Does your small business cater to local customers? If so, it’s important that you localize your website & your internet marketing so that customers in your area can easily find you when they’re looking for your products and services online.
Topping search engine result pages in your local area is more then possible if you understand and employ search engine marketing tactics with your locality in mind.
22 Local Marketing Tips For Small Business
- Use Get Listed to find out your current local search engine situation. Get Listed is a really simple tool that checks the major local search engines and tells you if you’re there. If you’re not there you can go submit yourself right from the dashboard.
- Make sure to claim your listing on all major Local Search platforms: Google Maps, Yahoo! Local & Bing Local. This is an obvious and easy way to increase your local exposure. We have all used a search tool that has given results with a map and indicator dots on related business locations. If you would like to come up for these types of local searches, carefully submit for these specialized location based results. The search engines will often request some sort of verification through call back or traditional mail and pin verification.
- Submit your listing to the major data providers: infoUSA, Localeze and UniversalBusinessListing.org. These sites submit to multiple data providers and power many online directories.
- Hand submit to some of the bigger local directories & merchant sites such as Best of the Web Local, Local.com, MerchantCircle, Bizjournals.com, Yellowpages.com, Superpages and InsiderPages. These provide added exposure to consumers and serve as a reference-source for major local search engines to verify and link business listings information. Getting listed in these directories will not only improve your presence in the local market, but will also help you gain more quality backlinks to your website.
- Make sure that your listings are consistent. Always provide the same name, address and phone number to avoid any confusion.
- When listing your business use a full street address, not a PO Box. These are worthless for localized search.
- Always list a local phone number. While an 800 number is nice, local number will be more indicative of your location.
- Include as much information as possible and make sure to use correct data. Company description & categories are crucial – make sure to include your most important keywords here.
- Include photos, videos and throw in a little extra (such as current coupons or specials) – this will make your listing more attractive and help it stand out.
- Ask your past customers for reviews. You can point them to your listing after a successful project completion, through monthly newsletter or simply via email signature. These reviews, good or bad, make your business more creditable to future customers.
- Don’t just submit local search business listings; actively manage over time. Make appropriate updates when a location moves, keep pictures up to date, etc.
- Submit to Yelp! and CitySearch – these are popular local search engines that allow for reviews and so should be managed closely. These listings will also count as a quality inbound link for search and can be useful to increase your search ranking.
- Include your address and local phone number on all pages of your website to re-enforce your geographic location to both your visitors and search engines.
- Use location-based keywords while optimizing your website for the search engines.
- List the areas/cities your business serves on your website, if possible.
- Get citations to improve your local search engine rankings. When it comes to local search, one of the most important things you can do is to build the quantity of references around the web which contain some or all of the following information: name, address, phone & website. Each citation that you get around the web on reputable websites counts in favor of your legitimate membership in that geo-location.
- Guest post and comment on local blogs. Find blogs that target the local community, and become an active member on them.
- Become members with at least one local chamber of commerce. This is a great way to establish credibility and become a member of your local business community. Once you have this membership, make sure that your listing on the chamber website is a direct link to your website. Chambers of commerce are considered to be local experts, and their link to you is a valuable one.
- Get active on social networks. Social media can be very important for local results so sign up for Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter (depending on your niche). When creating a profile include your location & link to your main website. When updating your status be mindful of localized search words to gain extra exposure in the social media results sections of search engines.
- Build links locally
It’s estimated that 30 to 40 percent of all search is made with local intent so understanding how local search works can be a huge advantage. Also, search engines are localizing their results even without an implicit request for locality.
Properly executed localized SEO of your website coupled with a strategic localized search engine marketing should help you dominate search engine results in your locality with ease.