Gone are those days when only big businesses with big pockets can benefit from large scale marketing to get their business to the top of Google. Today, things have changed and it is now about who can smartly take advantage of the several digital channels to outrun

the competition using local search marketing.
Marketing has now turned to an “even field” where anyone can play. Many small businesses are taking advantage of the internet to promote their products and services in the best possible way. And the interesting thing about this is that it is working – they are making huge success from it.
Regardless of the size of the business, the digital age is giving businesses the opportunity to leverage the power of technology to grow their presence. As more companies get found via search engines, the online marketing trend grows stronger by the day.

What Exactly Is Local Search Marketing?

Local search marketing, which is also referred to as local SEO, is an incredibly effective way of marketing your local business online. It presents a golden avenue for you to let local customers

know about your products and services at the exact time they are searching for them online.
Whether you are a local plumber or a dentist, using local search marketing means a potential client looking for your service around your local area at a particular time will be led directly to you. It helps make your business more visible to potential clients online. Therefore, helping to improve the growth of your business offline as more customers find and locate you.

Local search marketing is achieved through a variety of methods, some of which greatly differ from what’s practiced in standard SEO. And of course, some of them are also far easier to manage.

Why Does Local Search Marketing Matter?

Organic SEO is great. As a matter of fact, if you are not a local business, that is what you should be focusing on. But if you operate a local business and looking to have more clients and customers in your geographical location, you may need to look beyond organic SEO.

In order to increase the visibility of your business, local search marketing is what you need to be using. Because the only way to get local search users to notice your business is by ranking for geographically-targeted keywords.

As a local business with a physical store, your topmost priority should be getting found on the internet. Whether you are a dentist or a plumber or shop owner selling a large variety of flowers, using your business location can help you stand out from “online-only” e-commerce businesses.

Still not convinced local SEO is important to your business? Check out these stats to see how important local search marketing is:

  • 88% of consumers who search for a local business online eventually call or visit its physical location that same day
  • When looking up the location of a local business, 86% of internet users use Google Maps
  • 46% of all Google searches include a query looking for local information
  • 72% of customers who search online for local businesses visit stores located within an 8km or 5-mile radius from them.

Now, what these numbers are telling us is that leads coming from location-based searches seem to be a major avenue for potential customers. And one thing is that those numbers will only keep increasing.

Benefits of Local Search Marketing to Your Business

The age of printed phone books is over, and more and more local customers are now turning to the internet to find local businesses – both on mobile and desktop. Learning how to rightly position your business using local search marketing has lots of ways it can benefit your business. Below are some of the effects your business can experience from local search marketing.

#1: local search marketing is timely and highly targeted

The major reason people do local searches is so they can find a local business, a product or service. When many local searchers search the internet, what they are looking for is a specific business name. But the truth is that most of these people don’t have a specific business in mind when they started their search.

#2: You will never miss out on potential customer

Mobile internet is growing, and the number of people who use tablets and phones to find the best local businesses on the go keeps increasing. As a matter of fact, in the US today, mobile digital media time is now higher (51%) compared to desktop use which is at 42%. Since local search SEO targets both mobile and PC internet access, it means you will never miss out on a potential customer. That indeed means a huge success to your business.

#3: You can enjoy the highest conversion rate

Compared to every other local advertising channels, local search seems to have the highest conversion rate. This means that by using local search marketing to get your business listed on as many online directory sites as possible, you will be able to convert 1 out of 2 leads into a permanent customer that buys from you every time.

#4: Local search marketing provides an awesome return on investment

Unlike what it used to be with other traditional advertising such as local newspapers, direct mail, leaflets, etc., there is little or no wasted exposure with local SEO. It helps you reach your potential customers just at the time they needed you. This way, local search marketing is not only efficient, but it is also cost-effective.

#5: Perfect for businesses of any size

Many of the local SEO opportunities are actually free. For instance, claiming your listing on Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and many other inline business directories are absolutely free. That is nothing but a free promotion for your business!

#6: It gives you a hand over your competitors

Google My Business (GMB) is a free listing by Google for almost all businesses. Getting listed on GMB increases your chance of showing up in local search results on Google. However, only 44% of businesses have claimed a spot on GMB because many of them are yet to come to the reality of how
important online marketing could be to their businesses.

This gives you a hand over your competitors before they eventually wise up and start competing with you. Strike the iron while it’s still hot!

#7: 85% of consumers trust and rely on online business reviews as much as personal recommendations

One major factor in the success of many local businesses is word of mouth. So leverage on local search marketing. Get yourself online, ask your customers to drop positive reviews about how satisfied they are with your product or services in order to increase your company’s online reputation. This has a great way of attracting hundreds of new customers to your business.

Grow Your Business Using Local SEO

Local search marketing is becoming a strong trend and could only get stronger in the future, especially looking at how much effort Google is putting into making the local search experience better. If you have not been taking advantage of local search SEO services, now is the time to do so. Use it to get your business to the top of Google before your competitors wake up. All local businesses, from local stores to plumbers, from florists to builders, and from to dentists and accountants, can improve their business and increase their income through local search marketing. So don’t be left out!

Tips to Help You Better Your Local Search Marketing

Here are some tips to help you improve your brand’s local SEO or local search marketing without breaking your wallet.

  • You will need a real physical address

One major mistake many businesses are doing today when it comes to local search marketing is not having a real physical location in the geographical area they are targeting.

It is important that your marketing goals remain in sync with the goals of Google too. Google is striving to give its users a better search experience by displaying genuine information about a business when their users search, including the location of such business.

When your business is not having a real physical address, it stands the chance of not getting featured in Google’s high-traffic local park. There is no two way about this, just make sure you have a real physical address for your business.

  • Claim your GMB profile

Don’t be like the bulk of other business owners that are still neglecting the power of Google My Business directory. You just can’t afford to ignore it. So it’s important that you claim and optimize your free GMB page in order to get valuable exposure from your local audience.

  • Get regular reviews from happy customers

The practice of asking your trusted customers to leave good reviews for your business is a great way to both optimize your GMB presence and also to encourage more local customers to trust and buy from you. According to stats, about 85% of consumers trust online reviews just like personal recommendations.

  • Optimize for voice search

This is one aspect of local search that is rapidly growing. Because of this, it is important to optimize your business for how potential customers ask questions when they speak into their devices unlike how they type out their searches.

Here, your potential customers are using more long-tail keywords when they do voice searches unlike what it is for regular search. Due to this, it’s important you adjust your content SEO to fit the more conventional tone of someone speaking.

  • Create content based on local events and news stories

When it comes to grabbing local customer’s attention, there is nothing that can be as effective as creating content that speaks directly to a local

issue. Some strategies for creating such content include:

  • Writing blog posts around local activities, news stories, or events
  • Setting up webpages that are location-specific
  • Creating videos that home in on local charities

For instance, if you run a local estate business, you can create content around changes in the local real estate market. It is an effective strategy that will get your business ranked for your target customers to see.

  • Get your website optimized for mobile

According to studies, more traffic is being generated to local stores and businesses from mobile searches. This means you will need to optimize your site for mobile being a major player in local SEO. In order to do this, you will need to:

  • Be sure your site loads quickly
  • Use readable fonts for easy reading
  • Use images and videos to grab more attention
  • Use intuitive UI for great UX
  • Home in on local keywords

What makes sense is that you choose keywords that are relevant to your local customers. There are a few tools online that help you choose keywords based on locations so that you can easily get the search terms and volumes for a given region. An example of such tools is the Google Keyword Planner. The tool allows you to search keywords based on geographical locations and allows you to create a list for such locally relevant keywords.

Once you have such keywords, they are your gold, and you should include them in your site’s Meta content, URLs, and copy.

  • Don’t neglect other online business directories; take advantage of them

These are such websites like Yelp, MapQuest, Foursquare, and YellowPages, among many others. Getting your business details like the name, address, and phone number into these sites will both help your visibility and also boost your local SEO.

Local Search Marketing: More Important Than Ever

SEO changes all the time, and you never can tell when Google will be rolling out the next updates and features. That is why you need to take advantage of local search marketing to regularly stay on top of the game. You can’t afford to neglect this almost free opportunity to achieve your business goals. Start building a solid foundation for your business today; start focusing on local SEO.

The best tip of all is to stay on top of changes by finding reliable newsletters from industry experts. Make sure you’re paying attention to all the experts because unless they have a lot of testing behind them, you’ll have to do some filtering to find out if they actually know what they talk about.

Often times, if you ask 10 SEOs the same question you’ll end up with 10 answers. Or, you’ll end up with 9 wrong answers. A great example of that is the 

power of nofollow links. Google stated years ago that nofollow links do not pass any “link juice” but testing has shown that to be false. Even though there have been reliable tests disproving Google’s words, nearly everywhere you look you’ll see SEOs saying nofollow links don’t pass link juice.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

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