Prevalent local SEO strategies are the cornerstone of creating and building successful online marketing campaigns. Consumers often search for a specific product or service to see where the closest business or provider is located. If what they’re looking for is too far away or the shipping costs are too high, then this can discourage them from making a purchase.
Other times, the need or desire to find a local business or service is completely subconscious. Consumers don’t always realize proximity is an important search criterion until they see where a business is located.
Local marketing success is based primarily on service and product quality. A secondary aspect of it, however, includes actively looking for and reaching out to a target audience that would greatly benefit from what you have to offer. With that in mind, here are some key elements of best business practices that can help elevate your local SEO strategies to new and unprecedented heights.
Manage Your Google My Business Listing
Think of your Google My Business account as your digital calling card or business card. It should contain all of the vital information that will not only get you top-ranking positions, but also tells people everything they need to know about your business quickly and conveniently.
Contact information including email, phone numbers, live chat options, links to your social media, and a website redirect link should all be included. If you have a brick-and-mortar business location (or several), then you should also include directions and a map.
Users can also set up appointments or book reservations through your GMB knowledge panel which can be more convenient than having to call in or email and wait for a response. It also lowers your call and email volumes, making them much more manageable for your customer service team.
Businesses with multiple locations can use local search tactics such as geographical keywords and GPS signalling to display certain location-based information to users that are in close proximity. If a user wants to know if you have a store or restaurant in a certain city, they might include the name of that city in their search. But if they’re already in that city, then Google intuitively knows to give the top-ranking positions to the closest locations with the best ratings.
Another benefit of managing your Google My Business listing is that it gives you complete control over the information that’s displayed and how it’s presented to online users. Claiming your local listing on GMB ensures that other people (such as your competitors) can’t just step in and take control of your account. It also allows you to use Google’s question and answer feature to directly answer questions about your business and engage with customers in the reviews section.
Leverage Local SEO to Boost Your Ranking
Concentrating on strengthening your local SEO marketing strategies and business practices is an effective way to gain a loyal local following. Whether you’re launching a new brick-and-mortar business or expanding your enterprise to different locations, there’s a lot to be gained from reaching out directly to members of your local community.
Google uses search location to provide relevant results to users. As mentioned, users may not always consciously search strictly for businesses within close proximity to their current location or places they frequent (e.g. home, work, etc.). That’s why Google uses a sophisticated algorithm to gain deeper insight into the searcher’s intent.
For instance, if you enter the search term “fast food restaurants” the “near me” portion is implied by Google’s search algorithm. The automatic assumption is that you’re looking for high-ranking fast-food restaurants in your area because you’re hungry and want to eat.
Use Local Landing Pages
Local landing pages are a great static addition to your website because they provide more in-depth information about your business and its specific locations. They also inform customers which geographical locations you serve and whether you’re able to extend your services to their area.
You can use these pages to make special announcements, advertise promotions in certain areas, or as a means of acquiring new customers and maintaining relationships with existing ones. Loyal customers love learning about the backgrounds and success stories of the businesses they support.
Local landing pages also provide excellent opportunities to showcase your community support or charitable contributions. Demonstrating how much and how often you give back to your community and listing the organizations your business supports helps local users gain insight into what your brand is all about.
Increase Your Reputation Management
Business reputation management, also known as public relations, has always been an important part of creating and sustaining a successful organization. But the dawn of the Internet age, coupled with the creation of numerous online review platforms has made it more crucial than ever for companies to manage their reputations. While it’s true that you can’t always please everyone, you can control how you manage certain perceivably negative situations such as bad customer experiences or complaints.
Some business owners choose to ignore bad reviews while others respond with equal animosity toward their customers. Unfortunately, none of those solutions is correct or effective.
The best way to manage your organization’s online reputation is to provide courteous and upstanding customer service, no matter what people are saying about you. Answer all reviews and ratings, regardless of how negative they are. Learn from them and find out how you can improve your business practices to rectify the situation or provide better customer service in the future. Take the time to personally thank customers who leave positive reviews and offer incentives for them to keep supporting your business.
Take Advantage of Paid Search and Social Media
What better way is there to actively engage with modern customers than through social media? Use various platforms like Facebook or Twitter to list local citations and make use of paid search advertising.
If you need help building or perfecting your local SEO strategy, then Numero Uno Web Solutions can help create a custom plan that suits your needs and fits within your budget. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve local marketing success.