Internet marketing can be as diverse as you want it to be. One single online marketing portfolio might include email, social, paid and video marketing, for instance. What about local marketing? With 97% of consumers turning to search engines like Google to help them find local businesses, products and services, it does seem like an attractive addition to your online marketing efforts. Is it worth it? Does your business need local marketing to succeed or will you just be wasting your time? The following should help you decide.
Are Your Customers Local?
A local marketing campaign will only help you if you rely on customers in your general area. If yours is a business that develops a product that can be shipped to anywhere in the world, then a local marketing campaign won’t do you much good. You should only choose to go local if you hope that lots of local customers will see your listings and choose your business over your competitors.
If you already have one or more online marketing campaigns going, you have likely done your homework and this includes plenty of keyword research. You have a good idea regarding what keywords your audience is using and what they’re primarily looking for.
If your customers tend to use geographic modifiers to search for your business in the search engines, then local marketing is indeed for you. For example, if your customers are searching for ‘hardware store in St. Louis’, ‘funeral home in Jacksonville’ or ‘flower shop in St. Joseph’, then you should by all means focus on a local marketing campaign because your customers may be searching for you right now.
The search engines have always been focused on providing search users with the most useful and relevant search results. To help deliver these accurate results, many search engines like Google are utilizing GPS devices in mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices to help determine where a search user is located. This helps the search engines deliver localized search results for search users looking for local businesses.
So even if your customers aren’t using geographic modifiers, the GPS devices in their phones and mobile devices will help those customers find your business if you correctly implement a local marketing campaign.
By now you should have a good idea whether or not your business needs a local search marketing campaign. How deep should you go? Maybe yours is a company that services both local and international customers. How much effort do you really need to put into a local search campaign?
The following will give you some local search marketing tips. It’s up to you how deep you want to go.
- IYP And Directory Marketing: Years ago, customers only had the yellow pages to help them find local businesses, products and services. These days, people are turning to the Internet more than ever before. There are dozens of Internet Yellow Pages and Internet Directories online. Your job is to create profiles on every one you can find, making sure your name, address, phone number, URL and all other details are listed exactly the same across the board. This eliminates any search engine confusion and, of course,, the more listings you create the more exposure your business will experience.
- Local Business Pages: Google Places, Yahoo! Local Business and Bing Local are but three localized business pages that any local marketer can use to propel their business upwards and beyond in the search results. Google Places, for instance, allows you to list important details about your business, showcase photos and videos, list your hours of operation and valuable coupon offers customers can’t find anywhere else. Furthermore, Google Places allows users to visit a local business page and leave reviews along with a five star rating system. That five star rating system then shows up in the local search results, thus bringing more prominence to your localized listing.
- Video and Photo Marketing: Name your videos and photos using your local keywords and use your local keywords as meta tags, as well. Videos and photos will show up in the search engines’ video and image searches, along with the regular local search results. This will bring you more exposure and multimedia, if done right, can boost your exposure and your brand image exponentially.
These are just a few local search marketing tips that can help you phase out competitors and bring in more local customers to your business. If you rely on local customers in any aspect, you will want to put these tips to work for you. Your local customers might be searching for you right now. Can they find your business or are they going to be forced to choose a competitor? The choice is yours and it must be made soon if you hope to gain a competitive edge in the world of local search marketing.