Did you know that nearly half of searches have local intent in them?
How about the fact that local searches made through mobile means can lead to half of these searchers visiting your store in a single day?
Or that over three-fifths of consumers say they used local details displayed on ads?
As you can see, all these share the common factor of having something to do with being local. It’s for this reason you need to include local search marketing strategies in your marketing campaign as soon as possible.
Because there’s power behind going local. Think drastically improved brand awareness and recall. And most importantly, increased sales.
But to enjoy all these, you first need to master local SEO for small business. We’ll show you six ways in this post.
1. First Things First: Understand the Basics of Local Search
As you know, one of the most effective online marketing techniques nowadays is search engine optimization. After all, companies all over the world wouldn’t spend $613 billion on it if it wasn’t.
This said, for you to understand what local search marketing is all about, you first need to go back to the basics of SEO. And from there, incorporate the two, so you can improve your local search strategies.
Keep in mind that SEO revolves around increasing traffic quantity and quality to websites. For it to be classified as SEO, the strategy used needs to focus on organic search engine results. In other words, through free means, which excludes other paid, but also crucial tactics such Pay-per-Click ads.
Getting on the subject of local search marketing, it’s any SEO strategy that physical businesses (those that have direct, personal contact with their clients) use to spread brand awareness and instill brand recall. It’s for this reason many people also refer to this practice as “local SEO.”
One of the most important things you need to understand about local SEO is that it’s now a crucial factor for ranking on Google search engine result pages (SERPs). So long as your business meets the above-mentioned characteristics of a physical organization, you need to go local.
That’s why as early as now, you already need to embrace the fact that you need to build your content – including marketing and advertising strategies – on local signals.
2. Get Your Brand on Online Business Directories
One of the best local SEO strategies is to appear on business directories. You’ve got plenty to choose from, including the following:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places for Business
Keep in mind that millions of consumers rely on local search for many of their product/service needs. And when it comes to most of their requirements, they’d rather have a provider near them. And that further emphasizes the need for your brand to go local.
3. Know the Ranking Factors for Local Search Terms
As important as keyword research is knowing what your target market uses for their local searches. In essence, local search research is also a form of keyword research. The main difference is that you need to include very targeted keywords.
Remember: Your potential customers use local search to find businesses specific to their location. And Google now automates its search results to display relevant businesses based on the searcher’s location. This in mind, you should also include your location when coming up with your web content.
For instance, when creating blog posts for your Toronto business, you’d want to include the word “Toronto” in them. Say your business is all about flower arrangements. Then, you’d want to incorporate “flower arrangements in Toronto” in your web content.
Through this local search tactic, you provide your brand with better positioning not just online, but in the physical world too. And because local search marketing revolves around your target market’s terms, then you’re positioning yourself on their more favorable side too.
4. Keep Those Reviews Coming
88% of consumers say they put great importance on online reviews. So much so that they believe these reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.
This said, you’d want to get as many of those reviews as possible. Not only because they’re crucial to your local marketing campaign, but also because they’re free publicity for your brand in general.
The good news is, social media sites make this easier for businesses. With about 22.7 million Canadians active on various social media platforms, you won’t have a hard time getting these reviews. What’s important is to respond to these messages or comments people leave on your accounts.
Whether it’s something positive or negative, be sure you reply to these reviews. This way, you can show your target market that you care about what they have to say.
Your Facebook page is one of the most important social media sites you want to focus on. As well as your Google My Business page.
5. Go Mobile
29.8 million Canadians own a smartphone. More than half of the population own a tablet.
All these should already tell you that going mobile is critical to your marketing campaigns. As such, to reap the most out of your local search marketing strategies, you also need to make them revolve around going mobile.
With so many people doing local searches through their mobile devices, you can suffer a major loss when your online assets don’t show up that well on such gadgets. Mobile-friendliness is also a key search engine ranking factor, making this characteristic even more important.
Always remember that majority of consumers want convenience, speed, and ease of navigation when it comes to websites. When you can’t provide them these, they most likely will go to the next website. Which in all likelihood is a direct competitor of your brand.
6. Make Sure Your Brand Information Show Up Correctly Online
When you sign up for any of the online directories, make sure all information you provide is correct. And not just in terms of honesty; but also in terms of spelling!
Also, be sure to check the details on all directories you sign up with. They should be exactly the same on all your online assets. From your website to social media assets to all business listings, they should show up the same.
Start Your Local Search Marketing Campaign Now
The longer you wait to deploy your local search marketing campaign, the greater your risk of losing your market share. Remember, every second counts in the world of business, and even just a few months of delay can already mean losing a lot of customers to the competition.
We can help with creating and implementing your local SEO strategies. Get in touch with us now to know more about what you can do to dominate the local SEO scene!