Local Search Marketing marries together the best of SEO and SEM to bring local businesses a powerful tool in the quest for higher local rankings. Once your website is built and launched then creating a custom LSM program for your business is the next logical step.
Search engines like it when a business has consistent information about them; it points to credibility and makes it more likely that the search engine will view your site favorably and rank it higher. NAP stands for Name-Address-Phone, and you want that information the same everywhere. Print materials, press articles, advertising, online content, website, etc.
Google My Business is Google’s catch all account for businesses where by setting up one account your information is filtered into the various Google outlets such as Google Search and Google Maps. All your NAP info should be accurate here and all other areas should follow what you set forth in Google. Yes, it does matter, and if you do nothing else…do this.
Tip #3 – Onsite Map
Your web dev person can embed a Google maps widget into your website which can provide a quick view of where you are, directions, etc. It also helps to further reaffirm to Google your legitimacy. Btw – did you know that 60% of mobile searches for local businesses are for maps, directions or a phone number? Makes sense that having that on your site would be a good thing, right? You have a responsive website, right?
There are literally hundreds of business directories online and getting your NAP, your correct and accurate NAP, placed in these is a great foundational base move. Some services will tout setting up 100’s of these but 25 is probably enough. The benefits include increased visibility, more eye catching star ratings in the search results pages, along with much improved credibility with the search engines. There are automated services which will set these up but I have found them lacking and recommend a manual submission process. Expect to pay several hundred dollars at a minimum for even a basic service…it is a time consuming task to undertake and having someone do it for you can be well worth it.
It is a well known fact that Google loves websites with quality links pointing to them. Having a slew of inbound links, appearing naturally, over time, is a great way to have Google rank you higher. There are four types of links; easy, work required, lots of work required and bought. Forget the last two, and focus on the first one or two. This is a subject you’ll need to research on your own but a good starting point is a quick tutorialon finding easy links.
Citations are any mention of your business on the Internet. That includes, PR, articles, news, mentions in a blog, you name it. Citations may include a link or not. Step #1 is to think of all the ways you could get your business mentioned. Help with a charity, support a softball team, offer a small scholarship, mention new hires in the paper, etc., etc. Step #2 is to do a search on your business name and explore all the places it is already mentioned. Can you contact any of them and ask for a link to your website?
Outreach is one of the most overlooked, and yet highest ROI, activities you can do. Staying in touch with existing clients, people who visit your website, or anyone who has asked a question or otherwise shown an interest in your business, is a no-brainer. A monthly newsletter to their inbox with some helpful tips, a special offer, useful news….keeps you foremost in their mind when it comes time that they need you service again. Think about this in your own life…what businesses do you tend towards? Why?
Don’t just take…give. Providing useful, helpful information is a great way to attract links to your site, impress people with your knowledge, get people to signup (whitepapers or tips) to a newsletter, etc. This content can be tips on how to do something, maybe things to do in the area, helpful links customers would like, articles featuring local items of interest (relating back to your business in some way), etc. Promote the information, let other businesses know you have it available, get it mentioned in blogs, offer it as a download on your website (in exchange for signing up to a newsletter). Search engines like sites with content too, the more the merrier.
Let locals know you appreciate them. Maybe a discount for certain groups (in exchange for a thank You link, perhaps?), or donate a portion to a local good cause (citation opportunity?) How about a coupon special (use your email/newsletter blast to distribute it. There are loyalty points programs galore, even a program through ConstantContactwhere you reward your customers for spreading an offer to their email lists….they market for you!
Tip #10 - Have Fun
There are a good handful of quiz and contest websites which have ready to roll (well, almost) quizzes and contests which can be used to drive a viral contest which gets you noticed, drives visitors to your website or to a special lead generating landing page. A few to check would be; Qzzr, Viral Sweep, and Raffle Copter.
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This is a basic overview of important factors that can help you improve your visibility on a local level. There are many other factors involved in local search marketing and at ProClass Web Design we would be happy to discuss these with you. Just request a consultation and you will have taken the first step to improvement.