When you’re looking for a business, whether it be a restaurant, a salon, an auto repair shop or another service, how do you search for it? Chances are you go online to find it. More specifically, you turn to Google and browse the top local options. Forty-six percent of all Google searches are looking for local information. And that’s because Google delivers the best and most accurate local search results. Businesses get ranked here by using strategic local search marketing efforts.
Google has a set of local ranking factors that it uses to determine whether or not your business is geographically relevant to a user doing a "near me" search and then ranks the business accordingly.
Roughly 88 percent of consumers who search for a local business on their mobile device call or visit its physical location on the same day. Your business must be displayed in the top search results. Your business can use local search engine marketing to get placed among the top results and get found by your target audience. If you don’t, you risking being invisible online which
What is Local Search Marketing?
Local search marketing, often referred to as local search engine optimization (SEO), is a type of digital marketing strategy that businesses utilize to reach and leverage local markets. It gives them an advantage by having their business listing show up in the local results when their target customers go online and search for one of their keywords.
In other words, local search marketing is a local marketing tactic that focuses on having your business show up on the map (especially Google maps) whenever potential customers are searching for a service or category that your business falls into. Eighty-six percent of Internet users use Google Maps to look up the location of a local business that they intend to visit.
To put it simply, local search marketing is anything a business does online to promote its brick-and-mortar location by ranking high on Google maps.
It is beneficial to businesses of all sizes and in all verticals but can be especially advantageous for small businesses looking to attract local customers. This is because Google uses a method of local ranking factors, which gives small businesses a chance at competing with massive enterprises and winning.
In a normal search, when a customer is viewing the search engine results page (SERP), the bigger corporations and multi-location businesses will dominate the page. However, with the location aspect, small businesses get a competitive edge.
"Near Me" Searches Are on the Rise
Picture the last time you searched for a business. What kind of keywords did you use? Your search probably resembled something like this: industry, near me, open now. With those minimal words, Google pulled up a massive list of options. The power of the internet is incredible.
The digital age is in full swing and we as consumers have changed the way we make purchases. With so many options available at our fingertips, all we have to do is pick up our mobile phone and type in a few keywords and a seemingly infinite list of options instantly populates right before our eyes.
With so many options, we have the luxury of being picky. We no longer have to drive across town for that trusted business with 5 stars because we are given great local options just down the street.
There has been a 500 percent increase in “near me” mobile searches that contain some variation of “can I buy” or “to buy" over the last two years. With a growing number of consumers using their mobile devices for "near me" searches, it’s clear that local search marketing matters more than ever.
The truth is that people are turning to the internet to find businesses nearby and then taking almost immediate action. About 78 percent of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. People act quickly and impulse buy because the digital consumer wants instant gratification.
Google has become so advanced that even if “near me” isn’t added to the end of a search, it will still detect the person’s location via their IP address, and deliver the top local results it finds.
Tips for Better Local Search Marketing
Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business profile
The first step is to register or claim your Google My Business page. After you claim your page, you must verify your business and your business address. This requires you to have a real physical address.
Once you complete this step, you can begin customizing it. Add a quality description with keywords, double-check that your business is in the correct category and review your information to make sure it’s consistent and accurate on your GMB page and across all business directories. This information includes your business hours, name, address, phone number, and services. Try to be as specific as possible and include all relevant information.
Try to upload a variety of quality images. This will result in higher online customer engagement meaning more clicks, calls and direction requests from Google maps.
Get Listed With Online Business Directories and Review Sites
Try to get your business listed on as many business directories and review sites as possible. A business listing site and online business directories both allow businesses to advertise their business online and provide important information like services, contact information, location and you even have the ability to communicate with your customers. Make sure your listing is all consistent and accurate to give you higher visibility in local search
Take Control of Your Online Reviews
Your online reputation matters for local search marketing. Try to get 5 star Google reviews and other positive ones whenever possible. That means you have to solicit your customers for more reviews.
Requesting reviews won’t only help your digital reputation and improve your local SEO, it will also boost your sales because people trust reviews. About 97 percent of people read reviews for local businesses before visiting a business. Reviews, whether they are positive or negative, influence buying decisions.
Reputation management builds trust in your business. People want to give their business to a credible source, which can drive more traffic and generate more sales.
Title and Meta Tags
A title tag is a Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) feature that identifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on SERPs as the clickable header for a specific result. The title tag of a web page is designed to be an accurate and short preview of a website's content.
Title and meta tags are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing of the page. It must be consistent with the content delivered on the site. You should also tag website images to boost your SEO even more.
Improve Linking Structure
Build high-quality external links and backlinks. One way to do this is through citations, which are a source of backlinks and are an important local search ranking factor. By earning strong local backlinks, you will raise your organic ranking, increase online visibility and build relevance in local search.
Take Advantage of Local Search Marketing
The most obvious advantage of leveraging local search marketing is online visibility. Your business will gain more traction on the web, receive more targeted traffic and more traffic for relevant search terms. This will equate to more in-store foot traffic, more service customers and more sales for your business.
We all understand the value of small local businesses, but sometimes they can be hard to find. With local search marketing, they are given a chance to virtually compete with bigger, multi-location businesses for placement online.
Consumers are constantly searching for local businesses that offer the services they require — that won’t change. People want to find the best business in the closest proximity, but they aren’t willing to browse multiple pages to find it, which is why your business needs to optimize your local SEO.
Take advantage of local search marketing to improve your online presence, make it easy for your customers to find you and grow your bottom line. The easiest way to do this is through GoSite's Placement tool, which takes care of the hard work and so you can sit back, relax and tend to your growing customer base.