5 Local Search Marketing Best Practices

by • May 20, 2015 • Local SearchComments (2)7604

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Search engines have reached unprecedented levels of advancement, and as the Internet continues to be a primary source of information, increasing visibility online remains an important objective. Search engine results (both paid and organic) are highly personalized to show results tailored to a user’s specific location, making it highly valuable for local businesses to provide accurate and easily accessible information to consumers. Here are five tips to improving your local search marketing efforts.

1. Segment Your Paid Search Campaigns

Many businesses operate at a local level as well as a regional, national, or even an international level. If your business or client has an interest in attracting customers locally and on a larger scale, it is a good idea to keep paid search campaigns separate.

PRO TIP: Enable “local extensions” to show physical location, phone number, and map links on your ads.

2. Make Keywords Work for You

Make keywords work for you by aligning general keyword research that may already be completed to local marketing efforts. Make sure the keywords used on the main website are included on review pages, local listing profiles, and any other third-party site on which your business or client has a presence. This will reinforce SEO efforts and keep messaging about the business consistent across the Web.

Website content for local businesses should also be optimized for location-specific keywords and phrases. Add specific long-tail key phrases that include details about the business’s location and location-specific branded key phrases to the website and any shared content.

PRO TIP: Check how you rank on mobile smartphones and mapping apps by using “near me” and keyword searches.

3. Owned Properties

It’s important to take every opportunity possible to inform search engines where a local business is located and what areas it serves. If the website doesn’t have one already, create a footer that includes the business’ name, address, and coverage areas at the bottom of every webpage. This signals search engines that the site should be served as a result to users searching for or within those specific areas. Use “schema markup” to ensure that it’s recognized properly by engines.

A local business’ name and address should also be specified on any owned social media properties. The more detail you can provide about the business, the better. Properly optimized images should be added to profiles that allow them, and information about hours, closings, and specialties should be available on all profiles associated with the location. This further reinforces SEO efforts and fosters consistency in messaging and information.

If the Google Places page for your business or client has not already been claimed, be sure to do so. Connecting this page with an active Google+ page that regularly pushes out content is an SEO best practice that is especially applicable to local businesses.

PRO TIP: Build a dynamic location “feed” that is integrated with Google Maps; people like it, too!

4. Local Listings and Third Party Sites

Local businesses are often featured, with or without the business’s consent, on local listing pages or third-party sites such as Yelp or Google Reviews. The URL on such pages should point back to a contact or other page specific to the location being reviewed to reinforce relevancy. For businesses with multiple locations, this can help mitigate potential confusion and guard against one location suffering because of another location’s poor reviews.

Local businesses are often featured, with or without the business’s consent, on local listing pages or third-party sites such as Yelp or Google Reviews. The URL on such pages should point back to a contact or other page specific to the location being reviewed to reinforce relevancy. For businesses with multiple locations, this can help mitigate potential confusion and guard against one location suffering because of another location’s poor reviews.

Take some time to search for duplicate profiles across third-party websites, as sometimes listings or profiles are generated because they are associated with a particular email address or other identifying element. If possible, remove duplicate profiles and ensure that consumers are being directed to the profiles you own and manage. If your business or client is not featured on local listings or other sites that offer information about local businesses, create a presence that includes all the correct details.

It’s important to have a presence on such sites and to make sure the details are accurate, as search engines frequently crawl such sites to collect information—accuracy and consistency in these areas can help boost SEO.

PRO TIP: For businesses with many locations, it’s best to work directly with a specialized listing management company who can provide bulk operations and feed management.

5. Reviews

According to Google, customers and businesses both benefit when a business is reviewed. Reviews are often the first sources consumers come across when searching for information about a local business, especially service-based industries. Encourage customers to leave reviews for your business so that when prospects are looking for information, it is presented in a positive light. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on the importance of reviews!

Do you have any search marketing tips specific to local businesses? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

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2 Responses to 5 Local Search Marketing Best Practices

  1. Gerry Downey says:

    Cheers for the informational post something I was not aware of was your reference to the “Local Extensions” on ads thanks again shared on twitter.

  2. Jason Smith says:

    This is great information. Thanks for sharing. I also didn’t know about local extensions until now.

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