Local Search Marketing – Attract Local Customers That Are Ready To Buy From You
The key to success with local search marketing is visibility in your market area. The internet is a big place, so search engines like Google work hard to help searchers find what they are looking for. As a business owner, it should be your goal to make it as easy as possible for customers to find you. You can do this for your local search marketing by carefully completing the SEO or search engine optimization strategy for your site. This includes structuring your site, optimizing it, and generally promoting your website and getting backlinks so Google will rank it high in the results where it will be seen by your customers.
To get good placement in the local search marketing results you need good on-page SEO as well as good off-page SEO. On-page SEO includes all the elements that you have the full ability to control, including the layout of your website, using clean code and CSS, navigation, content, and attention to critical HTML meta-tags and internal linking. (Don’t understand all this stuff? Don’t worry, just subscribe to my free newsletter!)
Off-page SEO consists of elements that benefit your website ranking but are substantially out of your control like links that appear on other websites and point back to your site. Because these external links are more difficult to get and you have very limited control, if any at all, they are more trusted as a neutral or third-party “vote” for your site, so they have more importance and carry greater weight with the search engines to influence your ranking in a positive way.
Link Building Is The Key To High Page 1 Rankings for Local Search Marketing
Link building is usually the most difficult task to accomplish, but it is also the most important element to rank well in the search index, so this cannot be ignored. Basically, you need links to all of the pages in your site, and lots of them. Additionally, you need links from diverse sources. This means links originating from blogs, articles, social media, videos, profiles, RSS feeds, etc. There are many sources of links available to you, and the best results are achieved by using a balanced mixture of all of them.
Link velocity is also important. Ideally, you want to build links to your site steadily and continuously over time. Although the more links you get the higher you are likely to rise in the search engines, it is important that the links be built gradually and naturally rather than by using automated software or other tricks that can build links with blinding speed but may get your site banned from the index. Slow and steady wins this race.
How many links you really need for local search marketing depends upon the competition in your market and the competition for a specific keyword phrase. You see, as you type in a search phrase into any search engine, the search results change depending upon the search phrase. So if you search for “plumber Atlanta Ga.”, you will get different results than if you search for “Atlanta Plumber”. They may have some similar listings, but they will be different.
Assuming all your on-page SEO is done properly, for the first example you may need 2,000 links to compete with the #1 site, and for the second example, you may only need 30 links. Now this is just an example with numbers I made up to illustrate the point. For free search traffic, you must choose the specific phrase you wish to rank for, then simply do whatever is necessary to appear for that phrase. If that phrase is very competitive, it may take many months or years to rise to the top of the rankings, not to mention a substantial investment in your SEO link building team.
Conversely, you can also choose easier keyword phrases that you can quickly and affordably dominate to generate profitable customer traffic. I will leave the specific research methods for another SEO article, but just know that all of this can be easily researched, measured, and you can set specific goals based upon the amount of time and/or money you want to invest into your website promotion and your online business.
Beyond Local Search Marketing – Connect With Your Customers Repeatedly
Once your site is live on the Internet, your SEO is in-place, and your external link-building campaign is in progress, you are ready to take advantage of other promotion methods to drive local web traffic. It has been written by the great minds in advertising that it takes contact with your customer 7 times before they are likely to take action on your offers. So, now we can use the many tools the internet offers to be sure we connect with them in many ways over time. Every business has competitors. You must be the one they remember when they need what you sell. To do this we commonly use both free and paid tools for local search marketing like these:
- Google Maps – Get a free page one listing and a map to your place of business.
- Email Marketing – Connect free with prospects and turn them into customers over time
- Facebook – Offers free and paid ways to connect with your customers (and it’s BIGGER than Google!)
- Google Adwords – Paid ads on Google Search network
- Google Content Network – Paid ads on other local sites
- Yahoo Paid Advertising – Free organic listings and paid search and display ads
- Bing Paid Advertising – Free organic listings and paid search and display ads
- Media buys and Placement ads – Paid ads on sites you choose
- Forum Commenting – Network where your customers hang-out and make your company the one they remember.
- Plenty of other advertising and local search marketing opportunities, too!
Local Search Marketing Is The Key To Success On The Internet For Any Local Business
As you can see there is no shortage of ways to get the word out to your customers with local search marketing. If they can’t find your business when they are ready to buy, they will call your competitor. A high-ranking online presence in search engines and on popular websites is the best way to be sure they call you for the sale.
To learn more about creating your site, getting more traffic, and connecting with local customers, use the free resources on this site or if you prefer an inexpensive done-for-you alternative, you can check out our SEO packages that provide professional management for generating traffic for your website. Internet marketing is here to stay, so why not claim that local search marketing traffic before your competitor does?