Does your business need a cost-effective way to attract the local market? Local search marketing is the answer. Done right, this type of marketing targets the consumers most likely to buy from you. Whether you sell through your website, your brick-and-mortar locations or both, optimizing your business for local search can bring you a permanent source of leads and sales that won’t bust the marketing budget.
Here are some effective local search marketing tips that reap big dividends for little cost:
1. Build a Local-Friendly Website
Create a local-friendly website with these tips:
- Add geographical content that includes local terms. This includes your physical address, town and street names and names of communities or neighborhoods that you serve.
- Add local keywords to internal and external links.
- Sign up for Google rich snippets.
- Create community resource content relevant to your local area.
- Ask local businesspeople to contribute to a company blog and link to your pages.
- Create local landing pages –one for each location you serve. This will improve your ranking and help your site get picked up by Google Maps.
2. Create Local Search Profiles
A local search profile is your online “Yellow Pages” listing. Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local all offer business profiles that help local traffic find your door. By claiming your profile you’ll be able to manage the information in your online phone book, and post company news, promotions and photos.
3. Offer Reviews
Consumer reviews are the online version of “word of mouth” recommendations —and they’re just as important. A study by comScorereports that online consumer reviews have significant influence over consumer choices.
Offering a review component for your local customers helps you learn what’s important to them, their likes and dislikes, etc. Proactively responding to reviews improves your service, draws more local traffic and builds your reputation among your target market.
4. Get Noticed
Getting listed, cited and mentioned is important to your local search marketing efforts. Your online business profile, reviews and links to and from other sites give you greater visibility with search engines (and therefore with consumers). But, it’s important to manage this exposure.
Check on your how your business is doing with the search engines at a data compiler such as getlisted.org. Get a universal business listing that places one consistent listing on every search engine, Yellow Pages site, business directory, social site, mobile device and 411 service.
What local search marketing strategy would be complete without social media? Network with local bloggers, find local leads through Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook and form a local group that could include other businesses and their customers. According to online marketing resource econsultancy, over 700,000 local businesses have active pages on Facebook alone!
These local search marketing techniques can help your business attract and retain local customers, build your reputation with them, and get the word out about your products and services—all for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods. Put them to work for your business!