Do you want to promote your business as an LGBTQ+-friendly one? Perhaps you want to be seen in local searches as an LGBTQ+ business or one that is welcoming and inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community.
Not only is this a good thing to do, but it makes good business sense too. A report from Open For Business found that LGBT+ inclusion is correlated with high business performance, investor interest, and overall consumer approval.
It’s common for people to look up local businesses to find ones that meet their needs as consumers, and you can adjust your SEO strategy to show that you meet those needs, thus ranking higher in local search results. Here are some tips on how to optimise your web content to rank higher under the keyword ‘LGBTQ businesses near me’.
Say that your business is LGBTQ+ friendly on your website
Adding information to your website is a no-brainer for showing that your business is LGBTQ+-friendly. You can mention on your front page that you are an LGBTQ+-friendly business and a safe space for trans people, and include this on the About or FAQ pages. Some businesses have added their diversity policy to their website. This is a written statement saying how you will avoid discriminating against people, and that your business is a safe and inclusive space for team members, customers and the public. You can find templates online that you can tweak to fit your needs.
Add some relevant keywords to your Google Business Page description
Updating your Google Business Page (or GBP) is always a good way to rank higher in local search results. Make sure all business information is up to date and that you add as much detail as possible, like opening hours and contact details.
Update your business description on GBP – go to ‘Edit Profile’ and add details about your business. Here you can add ‘LGBTQ+ friendly’, plus other relevant information for potential LGBTQ+ customers. You can add a description of your business and the products and services you offer. Remember to keep it short and sweet so it fits within the 750-character limit.
Add some LGBTQ+ tags in your Google Business Page attributes
Update your Google Business Page – click ‘Edit Your Business Information’, then scroll down to ‘More’ and click ‘Crowd’ and select ‘LGBTQ+ Friendly’.
Once you have added this attribute, within 3 days you will get a tag like this that appears on your profile and local search results. As you can see, you can add other attributes such as ‘identifies as women-owned’. You can also add other attributes such as ‘gender-neutral bathroom’ or ‘Transgender Safe Space’ if your business has physical premises that people can visit.
Add an LGBTQ+-friendly update on your Google Business Page
You can add updates including pictures, captions and links to your GBP, just like social media channels. Regular updates are a good way to improve your local SEO, as they send signals to Google that your listing contains accurate information. GBP updates are also handy for adding events you are hosting, or sharing any current offers or sales.
You can add an LGBTQ+-themed update for Pride Month, Transgender Awareness Week, and more. You don’t need a special occasion or holiday to talk about LGBTQ+ topics though – any time is fine! Here you can remind people that your business is an LGBTQ+ friendly, inclusive space. Here are some ideas for LGBTQ+-themed GBP updates:
- Share photos of your business displaying pride flags or other LGBTQ+ items
- Promote LGBTQ+ themed products or events, e.g. drag shows
- Share how your business supports the community, e.g. if you have donated to an LGBTQ+ charity or held a fundraiser
- Show your support for local Pride events
Invite customers to leave reviews
Getting customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Page can be a powerful ranking factor and help boost your local SEO. Positive reviews help to build trust in your business and boost awareness of your brand. If people commonly mention the same words and phrases, such as ‘LGBT friendly’, they will appear in ‘bubbles’ in the review section. This is another way of getting your business to rank highly for those keywords.
Always reply to reviews to thank the person for their comments, and address any issues they have raised. Sometimes you will get bad reviews, just reply to them gracefully and try to address any complaints! If a review is clearly not from an actual customer or includes harmful content, you can report it to Google as inappropriate.
Customers can also share images from your business and they will appear as part of your Google Business Profile. This can help a lot with your local SEO, as user-generated content is powerful social proof. Again, if someone tags inappropriate images, you can flag it to Google and get it removed.
Post some questions in your Q&A section
You might notice the ‘Questions & answers’ section of your GBP looking a little bare. This is another place where you can add more info about your business and include LGBTQ+-related keywords. If your customers or profile visitors aren’t asking any questions, you can post your own Q&As here too. Once you have some answers posted, if someone starts typing a relevant question, the answer will appear in ’suggested answers’, so you can pre-empt any common queries.
If you do have questions submitted here by others, try and answer them promptly – members of the public can answer those questions too, so it’s best to jump in quickly to avoid misinformation.
Following these tips should set you well on your way to ranking highly in local search results for ‘LGBTQ businesses near me’. Be sure that you can back up your claims with actions too, which means actively working to create a safe and inclusive environment at your business, and not tolerating any form of discrimination.