Successful Local Search Marketing Strategies
Today local search marketing has become a vital component of any business’s online strategy. Businesses large and small should be thinking about local search marketing. Because people rely on local search to find what they need, local businesses should want to get in on this trend before their competitors do. But how do you start?
Find your niche. This step is crucial if you want to succeed at local search marketing. You must identify your target market or audience. Once you’ve identified who you’re trying to attract, you’ll have a better idea of what kinds of campaigns to run. Then sort through all the directories available to your business. Claim, correct and/or complete your website’s local SEO profile.
Many business owners underestimate the value of optimizing a site for local search marketing. While it might not seem like a priority when you’re starting out, optimization is an essential part of your marketing plan. Think about your optimization strategy in terms of increasing your listings in organic searches and increasing your rankings in paid listings. Both involve different strategies, but both are very important.
For many small businesses, their service area doesn’t contain a large amount of traffic. If your service area is relatively untargeted, it won’t be easy to draw in new customers. This is why many businesses decide to go with a local search engine optimization or SMO provider. The great news is that many businesses can benefit from local marketing without losing their current traffic.
Some businesses focus just on their physical location. For instance, a dentist may opt to use local search engine optimization or social media marketing to spread the word about his practice. He may also want to consider a paid ad on a regional magazine or newspaper. A travel agency might use digital marketing such as coupons or even digital signage at airport entrances. But more often than not, smaller businesses rely on their local search engine optimization or SMO strategy to gain visibility.
However, it’s important to note that this strategy isn’t always effective. When you’re targeting small to mid-size local businesses, your online strategy won’t have much effect unless you’re willing to take a few steps to improve your website. One common mistake that small to mid-size businesses make is that they place too much emphasis on their Google Places business listing. While this listing is crucial to getting your business seen online, there are several other ways that small businesses can take advantage of their Google Places account.
One great way to improve your online presence is to start building a local search marketing plan. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be going on a major search engine optimization campaign, nor does it mean that you’ll be ignoring the rest of the internet. You should definitely consider maintaining your Google Places business profile and making changes to it as needed. If you have a blog, consider adding Google map tiles to it. Adding a social media presence and maintaining your Google+ page will also help your small to mid-size business show up on the major search engines.
Another important aspect of your local marketing strategy involves your website. If you have a blog, you should consider including information about your store within the meta tags. Meta tags are included at the bottom of every web page in your website so that search engines can understand what the page is about. For example, meta description tags for this example would read as follows: “A place near downtown Saint Louis where shoppers can find the best bargains on hand-bags, shoes, clothes and more.” By including your store’s name in this way, you’ll make it easier for consumers to access your website. Similarly, if you don’t have a store within the area you’re targeting or are not targeting the right consumers with your store’s physical location, you should consider a PPC campaign.