Search engine optimization (SEO) experts have been using marketing campaigns to grow page rankings for years.
However, relying on the laurels of pre-existing strategies can cause any expert to oversee the benefits of localized SEO.
Local SEO is a gift from the search engine gods that Google wrapped and placed on the doorstep of small businesses. Local SEO allows smaller companies to prosper in operational areas that would otherwise be very difficult.
A strong local SEO strategy, however, depends on the location of your business for effective execution.
Companies targeting local consumers can use the power of the digital world to grow and become successful.
Every neighborhood has a celebrated ice cream shop where all the town parents take their kid for a cone. Local shops like these increase in popularity from individual experiences of customers then grow through word-of-mouth reviews. This simple example illustrates the importance of location and how it affects local marketing campaigns.
Luckily, businesses do not have to rely solely on word-of-mouth.
Nowadays, companies can access their customers by simply requesting reviews and tags on social networks and search engines alike.
Customers can even post a review on Google Maps for places they visit, making these reviews vital in increasing the popularity and credibility of a business.
Through social media, businesses can leverage location for an effective local SEO strategy.
The basic idea behind each social network is to empower and enable people to connect to each other on a global scale – at all times.
The global reach of social media is wonderful, but the local effect is just as vital for communicating with customers. These people are glued to their phones and are constantly craving content.
By creating text pieces that attract people to comment or share or interactive video content, businesses can reach users in a meaningful way.
Like with the ice cream shop, social media allows businesses to become ingrained in a community by easily interacting with locals.
In other words, social media gives local businesses the opportunity to create deep connections with local customers.
Social media also makes it easier to analyze and evaluate the current market demands and trends.
But, where does a company begin?
Posting pictures of the workplace gives customers an idea of a company’s culture and values. Also, including images of happy customers can act as a form of testimonial for a product.
With the right approach, social media successfully builds trust and connection between a business and consumer.
In addition, maintaining an active profile on both Facebook and Instagram increases lead generation. Interact with people by creating events, promotions and interesting posts to increase likes and shares for more reach.
It is key to ask every customer to review your products and services on social media networks.
People love visiting places that are known because of their good reviews. Customer experience is a magnet that’ll attract many new prospects, especially for local businesses.
Years ago, online reviews were reserved for restaurants, hotels, national businesses, and e-Commerce businesses, but not anymore.
Nowadays, the reviews available on Google, Yelp, and other networks, impact small local businesses more.
In fact, 82 percent of U.S. adults say they read online reviews before visiting a local business.
Consequently, negative reviews can be a death wish for such business.
Keep an eye out for poor reviews and contact such customers to ask them how their experience could improve or provide them with compensation to make-up for their bad time. Chances are they may change their minds, or remove the poor review altogether.
Also, providing customer testimonials as a separate page gives potential customers a better, more specific idea of why others chose to work with you.
Here’s an example from a Mission Viejo Security Credential supplier, Arnett Credentials, whose customer Chip explained his experience. Arnett Credentials then used this testimonial on the bottom of their home page for potential customers to see:
The importance of quality customer support cannot be understated. If businesses routinely fail to provide high-quality service for customers, they may never return. Each negative review chips away at the reputation of a business and its product. Invest in customer support to increase user-experience and achieve a better client retention ratio.
Keep an eye on competitor reviews to maintain an edge on them.
Take advantage of their mistakes and leverage pain-points on their products. If they receive positive reviews relative to your own, it indicates something wrong and something needs to change.
An effective Local SEO campaign will allow your business to appear on the first page of Google’s search engine results pages. It helps businesses optimize for people searching from nearby locations.
Around 80 percent consumers search the internet before purchasing a product or service.
For instance, if someone in San Diego needed help with home refinancing, they would search “residential home financing” and Google might give them Source Capital Funding, Inc.:
(Photo: Source Capital Funding, Inc.)
The question anyone undertaking a local SEO campaign should ask themselves is:
“Will my business show up in the results?”
If the answer is no, then quickly think about of the potential traffic and new customers it can bring.
Google My Business is the perfect place to start and arguably the most important component of local SEO in today’s digital marketing landscape. Without it, your business won’t appear on local map listings in the search engine results pages (SERPS). It does not take long to setup, and it will improve your local SEO dramatically.
There are many websites active on the Internet that let you post your business with specific details like, address, types of business, and contact credentials.
Apart from that, there is a comments section where people will come and write down reviews related to your business. These reviews can turn out to become quite useful.
Add your location wherever possible.
If your company has a Facebook page, for example, do not hesitate to add your location on it. This will let people know where the business is located and how they can reach you.
Local SEO, without a doubt, is an effective strategy to capture local market share. That doesn’t mean businesses should stop focusing on traditional SEO tactics.
A perfect blend of both strategies can help any business become recognized and grow. If a certain location isn’t attracting the expected number of potential consumers, switch it up now to leverage location.
Investing in an effective SEO marketing plan moves the needle closer to growth and success.
This guest blog article was written by Emily Banks who is an expert in digital marketing and has worked with organizations large and small to increase their online presence. When she’s not optimizing web pages, she can be found adventuring the beaches and breweries of San Diego. Emily is currently the editor for the content marketing section of Inseev Interactive’s blog.