Local SEO Tactics
7 Local SEO Strategies to Help Customers Find Your Business
For small businesses, local marketing should be your primary lead-generating tactic. It will generate foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations and can power-up your SEO effectiveness, boost your SERP (search engine results page) rankings, and ultimately bring in more visitors to your website. It can also increase traffic to e-commerce and social media accounts. The concept of local marketing is simply to raise awareness about your brand, products or services in the specific geographic areas you serve – and to do it better than your competition.
1. Mobile-friendly Page Design
Mobile searchers are the holy grail in local marketing. It means they’re on the go, in your neighborhood, looking for your services and products right this very second. To best convert these important potential customers, consider developing a mobile-only website – one that displays perfectly and seamlessly no matter what small, portable screen it’s accessed on. According to Google, 6 in 10 internet users in the US start shopping on one device, but continue or finish on a different one. Additionally, Google’s research shows that on average, mobile searches on Google Shopping trigger nearly two follow-up actions, whether that’s a purchase or a store visit, and 55% of these actions happen within just 60 minutes. It’s time to stop underestimating the part mobile plays in the Google Shopping purchase funnel, and prepare for a full-funnel mobile shopping future.
2. Targeted Hyper-local Keywords
Tailoring keywords to specific geographic areas boosts your business’s visibility in local search results, a vital strategy since 46% of Google searches are for local information. By choosing precise, location-based terms such as “best coffee shop in Downtown Austin” over generic ones, you directly connect with local customers seeking nearby services or products. This active approach is a game-changer for businesses aiming to lead their local market.
Facebook, Twitter & Instagram
3. Get Social
Whenever possible, tag locations and geographic areas in your social posts. You can also include your local keywords in your hashtags, profiles and bios, and work your city or neighborhood name into captions and other posts. The more search engines see your brand in relation to those local terms, the better you’ll rank for local searchers. For example, Facebook allows advertisers to target based on location: Locations is simple, but important. This basically determines what areas, geographically, your ads will display in. When deciding where to run your ads, be aware of factors that can play a role in performance. Consider only running ads in areas you actually service. The last thing you need to do is waste spend displaying ads in locations your business doesn’t ship to. Alternatively, utilize the ability to limit the range of your targeting. For physical retailers, consider decreasing the size of your radius to improve local awareness ads.
Online Directories & Citations
4. Claim Your Local Listing
Listing your business in online directories can be a great way to associate your brand with a specific geographic address and location. The most important listing you’ll want to claim is a Google My Business one, but Facebook, Yellow Pages/White Pages, Yahoo Local, Bing Places and Foursquare are big ones, too. Depending on your industry, there may even be service-specific ones you can list on. Using the latest Google My Business Messaging tool, brands can turn their Google listings—along with some help from their mobile phones—into live chat devices to connect with buyers and potential customers on the fly. Considering those listings already allowed mobile users to call, visit a brand’s website or view business ratings and reviews directly on their screens, this latest feature just rounds out the Google My Business experience for on-the-go consumers. Google My Business Messaging allows users to chat with businesses right within Google’s mobile search results via a “Message” button, located right next to “Call,” “Directions” and “Website.”
5. Ask for Reviews from your Customers
Most customers check out reviews before buying a new product or trying out a new service, so having great testimonials on your side – especially people from the same area or neighborhood as those who are reading them – can add some authenticity and trust to your brand. If the reviewer includes their city or other local term in the review, that can also help your search rankings as well. Create a follow-up strategy to start building up your online reviews, and encourage them across all platforms – Google, Yelp, Facebook and more.
6. Networking Your Business
Local marketing can be a great way to boost sales and draw in new customers as a small business, but it doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive of your website. Consider adding localized services to your ecommerce store to get the best of both worlds. For restaurants, enrolling in local delivery services like UberEATS or GrubHub can be great options, or for non-food businesses, you could offer in-store pickup or free in-store returns. Another great way to turn ecommerce sales into foot traffic? Include an in-store coupon with every online sale.
7. Newspaper, Radio and TV
Don’t forget to take advantage of local media to get your local backlinks. Try to get your grand opening and other events published by the local radio and TV stations, newspapers, magazines, and participate in their discussion forums and blogs.
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