Making sure your business can be found by people who are looking for it is an important part of SEO, or search engine optimization.
If you aren’t investing in an SEO strategy, odds are your business isn’t growing and finding new audiences at the rate it could.
One important factor for local businesses in local search marketing, which often goes ignored or forgotten.
Local search marketing ensures that your local customers can find your business when they are searching for it. It helps businesses of all sizes connect with potential customers and increase their leads. If you don’t have a current local search marketing initiative in place, now is the time to start. In this article, we’ll help you understand what local search marketing is, why it matters, and examples of how you can get started today.
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What is Local Search Marketing?
Local search marketing, otherwise known as local SEO, is a digital marketing strategy that works to engage searchers in your local market. By implementing local search marketing tactics, you can appear in searches when people search for things in their local area or with the keyword phrase “near me”.
Local SEO is dependent on appearing on Google maps results and the search results for localized answers. Businesses of all sizes need to use local search marketing tactics in their SEO strategies in order to capture the attention of nearby customers who are actively searching for solutions near them.
What is a Local Search Campaign?
A local search campaign is a dedicated effort and coordinated approach to local SEO. It typically involves using local advertisements to help get to the front of search engine results and rank above organic results. There is also often content and landing pages created specifically to target local searches with keywords and phrases that are targeted to local searches.
Local ads help people who are searching on Google find your services quickly and when they are relevant. The Google ads tool takes over the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on converting the leads you get. If successful, a local search campaign won’t just bring in new business, it will help your organic rankings increase and build your brand’s reputation as a local result.
Why is Local Marketing Important?
Local search marketing is extremely important in today’s digital world. Many people depend on Google search results to tell them where to go and what to do in local areas. You want to make sure that your business is ranked high when people are searching for businesses in their local area. However, some businesses will do better in local marketing than others, including:
- Businesses that have a physical location and service a specific area (ie. restaurants, shopping boutiques, and service businesses)
- Businesses that don’t have a physical location but still service a specific area (ie. photographers, freelancers, and designers)
- Businesses that have a franchise in a specific local market (ie. movie theaters, chain restaurants, and clothing stores)
Local SEO also helps you bring in more traffic to your website as you continue to rank higher in search results. You tend to get better conversion rates with local SEO as well, as searchers are specifying their search area to your local region. You can also leverage local search marketing to increase your reviews and Google visits, as well as get ahead of the local competition.
It’s important to include local search marketing in your SEO strategies to get these benefits and increase your brand’s reputation in the local area. When you don’t use local SEO tactics, you might fall to the bottom of search engine results for local businesses and lose out on opportunities to gain new customers.
What is Local Search Analysis?
Local search analysis is the process of examining your local SEO strategies and seeing what is working and what tactics still need improvement. Oftentimes, this involves using an SEO tool to help you analyze your current rankings, how they compare to your competitors, and if you have risen or fallen in rankings. This is helpful data that can help you determine if you need to adjust your strategy or if you can continue as you have been.
Examples of Local Search Marketing
Now that you know more about what local search marketing is and why it matters, let’s take a look at some examples of local search marketing and how you can implement these tactics into your current SEO strategy.
Example #1: Use Google My Business Correctly
Google My Business is the core of local search marketing. It’s a tool that allows you to create and customize your business profile to showcase your hours of operation, services, contact information, reviews, and other important information. It also allows you to specify where your business is located and the area you serve. You can also use the reviews section to reply to reviews and include local information like the specific city the review is relevant to.
Example #2: List Your Business on Online Directories
In addition to Google My Business, there are other online directories that you can list your business in. Take a look at directories or online sites that are relevant to your industry, and look at other search engines like Bing or Apple to make sure you have a profile on those sites as well. Just make sure that the information you are sharing is consistent across all sites to avoid errors.
Example #3: Add Location Pages on Your Website
Location pages are dedicated pages on your website that are about the specific location your business is in. These pages work best for brick-and-mortar businesses, not online agencies or freelance solutions. You can provide your contact information, maps of your business, driving and parking directions, specific descriptions of your store, and about us sections on the location page to add even more local keywords and provide better answers for searchers.
Example #4: Create Content that is Localized
The content you create can also help boost your local search marketing efforts. Rather than just writing about general topics, you can include specific information like local news, events, industry updates, or educational content that is relevant to your local area and has an impact on readers in your specific region. This type of content is great for helping the Google search algorithm understand where your business is located.
Example #5: Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Most people who are searching for local businesses are looking for those results on their phones. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, Google is less likely to recommend your website to mobile searchers. Google wants people to be able to easily navigate the pages they pull up, and if your website doesn’t adjust to a mobile environment, it can negatively impact your local SEO rankings.
Example #6: Participate in Local Events
One of the best ways to boost your local search marketing efforts is to participate in events in your local community and become an important part of the area. Not only does this endear your brand to your potential customers, but it also helps you gain more online exposure through local media and regional websites. You can try sponsoring events, donating to local charities, and volunteering at regional events to help boost your local brand recognition.
Example #7: Engage in Local Social Media Pages
Another way to utilize your local area is through social media. Your social media profiles should clearly state where your business is located. You can also interact with users or other businesses that are in the same area, and participate in community pages. All of this will help reinforce to search engines and users where you are located. You can even add posts to your Google My Business page to further develop the association.
Example #8: Apply Local SEO in Your Backlinking Strategies
Your backlinking strategy is another part of SEO that can be adapted to fit your local search marketing efforts. Try getting new backlinks that are tied to keywords that are localized, like “restaurants in CITY” or “clothing stores in REGION”. You can also improve your internal linking structure with local search keywords and links to your location pages.
Local search marketing is an important part of an SEO strategy. Without it, you won’t be able to get in front of customers who are actively searching for your solutions and want a local result. Thankfully, by following these tips and implementing a local search marketing strategy, you can change that and boost your SEO results.
If you are a marketer who wants to improve your SEO strategy, then you need to find new ways to incorporate local tactics into your existing strategies. To learn more, check out our blog on local SEO solutions. These tips and tactics help you integrate local marketing into your SEO strategies and create a cohesive plan. Click on the link above to read the strategies today.