sure that you’re the first choice for those looking for fresh local treats.
Local search engine optimization involves several different efforts. It’s about a lot more than just adding your location to your website and online listings. That’s a definite step in the right direction, but it’s just as important to work on building your reputation and authority in the eyes of both customers and search engines like Google.
The best way to start is to take a look at your current content. There are a lot of different elements to consider, including where you could improve keyword usage, whether the content is relevant and helps your SEO or not, and where you need to make updates or changes to improve your local optimization. Make sure that you audit your website and all of your online listings that are off-page (anywhere besides your website).
While you’re auditing your content, it’s a good time to pick a standard listing for your name, address, and phone number (NAP). If search engines see different listings in different places, it deducts major reputation points from your score because you couldn’t even be bothered to make sure that your listings are consistent. Even a single period or abbreviation difference will be found, so make sure that you choose a standard contact information listing and stick with it wherever you are listing your business.
Just as with the rest of your optimization efforts, you’ll need to do keyword research to learn what types of local keywords will best suit your strategy. You’ll also have to consider which keywords and phrases will get the best rankings and think about utilizing some of the lower-performing keywords so that you can get more attention, even if the searches are fewer. If you’re not familiar with the keyword research process, you should consider outsourcing it to a third party to ensure that you get the right keywords.
Who are your suppliers? Vendors? Business customers, if you have them? See how you can connect and interact with other local businesses, including on social media and elsewhere. Share links, offer specials for each other’s best customers, and so forth. The more networking you do with other reputable companies, the more reputable your bakery will appear in the eyes of Google.
Reviews and testimonials can go a long way for your local bakery. Ask people to leave reviews, or even better, offer them something in exchange for a review, such as a free pastry for a Facebook follow and review, or a discount on their next visit if they leave a review on Google. You can go a lot of different ways with this, but you need to make sure that you’re embracing reviews as part of local optimization.
And as for negative reviews (yes, you will get them), you’ll want to make sure that you respond to them in a timely and helpful manner. Even if you don’t resolve the issue right away, you’ll be able to show that you care enough to try to handle people’s issues or bad experiences directly so that you can deliver a better experience moving forward.
You need to make sure that in addition to building a following, you’re taking the time to engage with them online. This includes being interactive on social media, as well as responding to reviews, engaging with people on your website, and so forth. Any time you get the opportunity to interact and engage with customers is an opportunity to grow your reputation and create stronger relationships, which are both critical to your success and your local SEO.
Some companies create social media pages or profiles and don’t ever do much with them. Others will join forums or local business directories and never do more than post their business information. This is not good enough. You need to use the connections that you make for the benefit of your business.
This used to be known as Google My Business, but regardless of its name, it is one of the most critical pieces of the local SEO puzzle. We saved it for last because we wanted to make sure that you remember it as you go off to work on your own local optimization efforts. This profile will include several categories that you can complete and plenty of places where you can utilize keywords to increase your local rankings. It also gives you a chance to create a strong impression with Google and by extension, your customers.
Don’t forget that once you optimize your bakery’s online presence for local SEO, you’ll have leads by the dozen rolling in—are you ready to manage them? With a 24/7 answering service in place, you’ll be off to a good start. And, when you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai for that service, you’ll also have access to assistance with lead intake, appointment scheduling, and so much more.
Still working on the marketing and lead gen campaigns? Ask about our outreach campaigns and outbound sales support solutions, as well as how we can deliver a custom strategy to manage it all. Schedule a consultation to learn more about how the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can help your bakery rise to greatness and earn that perfect sweet spot in the search results, or drop us a line at email@example.com.