Local Search Marketing
Local search marketing is something that can probably help your business. Many inquiries we receive include conversations on how to improve local search results on Google. We’ve written this article to provide a basic road map for creating local search business listings. If your business relies on nearby customers, local search should be a major part of your internet marketing strategy.
Why Local Search Marketing Matter
Local search business listings occupy a highly visible area on search engine results pages. These business listings rank higher than organic SEO positions earned by search engine optimization (SEO). Visibility matters! Beyond simply creating a Google My Business page you need to go further to push it to the “local three pack”. The local search listings that show in the three pack get at least 90% of local search clicks.
It should go without saying but, get as many customer reviews as you can muster! Be ethical, meaning get only legitimate reviews, not from friends and family. Google provides you with a review tool you should use – reply to reviews. Take a minute to say thank you to your customer, and reaffirm that you appreciate their business.
The Google Knowledge Graph
You’ve probably noticed that to the right of the local search marketing listings on Google there is often a large box about a particular company. This is known as the Knowledge Graph or Knowledge Box. You most definitely want to take extra time to edit your knowledge graph.
This article provides information on how to affect better local search rankings. It’s worth mentioning that a lot of your local search work can have a very positive impact on your organic rankings. While local search SEO and organic SEO work hand-in-hand, local search optimization has some unique characteristics.
Are you ready to learn how to improve local search listings for your small business? Read on to get local SEO tips that are easy to implement.
Your NAP – Name, Address, Phone Number
Your NAP information is the most critical part of a local search marketing. Being ranked for a local search means your address needs to let Google know that your business is nearby. This is the primary way that Google decides if your business location is a good match for the search query.
Your NAP should be on every page of your website. We recommend making it part of your website’s footer content. Although it’s not something that just any local search marketing companies know how to do, schema markup is a very important upgrade to your website which will maximize your local optimization.
When creating local search business pages, including citation sites, you should be consistent in how you write your information. For example, your street address should always be the same, mixing Main Street and Main St. is not a best practice.
Where to Start Your Local Search Work
In a relatively fast manner you can reach a substantial percentage of local search users. The places to begin your local search marketing efforts are Google My Business and Bing Places. These two properties get the majority of local search traffic.
Many websites show data pulled from search engines. If you search on sites by companies like Comcast, AOL, etc. you are seeing information drawn directly from Google or Bing. This means that with profiles on Google and Bing you will automatically handle several other sites.
Going to the Next Level – Local Search Citation Sites
Local search citation sites play a critical role in developing your ranking and overall visibility. Each citation site builds trust and authority – if you have consistent information on every site.
Citations are essentially business profile pages on directory type websites. Some of the best local search citation sites are Yelp, Foursquare and Kudzu. Depending upon your type of business you may find niche sites such as Angie’s List (service companies), AVVO (lawyers and doctors), and similar sites.
Although you can hire local search SEO companies, you can also do most of the work yourself. Be advised that it can be quite a time consuming process. Once you understand the basics on creating citations you can expect to spend 20-30 minutes to build and verify each one. Our recommendation is to build at least 50-75, and ongoing citation building work is strongly advised.
If you hire a company to do your citation building you should ask questions about the sites they will manage. Ask also how many citations they will build, and how quickly it will be done. Tell them that when the work is done you want a list of the sites with links to each profile page.
Our recommendation is to be concerned with only free business listings. Do not pay for any listings (or buy links!). When you claim or create a profile on many citation sites your info also becomes a sales lead for their advertising reps. Generally speaking, do not buy advertising on these sites – especially Yelp (the answer to “why” is a long story – just don’t do it).
If you want to hire a local search seo company simply click this link.
About Data Aggregators
Did you ever wonder how so many sites automatically have your business listed? And maybe wondered why some of the information is incorrect? The answer lies with data aggregators. These companies gather massive amounts of data on businesses, and provide the information to other websites (for a fee). If you’re investing time to develop your local search footprint you need to go upstream to correct information held by data aggregators. By correcting your business information on sites like Axciom you will indirectly manage info on hundreds of other sites. Each site is uniquely responsible for updating their content, so updating data aggregator sites is not an instant fix. What updating your info with data aggregators does is mitigate future problems, and improves the odds that bad info will be updated with good info.
A Local Search SEO Tip to Make the Job Easier
Being totally consistent with the information used to complete your local search marketing profiles and listings is critical. The easiest way to do this is to use an information template to organize the information. Your local business listing template should include your business name, address, all contact information, short and long descriptions, social media page links, and similar data. Besides assuring consistency you will find that being able to copy/paste is a time saver.
We offer a local search business listing template as part of our local search visibility assessment. For more information, simply call us at 504-300-9544.