Business owners that rely on local customers would do well to focus on local marketing. Local marketing your small business means to engage in a specific type of search engine optimization that puts your business in front of prospective customers who may be searching for your business using search engines in your local area. Search engines are increasingly focusing on local-specific results for their users. By using GPS and other location-centric technologies, the search engines are able to deliver your results to the customers that matter, as long as you engage in the proper amount of local marketing. Put the following techniques into play and your local customers will always know how to find you.
If you spend your time marketing for Google’s search engine, you can now continue that trend with local marketing. Google Local utilizes the Google+ social network to brand and spread your marketing message. When you make use of Google Local, your customers will be able to find you on Google+, Google Maps, Google Image search and all other Google platforms. Your search results will also include your Google+ photo and additional information about your business, ensuring more click-throughs and conversions.
On-Site Local Marketing
You may have engaged in search engine optimization for your website, implanting keywords, ensuring that you have optimized H-tags, and so on. However, local marketing your small business requires you to use local-specific keywords.
For example, if you own a veterinarian practice in Austin, Texas, you’ll want to include those locations with your typical keywords. These might include ‘veterinarian in Austin’, ‘vet office in Austin’ or ‘Austin, Texas animal hospital’.
Include these types of location-based keywords in with your usual keyword research. Then, sprinkle them throughout your content to drive even more local marketing traffic to your site.
Local marketing your small business relies on using a series of online directories and Internet yellow page sites like YellowPages.com and Yahoo Local, for example. There are several high-profile directory sites, such as Localeze and Acxiom that feed information to the other directory sites online. Typically you only have to edit your information on the primary sites and then wait for your information to trickle down to the other sites over time.
When you fill out your local marketing information on one of these directories, you are said to be editing your Citations. This includes your NAP – Name, Address and Phone Number – as well as your URL. This information needs to be consistent across the web or else you could lose rankings.
Local marketing expert David Mihm has long stated that citation confusion is one of the leading causes of decreased search engine rankings. The more consistent you make your citations, the more verified backlinks you will earn from all the directories and the higher you’ll rank.
By citation confusion, we mean instances were Suite 131 may not look the same as Ste. 131 or #131. If you are going to list your address as Mockingbird Lane, don’t name it Mockingbird Ln. somewhere else. Don’t confuse the search engines when local marketing your business or else your rankings may suffer.
Go to Yext.com and enter your information. You’ll be provided with a report that shows you where you’ve already built up your citations and where your local marketing still needs work. Yext will help you build out your citations for a fee, or you can do it manually for free (in most cases). Some local marketing directories do cost money, even for basic listings.
Local Marketing for Images
When you include images on your site or any other local marketing materials, name them using your location-specific keywords. For example, if your selling clothing and you have a picture of a T-shirt, you might haven‘t-shirt-austin-texas’ as your image name.
Anyone that conducts an image search for those keywords will undoubtedly see your image listing in the search results. Every time you place an image, think about placing a location-based keyword with it. You’ll earn far more local marketing traffic that way.
Local Marketing for Videos
Video is a great way to market your local business and when you submit your videos to popular social sites like YouTube, you know you’ll have access to an entirely new segment of your market. Local marketing your business starts when the video is shot and published to the YouTube platform. This can also work with other platforms, but we’ll use YouTube for our example for now.
When you name your video, place your location-specific keywords as early on in the title as possible. Then, place your citations in the description. Make sure you stay consistent. Your videos will then show up in the video marketing results anytime anyone in your area searches for your keywords.
The above local marketing advice will help customers find your business much more easily, which should lead to more leads, more sales and a higher ROI.