As Google has made efforts to make its search platform more responsive to local queries, businesses have been presented with a lucrative new channel through which they can reach a local audience. When it comes to local marketing, most business professionals think of traditional media: billboards, newspaper ads, local TV spots and direct mail. These days, however, consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet to discover new businesses, including those in their local area.
Smart businesses understand this and are supplementing their traditional media campaigns with targeted search strategies to become more visible to those prospective consumers. Assuming you're already implementing SEO and SEM strategies to promote your business, the localized approach is easy to integrate. Here are some tips and strategies to optimize your local campaigns.
1. Build Location into Your Keyword Strategy
If you've done work developing any type of digital strategy, you likely have collected research and insights that indicate the most valuable keywords related to your business. Localizing keywords is easy because of the way we understand consumer queries.
A home construction company, for example, might target keywords such as "residential home construction" or "home construction company." Thus, the localized keyword becomes "Denver residential home construction" or "home construction company in Denver." The city's name alerts Google that the search is location-specific, which completely changes the context of the targeted search.
2. Get Listed on Local-Oriented Directories
A number of online directories cater to local queries and local consumers. Your business needs to be part of these directories. Some will try to add you automatically. Websites such as Yelp and Google, for example, strive to be comprehensive in their offerings. Other directories may depend on small business owners adding themselves in order to increase awareness.
Yelp, for example, is a major influencer in the restaurant community, but they also provide listings and user ratings for other business as well. Google is a one-stop shop for consumers who are seeking any local business, so the more developed your business listing is, the better. You can also opt to take over the ownership of your Google business list, which will give you the freedom to update your information, post photos and relevant links and even feature coupons and other promotions through the page.
3. Integrate Location into Your Social Profiles
Most businesses understand the value of maintaining a social presence. If you're targeting local consumers, it's important to present yourself as a local, accessible operation. Regardless of whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or other social networks, you should provide as much local information as you can. On Facebook, for example, you can display your city and state, street address, phone number and hours of operation. All this appears near the top of your profile page and helps consumers find your information. Just as importantly, local info is displayed for search engines, which improves your search visibility.
By implementing these local strategy considerations, your company should become more visible in online searches and slowly build its online reputation as a local leader within your industry.