Local search marketing is all about putting your business on the map in local searches when customers are searching for a business like yours. For a more formal definition, local search marketing is a form of search engine optimization that helps local businesses show up in relevant local searches.
Running a business is hard work. You might have a steady flow of loyal existing customers, but you always need to make sure we have a stream of new people.
Keeping your website up to date can be hard work, too. And your SEO might need a serious update or maybe you’ve never done much with it at all, thinking it was too difficult or too expensive.
Because of this, we’ve put together 11 Internally-tested practices that have helped us to Boost the Traffic or our own and our client’s websites.
All these methods are geared towards helping you rank as high as possible with Local Listings.
1. Research Your Keywords
Keyword research is not just about choosing high volume search terms, building links, and ranking for that single keyword alone. It’s the foundation of a good SEO campaign. Keyword research is the most valuable and significant activity in the search marketing arena.
When it’s done correctly, it’s also the digital marketing tactic that gives the highest rate of return.
When done right, this fundamental SEO activity can help rank your pages for more keywords and consequently get you more traffic.
Also, it’s one of the activities that allow you to find the actual search terms people use when they are searching for the products or services that you sell.
The more relevant these keywords or phrases are ranked with search engines, the more traffic will be attracted to your website and increase the chance of conversions.
2. Optimize Your Page and Content
The most valuable thing you can do for your local business is creating a reasonable amount of high-quality content.
Content optimization is the process of making your website’s page more attractive to search engines and users.
Essentially, content optimization, or SEO (search engine optimization), is the process of optimizing your content to make sure that it’s more visible through the web. Search engine robots will rank highly optimized content higher on a search engine page than non-optimized content.
You should aim for quality over quantity, providing comprehensive information to your site visitors.
Search engines prefer sites that are regularly updated, this means that you can’t just create a bunch of pages and then let them sit for months at a time, hoping that your site traffic will improve.
On the other hand, if you are happy with the content on those pages, there’s no need to change them just for SEO purposes. Instead, consider starting a blog. Even if you only post once a week, this will show search engines that your site is being maintained and updated regularly.
3. Get your Business on Google Local
The search feature of any web browser is an amazingly powerful tool no matter what your customers are looking for.
Today’s consumers want precision and they are used to immediate results, so the time you shell out to list your company on Google Maps is modest in comparison with the results you’ll get.
It’s very important to be found on Google and Google Maps.
If you are not there, your business will struggle to compete with other businesses in your industry, especially with those that are easily discoverable and do have a significant presence in Google Maps.
Not appearing on Google Maps will mean that you don’t exist to a lot of buyers, therefore, you need to pay special attention to Google tools if you want to increase your sales and revenue.
There are quite a few advertising venues on the market, such as radio, TV, print ads, and online advertisements.
4. Create or claim your local listings
If you’re building and managing your local business listings manually, you’ll need to go through the claiming process for most of them.
Claiming a listing online verifies that you’re the owner of a valid business and are authorized to maintain its presence on the web. Each online local business index has its own claiming process with unique steps to verify your listing.
If you’re manually managing all of your local business listings, do keep track of them in a detailed spreadsheet that includes dates submitted, email/password use, status, links, and anything else you need to know to quickly find the listing again whenever necessary.
While it’s fine to have a staff member or third-party consultant create and manage your listings for you, don’t enter into an arrangement in which someone is claiming your listings under any account other than the account of the business.
5. Ask for Genuine Reviews
If you are contemplating purchasing a certain product, would you rather trust the claims made by the manufacturer/seller or the experiences of people who have bought the product? It’s likely that you’d be more influenced by the opinions of your fellow consumers.
It’s important to consider that your customers would also have this same mindset when they’re planning to buy something from your website. When they see that a large percentage of people who have bought the product are raving about it, it could compel them to make the purchase too.
Many companies shun bad reviews or delete for fear of getting a bad image, but consumers can see right through that. Companies should embrace reviews, even if they are good or bad.
Good reviews can help boost your rankings with search engines as well as bring in more potential clients. But at the same time bad reviews are also useful because businesses can take points from these to further improve their services and product effectiveness.
The more people talk about your company, the more popular you get.
6. Optimize your Social Profiles
The best way to use social networking sites to improve your SEO rankings is to use them to interact with your customers.
Tweet, post, and like other content on social sites that make sense for your business. Creating clear, good content that relates to your business and getting people excited about your product or help to solve their problems is the best way to turn to browse internet users into loyal customers.
Your job is to educate people about your business by delivering its advantages and give reasons why these social media users should become your customers.
You can definitely do this by sharing captivating stories, videos, images, downloadable guides, about your business.
Here’s why you should include social media optimization in your marketing plan:
7. Include Your Website Address on all Marketing Materials
Business cards, print ads, brochures, billboards no matter what your other marketing materials are, make sure that your URL is on every single one.
A simple URL is easier for people to remember than a phone number and they can check out your business later for more in-depth information at their convenience.
8. Link Building
In Google, a link to your site counts as a “vote”. The more “votes” a website has, the more often Google will show that site to its searchers.
Links pass trust and authority. For example, if Forbes, Business.com and the Wall Street Journal all link to a website, that website will gain some of the trust and authority from these publishing power-houses.
Most websites will naturally have a few links, but you can increase your links (and your rankings) by link building.
Link building is the process of outreaching to authoritative, high-quality, and relevant websites to persuade them to link back to your website. It can help establish your brand, build your online exposure, and increase your website’s ranking and traffic.
For example, your website may be mentioned in an online editorial. If the editorial website has a high authority, then it can greatly benefit your website.
Link building can be a daunting undertaking that requires regular outreach and follow up. However, you can acquire quality links for your website and foster new relationships in the process. It’s a win-win!
9. Go Mobile
Everyone knows that mobile is the future now. Mobile technology has advanced exponentially in the last few years. And that is even more true for local businesses, whose customers are often on the move and looking for you on their devices.
These mobile phone devices have become so important in our lives that we don’t know how to live without them.
Many smartphones nowadays come with QWERTY keypads and other apps/browsers that you don’t even need a computer anymore.
Everything can be done on the go with mobile phones. Since mobile users are the largest group of internet users that perform internet searches, you should definitely be looking at how to drive them to your business.
So just in case, you don’t have a mobile presence yet, you need to get up to speed.