The local search engine is becoming more influential than ever, as more than 70 percent of all consumers who search in a local area decide to visit a store within five miles. In this post, our local search marketing company will help you understand local search.
Local search marketing can be referred to as local SEO, but I consider it a more integrated approach to marketing local businesses.
A key aspect of local search marketing is putting your business on the map when people are searching for a local business like yours.
To give it a better definition, local search marketing is a kind of search engine optimization that helps local businesses show up on local searches that are relevant to them.
In local search marketing, part of your main goal is to get your business to show up in the local pack so that consumers can find and select your business.
Local Search Marketing: How Does It Work?
If you want to ensure that your business is found though local searches, you need to optimize the information you have online so that search engines may find your business readily.
Optimizing your search results will require that you tell search engines everything they need to know.
The best way to do this is to ensure that the most important directories list accurate, consistent NAPU (name, address, phone number, web address) information so search engines know what you do and where you’re located.
Consistent information will demonstrate your business’s legitimacy to a search engine.
However, if your listings on popular directories contain inaccurate or inconsistent information, the search engine will not know whether it can trust your business.
As a result, you may not be found when consumers are searching for the products and services you offer. They will instead find the competition.
Wondering where to start?
Our local search marketing company suggests starting with the basics. Check the following websites and see how it looks.
Your business will need to create new profiles on these sites if you are relatively new. If you’ve been around for a while, you should also claim/verify these pages so that the information is accurate or complete.
- Google My Business
- Bing Places for Business
You should ensure your information is accurate and consistent on each of these websites, as this can all have an effect on your local search ranking.
Keep in mind that social media and Yelp often appear near the top of organic search results.
Make sure your Facebook and Yelp info is correct in case a searcher skips the local information and goes straight to your social or Yelp profile.
The Next Step in Your Local Search Marketing Plan
Neither Google nor Bing take the information you give them as the only true information. They analyze four primary sources of information: Infogroup, Acxiom, Localeze and Factual.
Further complicating matters, hundreds of online business directories provide the information from those four sources.
That means that if your business’s information is different in a lot of directories, this will confuse the search engine, and the engine won’t know when or where to add your business to search results.
Here’s how you can clean up your directory information.
Select the Right Categories for Local Search Marketing
Again, this is only a small portion of the information search engines need to understand your business. They also require correct categories.
Make sure you add the appropriate categories for your small business to Google My Business. Be as specific as possible. For instance, you wouldn’t want to put “restaurant” as the primary category. Rather, you should specify what type of restaurant you run.
It is important to be specific, so that the search engine knows exactly what your business does. This will help your business show up in the right searches! Google guidelines suggest that you keep your categories as limited as possible.
Local Search Ranking Audit
- You can clear your website’s history and cookies.
- Use an incognito window to go to Google.com or Bing.com.
- Do a search on your specific industry and location (example: Atlanta plumbers Georgia). Did your business show up in the search results? If so, did you come up on top or did you need to click “view more” and scroll down to find your business?
- Search for your business name and location or phone number (example: Newman Web Solutions Marietta GA).
- Sort through the directories. Make sure that you claim, complete, and/or correct your NAPU.
However, consumers prefer to interact with businesses via an integrated marketing approach.
Therefore, once you maintain your local search presence, you’ll need to improve your social media presence, build your customer reviews and use paid advertising to reach new markets.
Your local business will be placed on the map with this integrated approach and will result in more customers finding you!