Search engines are continuing to put a stronger emphasis on local search results. This is good news for the small business that wants to use SEO for local marketing. It’s easier than it has ever been to get noticed by local customers looking for businesses like your own. All you have to do is put forth the effort and know where to post your information. For example, Dacor sells microwaves and have reached their local audience using growth hacks and advertising.
On desktops, there are about 4 billion local searches each month out of 100 billion searches that Google handles altogether each month. Combine those numbers with the mobile searches and you get a total of around 7-to-8 billion local searches each and every month going through Google from the United States alone.
In the past, it took a lot of extra effort to appeal to local audiences. Users also had to make local searches by including location data in the search query. Some changes were made a few years back so that local results were shown even when location data wasn’t included in the query. This is seriously increased the amount of exposure small businesses gained on a local level.
Most modern mobile devices have GPS enabled as well. Google can gather location data from the GPS of the device and use this information to display local results when searching for businesses. Similar features are enabled on many laptops as well. It makes it easier for local results to appear wherever the person might be.
How Can You Use Local Marketing For Your Small Business?
It’s great to know that local search is booming, but how can you use this surge in popularity to the benefit of your own small business? There are actually several different ways you can benefit from this change in focus. Local search now has a huge potential for attracting customers who either live in the local area or are visiting.
The first step to securing your position in local SEO is to know what keywords you want to rank for. This is usually the easiest step because a portion of your chosen keyword will be your location. For example, if you’re in Atlanta, Georgia, then your keyword might be Atlanta Georgia restaurants. That is, if your business is a restaurant.
Such a bold choice of keywords may be more difficult to rank for if there is heavy competition in your area. If this is the case, you may choose to target a long tail keyword instead. In order to find out what sort of competition exists for a given keyword, you need to use a keyword research tool. There are dozens of them available online. Some are free and some are pay-to-use.
Get Your NAPs In Order.
NAP is an abbreviation for the name, address, and phone number. If you hope to rank highly in the local search results then you need to have a clearly defined NAP that exists on multiple sites. It should be present on as many listing sites as possible, especially those that focus on local business. This includes Google+ local, yelp, and any other business related websites. Of course, your NAP should also be present on your own website.
Having a NAP is extremely important, but if your NAPs aren’t correctly aligned, then it could actually hurt your business. Google checks the information provided on various sites and expects the same information to be present. If the information is not the same, then Google may assume your business isn’t legitimate and it will definitely hurt your ranking. You may even be marked as a spam site.
Building a long list of NAPs across multiple sites helps when it comes to building legitimacy. The more NAPs you have that are synced together, the better. If they are listed on high-authority sites, then even better. NAPs are extremely easy to set up and manage. It’s only a few lines.
Just remember, if you ever change one NAP, then you need to change the rest. You should keep a detailed list of all of your NAPs so that you can keep them in order if you ever move or change your number.
Other Forms Of Local Marketing.
SEO is an extremely powerful form of marketing, but it’s certainly not the only one you can use to appeal to a local audience. There are several other useful mediums for advertising that you can combine with your local SEO to increase your traffic, both online and in-store. Most of these advertising methods cost a little more than traditional SEO, but they can still be a worthy investment for a local business.
Radio ads are always a good idea. They aren’t nearly as expensive as television ads and can reach a wide local audience. The key to succeeding with a radio advertisement is proper timing. You don’t want the ad wasted, especially if you don’t run them very often. You want to play your advertisement when there are a lot of people on the road and while you’re having some sort of special promotion.
Most people listen to the radio when they are driving. This means you should target your radio ad shortly after work lets out for the best exposure and conversion ratio. On the way to work in the mornings can reach a large audience, but it’s not likely any of them will stop their commute to work just to visit your store. They may also forget about it during their day at work.
Other forms of local advertising include billboards, mailing cards, and newspapers. In all of these cases, you can usually haggle with the salesman to get a better price than what they normally offer.
Newspaper advertisements are always the cheapest, but fewer and fewer people are reading the newspaper every year. Billboards can reach hundreds or thousands of people every day in their car. When these local advertising methods are combined with local SEO, the possibilities are endless.