As the saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind." This rings especially true in today's hyper-connected world where consumers are constantly bombarded with information. So, how can you ensure that your business stays top of mind when potential customers are searching for products or services in your area? The answer lies in local search marketing.
In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of local search marketing and provide tips on how multi-location businesses can use this strategy to reach more local customers.
What Exactly is Local Search Marketing?
Local search marketing is the process of optimising a business's online presence so that it appears higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for local products or services. This mainly includes tactics like creating and optimising a Google Business Profile (GBP) listings, incorporating location-specific keywords into website content, creating local landing pages, and building local citations.
Why is Local Search Marketing So Important?
Nearly half of all Google searches are for local information, and 88% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day.
And with the pandemic forcing many businesses to operate with reduced capacity or shut down temporarily, having a strong online presence is more important than ever.
From Google's free suite of tools to paid marketing services, there are plenty of tools and resources available to help businesses improve their online visibility. And for those willing to put in the time and effort, the rewards can be substantial - higher website traffic, increased brand awareness, and ultimately, more customers walking through your doors.
Local Search Marketing vs Local Marketing
"Isn't that just regular local marketing?," you might be thinking as you read about local search marketing, and while there certainly are similarities between the two, local search marketing takes a way more focused approach.
Local marketing involves promoting your business to local customers in a specific geographic area in general. This can include a variety of tactics, such as social media marketing, email marketing, and offline advertising like billboards or posters.
Local Search Marketing, on the other hand, focuses on optimising your online presence like your Google Business Profile and website, so that it appears in relevant local search results. This includes tactics like keyword research, on-page optimisation, and managing customer reviews.
In other words, local search marketing is one tactic that businesses can use as part of their broader local marketing strategy to reach more local customers.
Your GBP is a free but game-changing platform that displays information about your business such as your hours of operation, phone number, and address.
Optimising Your Google Business Profile (GBP)
Google official sources illustrate that businesses with optimised GBP are x2.7 more likely to be seen as trustworthy by customers which leads to more visits.
Here are some tips for optimising your GBP:
- Claim your GBP profile if you haven't already done so.
- Check that all information on your profile is up-to-date and accurate, especially your NAP (business name, address, and phone number).
- Select a primary business category that accurately represents your business.
- Add photos and videos of your business to highlight your products or services.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your profile to build your credibility and improve your search rankings.
Read through the Complete Step by Step Guide on Google Business Profile not to miss out on any useful tools.
Creating And Optimising Local Listings
It is best to have your listings appear on as many relevant platforms as possible in order to maximise your local search marketing efforts. Most of your potential customers may rely on Google Search and Maps to find local businesses, but there are other channels with great potential for exposure.
Consider placing well-optimised listings on Bing Places, Apple Maps, Facebook, Foursquare, and Waze. Every platform excels at something different, but they are all interesting to explore. Depending on the type of your service or product, your target group can prioritise the platforms differently. For example, if you manage a gas station business, your potential customers are likely to search for the gas stations nearby in Waze.
Apple users are 3.5 times more likely to use Apple Maps than users of any other mapping app, making Apple Maps a particularly useful tool.
What If My Business Has Multiple Locations?
Managing local search marketing for multiple locations can be challenging because of the time and effort required to verify each location, fill out detailed business profiles, optimise listings, update information on a regular basis, respond to reviews, and check listings for errors.
The good news is that this can now be done with a couple of clicks using local SEO automation services like PinMeTo. PinMeTo's bulk listing creation, real-time monitoring and updates, and unified analytics dashboard allow you to focus on running and expanding the business while maintaining high-quality listings.
Localised Content & Local Landing Pages
Local landing pages tailored to each location and the use of location-specific keywords in website content can greatly improve a business' visibility in local search engine results.
For example, if you have a chain of restaurants, creating local landing pages for each location that include information about the menu, hours of operation, and customer reviews can help you rank higher in the local search results.
You can also check out our 6-Step Guide on Creating Effective Local Landing Pages.
Building Local Citations
Local citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites, such as directories, review sites, and social media platforms.
Building local citations can help improve your local search rankings and increase your online visibility but it's also important to make sure that your business information is consistent across all citations to avoid confusion and inaccuracies that could confuse the search engines.
Using Local Schema Markup
Local schema markup is a type of structured data that provides search engines with additional information about your product or service, such as your address, phone number, and business hours tailored to a specific location or area of your business.
As a bonus, this will increase the likelihood of your page showing up in snippets, which are the brief, attention-grabbing results that appear at the very top of the local search results and include rating, reviews, prices, and other key pieces of your information.
Leveraging Local PPC Advertising
Local PPC advertising can be an effective way for multi-location brands to reach out to more local customers. By creating location-specific ads and targeting specific geographic areas, you can increase your chances of reaching potential customers who are searching for products or services in their area as the sponsored search results will most likely capture people’s attention first.
To Sum Up
In today's fast-paced world, where consumers have endless choices at their fingertips, standing out from the competition can be a daunting task. From creating localised content to managing customer reviews, and utilising local PPC advertising, there are several key tactics that can help improve online visibility, drive foot traffic and ultimately, boost revenue. So why wait? Start optimising your local search presence today and see the results for yourself!
Looking for ways to step up your Local Search Marketing?
Lily Adamyan, March 17