Local councils and authorities rarely have a well thought out marketing strategy. And very few use SEO (search engine optimisation) to their advantage.
But at GrowTraffic, we believe that a strategic SEO plan can have an excellent impact on a local council. We have worked with several councils, including Rossendale Borough Council And Oldham Council to improve their marketing strategy and help them reach their target audience.
How Can SEO Benefit Local Councils?
Search engine optimisation is the process of optimising a website to increase its chances of ranking high on Google and other search engines. Through SEO, your local council’s website will be easy to find for your target audience. Here are some of the benefits of having an SEO strategy:
- Increase rankings and web traffic.
- Become a valuable source of information.
- Promote policies and important news.
- Improve your reputation.
- Broaden your audience.
- Promote tourism in the area.
- Generate income for the local economy.
- Communicate with locals in a new way.
- Strengthen the brand and increase awareness of the local council.
How Can Local Councils Use SEO?
By taking a commercial approach to your SEO strategy, you can create a website that ranks well on search engines for keywords that your target audience is searching for.
You can become a reliable source of key information, news and updates that are useful for local residents, tourists and people thinking about moving to the area.
Regularly Produce Great Content
Many local councils only publish new content on their website when there is news to share. But if you want to be seen as a transparent and reliable source of valuable information, you need to be regularly publishing useful content.
Having a content calendar is a great first step. A content calendar will lay out the content that is to be published for the next few months. This content should include a mix of blog posts, news articles, infographics and video content.
The topics of the content will vary. Before the content calendar is put together, keyword research will be carried out to gain a better understanding of what your target audience is looking for.
From there topics and content themes will be worked into a content calendar. With local councils, there is a wide range of topics to write about that would be useful and relevant to your audience, including:
- Updates about ongoing regeneration projects and funding
- Area-specific news, such as new businesses opening
- News about local businesses
- Tourism and leisure articles i.e. Top 5 Places To Visit With Children
- Articles about upcoming events in the area
- News from local schools
- Charity events and campaigns taking place in the area.
The truth is, when it comes to a local council, there is an abundance of topics to cover that will be of value to the local residents.
Regularly producing this type of informative content will demonstrate transparency and reliability. It will also position you as a council that genuinely cares about its residents, businesses and organisations.
Branch Out From The Main Website
If you really want to become a source of valuable information, you could branch out the website to include “micro-sites”. For example, you could create a tourism and leisure website dedicated to showcasing the area as a tourism destination.
It could include information on the accommodation, cultural hotspots, best of the outdoors, shopping facilities, food and drink options, must-see attractions and upcoming events.
By targeting keywords and phrases such as “things to do for family in insert area” you could climb the rankings and reach your target audience. You could also boost tourism in the area and increase resident spend.
Take Advantage Of Social Media
Many local councils and authorities tend to shy away from social media. Usually, it’s because they don’t have the staff in-house to manage social media channels effectively. Other times, there is a reluctance to post on social media due to concern that it may be met with negative comments.
However, when done properly, social media is an excellent way to communicate with local residents. Aside from driving traffic back to the website, it can become another place to post information and resources.
It will also allow the council to stay up to date on things that are happening in the area, as well as gaining a better understanding of resident’s needs.
Get In Touch
GrowTraffic is an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Lancashire and Yorkshire. We offer a wide range of digital marketing services, but we specialise in search engine optimisation (SEO).
If you believe your local council could benefit from having a well thought out an SEO strategy, get in touch with our team. We have experience in working with local councils, local authorities and housing associations. And we’re always on hand to answer your questions.