Is your local business losing customers to your competitors down the street? Want to know how to quickly get more people into your local business? If your business is not easy to find in local search results or locally-based mobile apps, then you probably answered ‘yes’ to both of these questions.
In this article we are going to give you effective tips for local search success so that your business can earn, and keep, the customers that should be helping your business grow.
What is Local Search and Why is it Important?
Remember when you used to get that big, heavy yellow book with nothing but listings and ads for local businesses? Well, that big book is still around (for no good reason really), but is on its death bed due to a faster, more relevant, more useful replacement – the search engine. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone that still dusts off that yellow book as opposed to doing a quick search on Google, Yelp, Foursquare and now Facebook.
Local search is all about…
finding relevant results for the most useful, active, updated and talked about local businesses on the web [and within mobile apps]
The importance of relevant information about businesses we’re trying to find being delivered quickly and conveniently has sky-rocketed. More and more people rely on their mobile devices, many times in transit, to get details and directions. In addition, consumers have gotten much smarter and now do more research before visiting a local business than ever before.
The market cap chart (above) of public companies in local media online is one example of how prevalent local search / presence has become compared to the other primary channels of marketing. Another projection to validate the importance of local search is that of BIA/Kelsey that believes local search will grow faster than the overall search market, from $5.7B in 2011 to $10.2B in 2016.
Local Search Requirements
As these trends continue to grow, so will the need for your business to meet the following local search requirements:
- Easy to find on major search engines and mobile apps
- Filled with relevant, updated information and positive reviews
- Accessible for both desktop and mobile users
Since these requirements are essential for any local business we are going to provide you with tips to experience your own local search success.
Achieving Local Search Success
Remember, local search success is not just about having your website show up in Google for its relevant phrases. A solid local search marketing strategy will help your business show in the local search results (commonly known as the local business listings) and also in widely used mobile apps.
For this reason, the tips we have provided below are meant to keep both desktop and mobile users in mind so that your business gets as much of the right local exposure as it needs to be able to grow.
On-Page Local Search Optimization Tips
- On every page, use custom title tags, meta tags, image alt tags and page headers that naturally include your local search terms
- Blog about local news, tips, success stories and information relevant to your business
- Use long-tail keyword research to quickly dominate opportune niches before your competitors do
- Make your website mobile friendly so mobile users can see, access and use your website with one hand
- Develop and promote, creative and unique content to become a local authority and respected resource
Off-Page Local Search Optimization Tips
- Get your local business pages setup on Google+, Facebook, Foursquare and Yelp
- Submit your local business listing to Bing, Merchant Circle, YP, CitySearch, MapQuest and Manta
- Encourage (but don’t pay) customers to provide online reviews of your business on local review sites
- Clean up your company’s online reputation
- Use social media to extend the reach of your content and engage customers and prospects
Grab our FREE CONTENT MARKETING PLAN TEMPLATE to help you plan out the best ideas for content to dominate your local search results.
Local Search Success Doesn’t Stop Here
The 10 (actually 12) tips provided above will get you on the right path to ensuring that your business has the local exposure and placement it needs to remain competitive and grow from new business.
These tips should not be where you stop optimizing and working to build your local authority though. As a matter of fact, the two best things that only YOU can do to help your business succeed locally is to…
make remarkable products and provide stellar customer service
These two things, combined with the tips provided in this article, will make your business so easy to find and so desirable that you just may have to think about hiring more employees and getting a bigger space to support your booming local business.
Now, if you’ve got the products and service part nailed down and need someone to consult on your local search marketing efforts or even take care of them for you, then we would love to offer up our services.
Are you ready to improve your local search presence?