Unleash the power of Google and watch your site climb to the top with local search engine marketing and optimization. In this series, we’ve discussed how to implement, track, and manage SEO. Now it’s time to put everything together to soar above the competition.
You’re a local business looking for local customers. This means you need a marketing strategy that consists of attracting highly-targeted audiences. The best way to do this is with local search engine marketing.
Now, there are multiple reasons why this is true. For instance, 93 percent of online experiences begin on a search engine. And this is doubly important to know since Google holds more than 86 percent of the market share of internet searches.
In other words, if you’re not found on Google, then the chances of your prospects finding you is slim to none.
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to dominate your competition with local SEO optimization.
Let’s take a look at five tips you should start using today.
1. Claim Your Google My Business Listings
When users search for a product or service using their smartphone, it automatically displays local businesses. And the same happens for desktop users who insert localized keywords, such as “business insurance in Houston, TX.”
Ensuring your business shows up for the keywords you’re targeting is key.
One way to do this is to claim your listings on Google My Business and other popular platforms. Once you claim it, make sure your NAP info (name, address, and phone number) are accurate and consistent with what’s on your site.
Also, fill out the listing completely so that it ranks for more keywords. This is a streamlined way to jump above your competition in the search engine results pages since these listings show up before the first spot on Google.
2. Solicit Customers for Local Reviews
Once you have your listings claimed on Yelp, Angie’s List, and other similar sites, customers can begin leaving local reviews for your business. This further helps your local search engine marketing.
Since it shows up at the top of search engine results pages, it can help drive more traffic to your site. And it does this in two ways – visibility and interest. Besides getting attention by being highly visible, the great reviews you receive will help encourage prospects to visit your website.
This can, in turn, help drive more business to your company. As for generating these reviews, you should ask your customers to do so. One way is to include a call to action and link to your business profiles where they can leave a review.
Place this in your emails to customers that recently purchased or on your invoices.
Businesses tend to get more reviews after asking customers to give one. You can also include these reviews on a dedicated page of your site to be used as testimonials.
3. Find and Develop a Strategy Around Local Keywords
The keywords you target in your website and content will dictate who finds it. So if you’re looking for people in Miami, FL, then you should include variations of Miami in your keywords. And if there’s a specific community or neighborhood you want to target, you can include that as well, such as South Beach.
An example of a local keyword is “South Beach homes for sale,” or you can format it into a question like many of today’s users do: “Where can I find homes for sale in South Beach?”
For the latter key phrase, you want to formulate your content around answering the question so it flows into the content naturally.
As you’re looking up popular search terms within your industry, you’ll want to have a nice mix of long-tail keywords so that it’s highly-targeted. Only specific users are typing in this keyword, which means they’re more likely to find interest in your content and your business.
4. Implement Local Link Building Strategies
This is much like building links in a regular SEO campaign, except this time you’re aiming towards local sites. For instance, if you’re running a dental office, you can obtain backlinks from the site of a local nutritionist.
It’s important that the local businesses are relevant to your industry. For instance, it’s not uncommon for nutritionists and health enthusiasts to refer their readers to a local dentist.
Google and other search engines rank backlinks based on their relevance and usefulness to the audience clicking on them. After all, they’re looking to become a reliable tool for directing users to content that’s helpful.
You can reach out to local businesses and ask them to link to your site. Or you can ask to write a guest blog post that links back to your site. You should also work on creating valuable content so that these businesses will want to link to your content on their own.
5. Buy PPC Ads on Google
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are another great tool for beefing up your local search engine marketing. In fact, it’s an excellent way to drive traffic to your site instantaneously.
Once your ads go up, they’re visible immediately. As you’ll find, Google places ads at the top and bottom of each search page.
The immediacy of the ad placement makes it a great tactic for boosting your business visibility right away. So if you’re just opening up shop, this is a great way to draw attention while building your local SEO campaign.
What’s great about PPC is that you can set your daily budget so that it doesn’t eat up your marketing funding. Then you can take them down whenever you’re done with your campaign. It’s very flexible and allows you to create highly-targeted ads to attract a very specific audience.
It’s a good idea to use PPC for time-sensitive campaigns, such as for pre-orders, grand openings, sales, and limited-edition products.
Build a Local Search Engine Marketing Strategy
As a business owner, it can be a little overwhelming learning about local search engine marketing. However, it doesn’t have to be. Another option is to hire a professional that can provide all the necessary services to grow your local company.
At Blue Atlas Marketing, we can provide you with a suite of digital marketing services that’ll increase your online visibility. This includes PPC, social media advertising, online reputation management, and SEO/SEM.