At one time the winners of local search were those who were the most prominent ones in their locations. Today local search is more complex and involves more details to make sure your business has the best possible visibility online.
The following strategies will help elevate your local search results:
1. Gain Market Visibility
Since Google wants to rank the best and the most popular businesses in every town, it’s a good strategy to make sure Google is aware of your company’s popularity. Building popularity both online and offline is important for being favored in local search results. The more talked about your business is both online and offline, the better chances it has to be ranked higher in local search.
2. Create Community Events
Free events including seminars at your office are ways to get mentioned by the media without paying for advertising. When you organize a local event make sure you notify relevant local media outlets which each try to be a source of local events for their audiences. You can promote events by handing out and posting flyers that also promote your website.
3. Create Local Content
In order to do well in local search you should create content that is relevant to your local region. The more web pages you can create about your local scene, the more you will likely show up in local search which is particularly important to businesses with physical locations. Creating local content is also valuable to establishing your position as a local authority. Offering content about history of your industry in your local market can help attract local traffic.
4. Local Blended Search
Name, address and phone (NAP) still is very important to local search but you should go well beyond basic listings if you want real visibility in search engines. Blended search is the combination of many types of media listings, such as websites, blogs, videos and social media profiles. Developing a blended search strategy helps search engines learn more about your business through multimedia. Press releases to news sites can also help build your online following.
5. Develop a Strong Reputation
Your online reputation will flourish more if you provide free and valuable content. The key to web popularity is providing users with the content they are searching for and fresh content that no one else can provide. By being a leader in reporting solutions and information about your niche, you will develop credibility which may reflect in search results since Google seeks sites with authority and popularity.
6. Use Outbound Marketing
You can build even your online following using traditional media advertising. Usually the most expensive forms of advertising are effective at reaching large audiences. Outbound marketing is any type of marketing that involves reaching out to target viewers or listeners in an interruptive way as opposed to a permission-based manner. Outbound marketing is still effective at bringing a business new prospects or elevating brand awareness.
7. Explore PPC
Pay-per-click (PPC) has become a low cost and effective way to reach online targeted audiences. The most popular PPC platform is Google’s Ad Words in which users pay for ads only when they are clicked. Facebook has also developed an effective PPC platform that lets you customize ads for different market segments.
8. Optimize Sites for Mobile
Due to the rising popularity of mobile internet, it’s a good idea to cater to mobile users which tend to comprise warm leads for local businesses. You can either create a special additional site for mobile users or have one cross-platform site that presents web pages and images the same way even on mobile devices which need to access simple web pages that do not use up much bandwidth. Responsive web design has been the most powerful solution for mobile optimization.
9. Follow Google Updates
Reading forums by experts such as David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal can keep you up to date on Google updates to their local search algorithms. Google is constantly refining its local search but also needs to improve its customer relations. Service providers should attend LocalU to stay on the cutting edge of industry trends.
10. Analyze Your Stats
Since collecting web data is so simple you should monitor as much data as possible to learn about your site’s user behavior. Web monitoring tools such as LogMyCalls and CallRail can be integrated with websites to track the most important business data. Use the information to learn about your customers and warm leads so that you can refine your marketing campaigns.