Your 3 Step Guide To Better Local Search Marketing
Consumers rely on internet searches to find local, nearby sources for the products and services they want to buy right now.
Optimizing your local marketing efforts for high search engine rankings lets you capitalize on this consumer behavior by putting your business in front of a purchase-minded customer who in the final stages of the buying cycle.
Instead of spending marketing dollars finding leads and convincing those prospects they want or need your product and you are the best choice to provide that, wouldn’t you rather put your business directly in the path of a motivated buyer as they make their way from discovering a need to making a purchase? Of course you would! Then now is the time to allocate more resources towards your local search marketing efforts.
YOUR BUSINESS MUST SHOW UP IN LOCAL SEARCHES
Almost every adult consumer in the United States is online. Smartphones, tablets, desktops and even smart watches allow a person to research and review businesses online anytime and from almost anywhere.
They may be using multiple devices but 97% of consumers are starting with search engines. So no matter what you are selling, you’ll find your prospective customers are on search engines and knowing where your audience is you can concentrate your marketing dollars and lead generation tools on the websites and networks your potential customers are using.
Most consumers are using Google, Yahoo! And Bing to find the information they need, which makes these search engines an important part of your online marketing strategy. But it is not enough just to appear in search engine results.
High ranking matters because most searchers are not getting past the first page of results. But how can your business get the most out of local search marketing? If you remember nothing else, remember this: Local searches are not complex and generally involve location+keyword — your local search marketing efforts should focus on gaining visibility in those results.
Your Guide to Better Local Search Marketing
STRUCTURE YOUR WEBSITE FOR BETTER LOCAL SEARCH RANKING
Optimizing your website for long-term local search visibility lets search engines know that your business should be in the top of results when consumers are searching for your product in your area. Having a website just isn’t good enough, because you won’t show up in search results unless someone searches for your business name specifically.
Taking the time to appropriately structure your website for logical and clear navigation (for search engine web crawlers and visitors), and using your locations and keywords consistently in your titles and tags are huge factors in making sure your website shows up in these important consumer local searches and ranks high.
A few of the top local ranking factors include:
- City, State in landing page title
- Domain/Page authority
- Keyword and Geographic Keyword in website URL
- Click-through rate from search results
- City, State in landing page H1 and H2 tags
- Proximity of address to the point of search
Follow these tips for better local search visibility:
- Have a website that is mobile-friendly, mobile-optimized, mobile-everything!
- Have a unique landing page for each location with the keyword (dentist) and location (Seattle) in the page title and in the H1 tag on the page. EX. yourfakedentist.com/location/seattle
- Make your location landing pages easy to find from the main navigation with a “locations” drop-down.
- Have the NAP for each location on its page (Name, Address, and Phone Number), preferably with a map that allows the user to click for directions.
- Location page content should list the services, hours and include reviews and testimonials if you have them. Also add written directions to the location in the content to help avoid cookie-cutter pages where just the location was changed – which appears to search engines as duplicate content.
- Create and search engine optimize the pages that users look at the most: Testimonials, Staff, Customer Stories, and FAQs.
ONLINE REVIEWS AND LOCAL SEARCH MARKETINGCustomer reviews and ratings make your business stand out in a crowded marketplace and effect your visibility in local search results. Google knows that over 80% of consumers are looking at reviews before making purchases locally and online. And Google is in the business of giving searchers what they want.
That is why customer reviews are given prime real estate on page 1 of Google search results pages, but space is limited so if you your business to literally be the shining star of the results page it takes as many five-star reviews as you can get. Additionally review site and social media pages are known to rank high in search results and you’ll want influential reviews on those pages as well.
To grow your business you need to improve conversions and the trust needed to convert is closely tied to how consumers perceive you online. Customer reviews, feedback and testimonials are a visually effective and persuasive representation of your business as customers rely on cues such as online reputation, social word of mouth, and customer reviews to make informed buying decisions. That’s why so much priority is placed on happy customers, but you need to do more.
Have a strategy in place to make sure these happy customers are telling their experiences and unhappy customers are being addressed before they leave bad reviews.
Make these tips part of your customer review management:
- Make your customers happy! Good product + exceptional customer service = Happy Customer.
- Have a strategy for contacting customers and collecting reviews.
- Post positive reviews where your prospective customers are researching and hanging out.
- Create a process for deterring the post of negative reviews.
- Address dissatisfied customers online and in-person in a way that encourages good reviews.
This can be time consuming to do on your own when adding to the daily responsibilities that keep your company going. That is why there are services like our Reputation Marketing program that automate the entire process for your business. With Reputation Marketing you enjoy the local search marketing as well as social media marketing and video marketing benefits of a continuous flow of great reviews while innovative software automates the whole process of reaching out to your customers, collecting their feedback, and posting the best reviews on selected review sites and your social media profiles where they influence local searchers.
OPTIMIZE CONTENT FOR NON-STOP LOCAL SEARCH MARKETING
Consumers are pretty savvy with this local search stuff, they’ve been doing it for years and have pretty high expectations. So if they go to your website and find crap content, you’ve lost them.
Your website content needs to be hyper-local to help in local search rankings but it also needs to be relevant to answer the question that made the user search in the first place. If our Seattle dentist customer goes to a “Best Dentist in Seattle” page and finds a directory of west coast dental insurance providers they are not getting the information they were searching for and you are not getting a new customer.
Search engines are trying to gain the most market share of users and they do that by providing the best possible results so you keep coming back to use them. If your web pages are not providing value or holding the attention of online searchers, the search engine will stop providing it as a relevant result for searches.
That is why local search marketing and content marketing are so deeply connected. Good content not only provides valuable links to take up more top spots on local search results, it also brings more visitors to your website which means more conversions. But none of this magically happens. If you want to do this successfully, you need a plan:
- Know your audience and make it your business to know the answers to their questions.
- Answers those questions clearly with a lot of useful information and very little selling.
- Make your content visually appealing and easy to share by creating a variety in post type such as image or infographic posts, slide presentations, videos, and surveys to encourage more engagement from readers.
- SEO that amazing content so that people find your answers when they have questions.
- Use social media, guest blogging, click to tweet and even paid “promoted posts” to get your content out there and gain traction.
Blogging and similar content marketing tools, such as white papers and articles, are long-term tactics that benefit from consistency and continue to work long after you’ve gone home for the night and way before you get up.
Before someone is in your office to answer the phone, your blog is letting an interested consumer know that if they are looking for expertise then your business is the right place. It is that kind of connection with the consumer that builds trusts and increases sales.
What do you think are some of the best ways to position your business to get found easily in local search? Let us know in the comments below!
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