In this day and age, search marketing is essential for any business that relies heavily (or entirely) on customers in the local area. Google, Yahoo and Bing all now display local results when generic search terms are entered, and searches with local intent are becoming increasingly common.
Mobile searches have now overtaken those from desktop and an online survey from Ipsos found that 88 percent of smartphone users conduct local searches. Moreover, 56 percent of all searches carried out “on the go” have local intent. With that in mind, if you run a local business, here are five search marketing tactics you should adopt.
1. Claim a Google ‘My Business’ Page
When you seek advice on local marketing strategy from a search marketing agency, one of the first things they will tell you is to claim your Google My Business page. This is a free business listing tool, which allows you to feature your business name, address, phone number and so on. It also links with Google Maps, making your premises easier to find.
2. Research and Target Local Keywords
Keywords play a key role in SEO and this applies to local search too. Use Google AdWords or other web analytics tools to identify local keywords in your niche, or search terms being used to find your site. Be strategic in your approach and try to include your location + a keyword on your website’s title tags, URLs, page content and image ALT tags. This will help your website to be indexed in search engines against the correct location, services and specialisms.
3. Be Consistent With Your N-A-P
Another tactic that will be stressed by any SEO expert you speak to is to be consistent with your name, address and phone number, or N-A-P. This should appear in the exact same format everywhere, from your Google My Business page, to your social media sites, to your own website, where it should ideally feature on every page.
4. Consider Creating an App
Until recently, it was unnecessary for most businesses to create their own app, but it is now beneficial to do so. Since last year, Google has displayed app suggestions within SERPs and apps have emerged as a ranking factor. In addition, a Criteo study found that retail apps produce better conversion rates than mobile optimized websites.
5. Encourage Online Customer Reviews
Finally, a great way to boost local SEO is by delivering great service and encouraging customers to leave feedback. Sites like Google+ and Yelp allow customers to leave reviews, and positive reviews can boost your search rankings. As a bonus, Nielsen research shows 92 percent of people trust third-party opinions more than traditional advertising.