By now, most people are familiar with the idea of search engine optimization (SEO). At the very least, most businesses understand it has something to do with Google and people finding your business online.
But as companies become more and more adept at covering the basic principles SEO, the landscape becomes increasingly competitive. This means that local SEO marketing is more important than ever.
If you want to rank as well as possible for local searches and catch that target audience’s attention, then read on for some helpful tips and ideas!
What is Local SEO Marketing?
This is a fair place to start, right? What are we even talking about?
While SEO is all about ranking high in–well–any search, local SEO marketing is all about grabbing the hits from searches based on targeted geographic area. For example, “dry cleaners in Fargo” is a local search.
It may seem obvious that a local search is about a search based on a particular physical area, but it also usually has to do with offline transactions. In the above example, the person searching most likely isn’t looking to purchase anything online right at that moment. Instead, they’re probably searching for a location to go and have a transaction in-person.
So, if you are hoping to rope in customers or clients to your nearby business, you need to take into account these important things:
- What are people searching for?
- How (or where) are they searching for it?
- How are they getting their results?
It’s a big hodgepodge of people looking for things and hopefully giving you a visit or a call. Now, the big question is how can you dominate the local search? We’ll get into specifics on that next…
Dominating Local SEO Marketing
Depending on your business, location, and experience with SEO in the first place, the local search rankings can be tough to master. Everyone else in your industry is already nailing the basics at the very least, so you better be able to do the same and even go beyond.
Optimize Your Website
Your business should have a website in the first place, but it should be optimized as well as possible. This is true for SEO in general, but it’s more specific with local search optimization.
You need to find and include relevant local keywords in your web page titles and metadata descriptions. When people search for websites and local listings, they will see a brief description of your website or webpage.
You don’t want your titles or descriptions to be too long or else they might be cut off and will be more confusing than if they were shorter. So, make the most out of it and front-load them with your local keywords.
Remember, these aren’t just any keywords. These are the keywords for your local area and what they’re searching for.
Start Google My Business
This one is another easy and basic element of local SEO marketing that you need to make sure and do. A Google My Business account is free and helps you stand out to your potential customers and clients.
If your business is already listed in Google’s My Business, then you may have to claim it. It’s a simple process of Google sending you physical mail with a verification code that you need to use.
Regardless, a Google My Business account is important as many people will perform searches for local businesses to find quick information. This may include:
- Your business’s name
- Your business’s phone number
- Your business’s address
- Your business’s operating hours
It’s crucial that you fill out all of this information. Don’t leave anything out, as long as it’s relevant to your business.
But it goes beyond your name, phone number, and address. That’s usually the basics that most companies do, and you can go a step further.
Include a description of your business. You can use what’s on your company website, although shorten it up if it’s too long. Add professional photos of your business, your product, yourself, employees, or a combination of all.
Select a category for your business and be specific. There are more specific categories than “restaurant,” for example, so always choose the one that’s clearest and most niche.
Get Reviews (Preferably Good Ones)
Around 84% of people trust online reviews as much as their friends’ recommendations. That’s saying something (depending on who your friends are).
So it’s important to garner positive reviews from your local customers. We’ve been talking about Google, so yes, make sure that they’re reviewing your business on Google. But people search for local businesses in other ways, including:
- Yellow Pages
You want to encourage your customers (probably when you’re sure they’ve had positive experiences) to review you. Spread the reviews around, too.
Craft Locally Optimized Content
If you want people to find you locally, then you need to create local content that is relevant to them. This means that you should be creating web pages and writing blog posts for content that is connected to your area.
If there is a way to tie what you do (or your industry) to local happenings, then that is ideal. But sometimes, being part of your community means being active in it.
Consider writing content that has to do with local news, events, etc. People are constantly searching for lots of information that is local to them, so it’s a good idea to be a source to them.
Plus, search engines always prefer websites that are active and consistently producing new content. It’s a win-win either way you look at it.
Your Local SEO Solution
In an increasingly competitive landscape, local SEO marketing is more important than ever. Sometimes, vying for people’s attention on a national (or even global) scale is too much to handle.
That’s why local searches are so crucial and why you need to master it as best as you possibly can. If you feel like you need more local marketing advice or would like to see how Arvig Media can help, feel free to contact us right away!