A Little Irish Wisdom for Your Local SEO6 min read
The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to the Moz community! We’re always looking for new ways to set our readers and customers up for success, and today, we’re going to take a look at the inspiring tale of how a whole nation has built a path to real human progress for its people, with takeaways that can be applied to your own business and community.
A first century well spent
Last year, the Republic of Ireland turned 100, and according to author Dan Henry, the Irish have accomplished all of the following in their first century:
Living longer and easier — death rates have been halved due to vaccinations for major diseases of the 20th century.
Eating and being healthier — there is a strong focus on local foods, eating more plant-based foods, and Irish residents are entitled to health care.
Creating better lives for women and children — the maternal death rate in Ireland in 2019 was zero, and all Irish children are entitled not only to health care, but to an educational system that has resulted in 58% of young people achieving higher education, compared to an EU average of 45%, and just 37% in the US.
Earning more and helping more — today’s Irish earn five times as much as their grandparents did, and they have been named the most generous people in the world in terms of national and international charitable giving.
Being happier — 96% of the Irish are satisfied with their lives.
Multinationals are well aware of Irish opportunity
Foreign investors know all about the Irish success story, and firms like IDA consider Ireland one of the best bets on the planet for their clients because:
Ireland has the youngest population in Europe and one of the most educated workforces in the world. Its National Skills and Strategy Action Plan has the goal of making Ireland’s educational system the best in the EU in the next five years.
Pro-climate government policy is making Ireland a hub of the green economy, with its wind and solar production already being the second-best in Europe, and its financial commitments to research and development making it an attractive environment for business growth compared to nations shackled to the dead-end fossil fuel industry.
Nine out of the top 10 multinational tech companies have set up offices in Ireland, as have all of the top five global software brands. At Moz, we’re very proud of our own Irish team.
But my own interest in understanding the success of Ireland goes deeper than the profit margins of big business. It goes right to the heart of how the Irish people are embracing national and local economics.
The wisdom of Mother Éire
I’m a US citizen, but as is the case for many of my 31.5 million Irish-American cousins, Éire remains Mother, and I keep in regular contact with her via media. I’ve noticed that you cannot open an Irish newspaper or watch Irish television today without encountering a national mindset bent on uplifting the whole people to a sustainable future in which everyone thrives.
A single RTÉ program, Nationwide, perfectly encapsulates a country that is determined to eat locally, buy everyday goods from its own nearby producers, celebrate the arts, and restore its damaged environment. Meanwhile, listening to Irish talk radio makes it clear that nearly everyone in the country, from schoolchildren to elders, is notably community-minded and in search of a good, green future for all. The educated opinions of the callers are interspersed with ads for EVs and Irish-made goods. From gorgeous greenways for pedestrians and cyclists, to redeveloping wildflower meadows for pollinators, to amazing grants, fairs, and basic income for the country’s beloved artists and artisans, Ireland is doing the considerable work of creating a society rich in hope and happiness. As a local SEO who is deeply tied to the principles of localism, I can tell you that such talk makes me giddy with the possibilities of a fine life for everybody.
And it has made me wonder if there is anything in Irish culture that predisposes the people, as a whole, towards that magic ingredient many say is essential to all successful movements: sharing a vision. I think there may be clues that all of us can learn from, and apply to our own community-building work of local SEO, in some very old sayings with which many Irish people are familiar from their formative years.
Seanfhocal: 10 Irish proverbs for doing good local SEO
Seanfhocal is Irish for “old word”, and these time-honored sayings may come in handy in helping your business or clients contribute to re-building our communities into places of peace and plenty for all.
1. No matter how many rooms you have in your house, you’re only able to sleep in one bed
Instead of basing a society on greed and hoarding, localism recognizes that we all have the same basic, inherent needs and rights.
2. It’s not a delay to stop and sharpen the scythe
Take every opportunity you can to become educated about your community’s needs and about how to communicate via today’s media; what you learn will serve both you and everyone around you. And fair play to you for already being here, studying SEO, so that you can become an effective communicator of solutions to local needs!
3. You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind
Once you’ve put in the study, be bold and start doing! Take action to get the word out about the local businesses you’re marketing because you’ve as much right to success as anyone else. Your efforts won’t be perfect, but you can learn from every mistake. Speaking of which…
4. An old broom knows the dirty corners best
Wisdom comes from learned experience. SEO is an experimental environment and your openness to ongoing testing will serve you well. Already have years of learning under your belt of how to market local brands? Consider joining a Buy Local association to help share your knowledge with new brooms.
5. Don’t fear an ill wind if your haystacks are tied down
Our industry can seem like one in which everyone lives in fear of the next Google update, but time has shown that those who put in the work to implement good, human-centric practices tend to come out fine, time and again.
6. While a person is out, their food goes cold
You’ve got to keep at it in local SEO. Neglected local business listings end up with wrong information on them. Neglected reviews create a slow leak of reputation and revenue. Neglected websites get hacked. Make local search marketing part of your daily activities for the long haul and use tools and software to create a manageable workflow for all this maintenance.
7. An empty sack does not stand
Don’t base a local SEO campaign on fake listings and fake reviews. You can’t build lasting success on shortcuts.
8. A lamb’s bleat is often more telling than a dog’s bark
Perfect for social media and marketing, in general — a humble and helpful approach to communication will go a lot farther in most industries than self-serving braggadocio. Run a local business that shares, supports, contributes, aids, and stands in solidarity with its community.
9. Anyone can lose their hat in a fairy wind
Some things are beyond our control. Throughout the pandemic, local business owners have learned to do the best they can, all things considered. Few situations are ideal, and a reality-based optimism is a balanced approach to both running a business and running a life.
10. However long the day, the evening will come
Bad times don’t last forever, my friends. Take this as encouragement to persist in your efforts, to keep learning from others, and loving your life. I know — it isn’t easy — but don’t let anything steal your best visions for how good things could be.
While we can’t all live in Ireland (more’s the pity!), and though we’re all dwelling in different countries and circumstances, there’s much to be learned from Éire’s ancient sagacity as well as the Republic’s young and experimental first hundred years. If we find takeaways in what the Irish have been working so hard to achieve and apply them wherever we happen to be, many can benefit. Wishing you a future of shared health, common prosperity, and a bit of good luck on this special day!