If yours is a business that thrives on a geographical client base, search engine marketing tactics such as local search is your best friend! While a certain number of customers will organically find your store by walking past its location or getting a recommendation from a friend, the reality is most clients will find you via a local search on the internet.
With a little time and effort, search engine marketing can reel in customers in your area. Why is this so important? It’s important because:
- More than 80% of local searchers will follow up with an in-store visit (comScore)
- Just over 60% of all local searches convert into a purchase (Search Engine Watch)
- Over 70% of all internet searchers take advantage of local searches (The Kelsey Group)
- And nearly 60% of consumers use Google as their primary method of finding local businesses (Search Engine Group)
How Do You Get Google, Yahoo, or Bing’s Attention?
By being easy to find. And that means having strong SEO. Search Engine Optimization or SEO can be challenging at the best of times, but localized SEO can be a downright puzzle. Here are five ways to help search engines understand what you do, and where you do it.
Local Business Page Listings
The first step is to make sure that you have a local business page for each of the three major search engines. Check Google, Bing, and Yahoo. If you aren’t listed, fill in your business info. Step one really is as simple as that!
Optimize Your Page Listing
The easiest way to optimize your page is by loading plenty of top quality images, listing your days and hours of operation, and detailing the services you provide. Google calls up images when a local search is requested, and you’ll benefit from having up to 10 different pictures of your business, products, and services. It makes people want to visit in person!
Categorizing Your Page Listing
This seemingly simple step is crucial and deserves attention. Search engines will display your company based on your choices and rarely, if ever, display outside of those initial selections. And that’s why search engine marketing is vital. So, if you sell cupcakes, make sure you don’t accidentally select financial services! Local searches, like Moz Local, don’t show businesses that aren’t categorized or those that are miscategorized. Choose carefully and wisely!
Reviews and Third-Party Testimonials
Reviews are important for two reasons:
- Search engines value reviews and use them when determining how to place your site, and
- Reviews instill confidence in potential customers, urging them to click on the link to your site, to your business.
Reviews and testimonials are ideal, free content marketing tools that deliver a lot for little to no output.
Fully Develop Your Website
Part of what makes the local search so valuable is access to your website. A fully developed website is vital. And remember to list hours of operation and location clearly, at the top. People can spend money at your store if they can’t find you or don’t know when you’re open. Integrate local-keyword-rich content on your site and whenever a possible link to other local places, or respected sources (like a regional weather site or area television station), it will help raise your site rankings for search engines.
And here’s a bonus tip: Yelp. While it’s not a significant influence on search engine marketing, it is a favorite resource for local shoppers. Good reviews there can translate into paying customers, more quickly than you imagined!