As a business owner, you’ve probably heard that you need a good content strategy for local marketing. And, since a lot of consumers visit a store or business within five miles after performing a local search, that strategy has become more important than ever.
So, what exactly is this so-called local search marketing?
Some marketers prefer to call it local SEO, while others like to think of it as more of an integrated approach to marketing that primarily benefits local businesses.
A local search marketing strategy is all about your effort of putting your business on the map or making it visible in local searches every time customers search for businesses like yours.
To arrive at a more formal definition, a local search marketing strategy is a form of SEO or search engine optimization that focuses on helping local businesses like yours show up in any relevant local searches.
A considerable part of a local search marketing strategy is making a business show up locally so that potential customers can find you and do business with you.
Local Search Marketing, How Does It Work?
To build a good local search presence, you’ll have to tell the search engines to place your business or business information in the right searches. You can do this by optimizing your online information. That way, consumers won’t have a hard time finding all the essential information they need for choosing your business.
If you tell the search engine everything it needs to know, you can give yourself the best chance of appearing in the right searches.
How exactly can you do this? Provide consistent, accurate information like the name of your business, address, phone number, and URL to different directories. That’s the best thing you can do to help the search engine know where you’re located and what it is that your business does.
By giving consistent information, you’re going to show search engines that they can trust your business.
The opposite happens when your listings on the popular directories contain inconsistent, inaccurate information. Search engines won’t know if they can trust you, hurting your local search ranking in the process.
What this means is that your potential customers probably won’t find you every time they search for the services and products you provide. Instead of finding you, they’ll see your competitors.
Why Build A Local Search Marketing Strategy?
Local search engine optimization or local search marketing, as part of any strategy for digital marketing, is integral to attracting customers to your business across different online platforms.
It’s actually one of the tenets of effective online marketing as people know it today.
Below are some of the reasons why business owners need to build a local search marketing strategy.
- Get Cited In Local Business Directories
Local citations consist of any online mention of a business’ NAPU (name, address, phone number, and website URL). As a business owner, you have to ensure that it’s easy for both search engines and people to find you online by setting up your NAPU and confirming that it gets included as a crawlable HTML text on your website.
Many marketers commit the mistake of only adding the NAPU within an image since images can’t be crawled from any search engine. The header or footer of a website is the most common location for your NAPU.
It’s essential to note that local citations also occur on social media platforms and local business directories, so it’s crucial to maintain consistency in your business details. For example, if your website shows ‘street’ as part of your business address, then avoid using ‘st.’ for other citations placed on other platforms.
- Generate Direct Leads Through Online Directories
Map aggregators and online directories like TrueLocal, My Business Listing Manager, Bing, and Yelp are crucial to local SEO.
All of these platforms display the NAPU of your business. They also include photos, as well as business descriptions, so don’t miss out. These local online directories, in most cases, rank higher when compared to organic search results.
The good thing about these directories is that they won’t charge you to list your company or business with them, so they’re a great but free way of generating direct leads and boosting your overall SEO. Once again, consistency in your business information is crucial, so always be on the lookout for discrepancies.
These could include even the minutest details like abbreviations, misspellings, wrong phone numbers, or lack of suite number.
- Attract More People To Your Business Using Google My Business
One of the most useful local search marketing tools that are available for free today is Google My Business.
It helps business owners create their business profiles, which go a long way in helping more people find their businesses. As long as you optimize your Google My Business profile, you can generate good amounts of local traffic through it.
It’s, indeed, capable of giving you a one-up over the rest of your competitors.
However, please don’t forget that Google My Business isn’t a new tool so chances are most of your local competitors already have created their Google My Business profiles.
But, a lot of them also don’t use the tool properly or simply don’t know how to, so they end up with profiles that lack some essential information that consumers search for. One bonus tip is to utilize the Virtual Tour option since it allows you to give people an inside look at your business and can be an excellent way to attract them to your products and services.
The Virtual Tour option makes for lasting and good first impressions.
- Build Better Trust Using Proper Reputation Management Strategies
General feedback and user reviews on your services or products are important factors that consumers who do local searches online will take into account. Of course, 5-star reviews will build better trust and will increase your authority online.
Nowadays, consumers who have patronized your products or services can leave reviews on your business page in Google My Business and your different social media accounts. That said, you’d want to ensure that you’re tracking all of them and responding to any complaints promptly.
The Bottom Line
Optimizing for local search marketing will almost always be crucial for your business as long as you’re selling services or products to customers who live in your geographic area.
Both Bing and Google indicate that most of the search queries on desktops are local in nature, and that’s also true for mobile searches. These percentages can only increase in the years to come, so there’s no better time to start building a local search marketing strategy than today.
You’re not the only one if you can’t find the time to perform local search marketing yourself. Most business owners actually struggle to handle their online marketing while running a business.
If that’s the case with you as well, then don’t hesitate to ask for professional help from a local search engine marketing company.