78% of local searches completed through a mobile device result in an offline purchase. If your local business isn’t ranking in the search engines, you are missing out on buyer traffic.
Whether you sell products and services online or if your business is purely brick and mortar, your online listing is still vital to your success. With 97% of business owners convinced of the importance of online reputation management, local search engine marketing is a practice you can’t ignore.
Continue reading as we share 10 tips for boosting your local SEO listing and results. Implementing these strategies properly will make a major difference in your business success.
Local Search Engine Marketing Action Steps
When we visit search engines like Google, we expect the best results to show up for our searches. Since we expect the best, it only makes sense that our businesses provide the best solution if we want to show up for a specific search result.
1. Verify All Information Is Correct
Before you start trying to rank higher in the search results, you need to verify all of your information is correct on your business listing.
Go to your Google My Business (GMB) listing and look a the name, address, site, phone number, and category. If any of these aren’t correct, go into your GMB panel and fix them right away.
2. Add Photos to Your GMB Listing
You can add photos to your GMB listing quickly and easily. The photos section of your GMB listing is a great place to add up to date, relevant photos of your place of business or you in the act of doing business. When people search for a local business, they want to see signs of life.
By signs of life, we mean that visitors want to know you are actively serving new customers. If you haven’t posted any photos, that is one less clue your potential customers are able to find.
3. Add Blog Posts to Your GMB Listing
Most business owners don’t know there is a micro-blog on GMB. If you want to add any updates on your services or products or recognise an employee that is doing a great job, this is an ideal place to do so.
Having blog posts on your GMB micro-blog is a perfect way to show more signs of life. While you don’t have to create long posts here like on your blog, having regularly updated content is important.
4. Request Customer Reviews
If you don’t ask, many customers won’t think to give your company a review. Many times people don’t give companies reviews until they undergo an experience that provokes strong emotion.
One of the review-inducing emotions is anger. If a customer has a bad experience, they may post a negative review quicker than the customers who have positive experiences.
Requesting customer reviews can be done in person, or you may send follow-up emails to your clients to ask them to share their experience. If your company did a great job, some of the customers will take the time to leave a review. You should make requesting reviews a normal practice for your business.
5. Check, Update, and Add Local Citations
If you’ve built local citations to your business already, you need to check them for accuracy. One digit of your phone number may be off in Yellow Pages, and this can cost you business customers that are truly interested in your products or services.
Having your business information on all of the core sites like Yellow Pages and other popular Australian review sites confirms you are a true business. When Google knows you are a true business providing a product or service to those querying, you are more likely to show up in the Snack Pack and the organic search placement.
The Snack Pack is where the top business listing placements are in the search results. You’ll normally see three business listings in the Snack Pack.
The organic search results are below the Snack Pack and below ads. These results show up organically – hence the name organic search results.
6. Optimise for SiL Keywords
Since you are a local business, it is time to rank for SiL keywords. SiL keywords are service in location keywords. For instance “SEO agency in Townsville.”
If you put yourself on the spot, it is easy to draw a blank for keywords you should use in your campaign. Note all of the obvious keywords, but then it is time to do some research.
You can find SiL keywords in many different places, but one of the best places to start is with your competition. If your competition is going to the trouble of ranking for these keywords, it is likely they are worth the effort.
You can go through their website and search for keywords they use, or you can use SEO tools to find keywords they rank for in the search engines. You don’t need a lot to start with, so getting a good idea by looking at their site will work for now.
Some other places you can find SiL keywords are by using Google Suggest in the Google search bar. You can simply start typing in your query and see what comes up. If any of the terms are relevant, jot them down and use them.
7. Find Guest Posting Opportunities
Building links is an important part of ranking in local search results. While citations are a great start to local rankings, you need to build other links as well. You want to find opportunities to guest post on relevant websites and blogs in your niche.
Not only will guest posting give you backlinks for your site, but it will also showcase you as an authority in your niche. Building authority will allow you to convert more potential clients into clients.
You can go to Google and type in a local query for your niche along with “write for us” to find potential opportunities. Even a couple of strong links can make a big difference for your site because of their relevance and authority.
8. Brush Up Your On-Page SEO
When you had your website built, you might not have focused on on-page SEO. If your on-page SEO isn’t at its best, this is a simple fix. You can take all of the keywords you found through your research and find a few you want to pepper throughout your content.
General SEO practices apply here, so make sure you add your primary keyword to your title, h1 tags, and a couple of times throughout your content. Having proper on-page SEO makes a big difference when you want to rank in local searches.
9. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to dominate local searches. Many times local businesses forget about their content marketing strategies. Since many small businesses in your location aren’t taking advantage of content marketing opportunities, you can break into the market easily many times.
When you are deciding on your content marketing strategies, you might include blog posts, whitepapers, newsletters, infographics, and more. The important thing is that you have a plan in place for implementing your strategy. Content marketing needs to take place consistently to give your business results you want.
10. Ongoing Activities
Once you have all of the above in place, your work isn’t over. There are ongoing activities you need to keep up with. If you fail to keep track of your listing and monitor them, it is possible they could get changed.
There have been cases where people have suggested incorrect edits to GMBs and Google accepts them without question. While it may not happen a lot, if your business is the one someone falsely changes a phone number on, it will make a major impact on your results.
Keep an eye on your GMB for reviews as well. You should always reply to reviews – both positive and negative. If you fail to reply to review, it doesn’t look good for your company, and it doesn’t help your search rankings either.
Use Your Analytics
Now that you have everything in place for your local search campaign, you’ll want to pay attention to your analytics once they register. You might see some trends that surprise you and cause you to make business decisions you might not have otherwise made.
Analytics are an important part of honing in on your target market and giving your customers what they want. Failing to review your analytics information is like failing to use your resources on an open-book test.
Ranking Your Site in Local Search
Understanding local search engine marketing and implementing it are two different things. When you own a company, you may not have time to get into the day-to-day with marketing.
Instead of letting marketing fall by the wayside, set a meeting with us today and let us help you put your plan into action.