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A comprehensive guide to local search engine marketing

What is local search marketing?

Did you know that about 72% of the consumers who perform local search actually visit a store within five miles? In the age of digital marketing, the importance of local search engine strategy is unavoidable. It is more than what we often hear the digital marketers call as local SEO. Local search engine marketing is a more integrated approach where the digital marketers make a campaign based on the local business in a way they can place the brands in the local map for the consumers when they search for it online.

Local search marketing is a form of search engine optimization that helps local businesses show up in relevant local searches.

How Does Local Search Marketing Work?

To establish a proper local search presence, you’ll need to enhance your internet information so that search engines recognize your company (and eventually help the consumers to easily find all the information to help them make an apprized choice). To make the most of the local search, companies must inform search engines everything related that can help them appear in the right searches.

How are you going to do it?

Simple. Let the experts of Local Search Marketing take care of it.

They will tell you how important it is let the search engine know what you do and where you are, along with proving the correct, consistent NAPU (name, address, phone number, URL) which are absolutely essential for the online directories.  This consistent data will demonstrate to the search engine that it can trust your company. With inconsistent and incorrect information about your business on these directories will most definitely impact your online business’s trust negatively.

For the new business, you have to create new profiles; but for the ones that has been around for quite a while, the following pages need to be verified –

  • Google My Business
  • Bing Places for Business
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo!
  • Yelp

That done, understand this is not enough. Neither Google nor Bing takes this information as the absolute truth. They also look for information from four main sources which are –

Infogroup, Localeze, Acxiom, and Factual. These four sources get their information from various sources for local SEO which means if your business information is not consistent in all these directories, it will confuse the search engine.

Choose the Right Categories

However, this is only a small part of what search engines need to know about your company. They also require proper categorization. Don’t forget to include relevant categories for your company. Also, be as explicit as you can.

When adding categories to Google My Business, for example, “restaurant” is far too broad. You should describe the type of restaurant you own. Try using the “pizza delivery” category if you run a pizza delivery service so Google knows to include your business in “pizza delivery” searches when local customers are looking for the same. You must be specific in order for the search engine to understand exactly what you do. This will improve your company’s visibility in relevant searches.

Who Needs Local SEO?

The following industries require local search engine marketing:

  • Any company that has a physical location where clients can visit (this can include cafes, pubs, various service offices such as lawyer’s chambers and grocery stores)
  • Any company that caters to a certain geographic area (restaurants or some delivery shops)
  • Business which provide service by traveling to their consumers (can be plumbers, physiotherapists and locksmiths)

Local Search Marketing is an absolutely crucial step if your business falls in any of the above categories.

The Benefits of Local Search Marketing

Because local SEO favors smaller companies over larger players, local search engine marketing is often the most prominent digital marketing steps for gaining clients (and that converts to more money).

According to Access study, 92% of consumers only drive 20 minutes or less to get their daily necessities. Because search engines are aware of this, they use a set of local SEO ranking variables for searches that:

  • Include a place, such as a town, city, or zip code
  • Include the phrase “near me” in the content
  • It’s possible to connect it to smartphone GPS data

The act of persuading search engines that your business should appear in the results for these location-based searches is an important part of local SEO marketing.

How to Do Local SEO Marketing?

Once the GMB account is set up, the next step would be to look at each search engine ranking factor and make Google understand why your business deserves the search by-

  • the keyword search
  • various citations and other online mentions
  • listing in the directories
  • a strong review in your profile
  • optimized website
  • local link building
  • creating new content

What are the six most important parts of local SEO?

Local search engine marketing is definitely one of the most strategic options for developing a digital marketing campaign in 2021 and beyond. Recent study showed about 46% of the Google searches have local intent. In all these searches, there is a practical term which defines the local intent – ‘near me’.

Local SEO focuses on optimizing local brick-and-mortar companies that have certain geo qualifiers – city, zip code, and the obvious “near me” searches that give services in a certain area.

According to Forbes, 95% of smartphone users use their device to conduct local searches, with 61% calling the business and 59% visiting.

Given these figures, it’s easy to conclude that leads generated by location-based searches account for a significant portion of potential customers, and that amount is likely to rise year after year.

As these searches are from people who specifically look for a product or service at a very specified location, there’s generally a higher conversion rate.

Local SEO elements that will leave an impact in the digital marketing strategy-

Google Local Packs

Local 3-pack is similar to a map that displays search results based on the user’s query, as well as a three-item list of businesses that includes their Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP). The amount of businesses visible on the Local Pack allows mobile phone users to determine the distance between local businesses. Aside from the filters and maps, the user can see a list of businesses, each with review ratings, office hours, a phone number, and a call to action.

Local Teaser

Local teaser is much similar to local pack that makes it almost invisible to the users. The local pack displays the top three results together with the company’s NAP, website, reviews, and call to action, whereas the local teaser displays the company’s short description without an address or phone number, as well as no links to the website or directions. Users are provided detailed information to help them decide whether or not to use the business’s service; they may even filter local results by pricing, rating, and other amenities.

The local teaser advantages you as a business owner because the local pack does not include all of the information about your company. And this is the main reason why Google divided the local pack and the local teaser. Google began to notice that its consumers wanted additional information about local stores, and thus the local teaser was born.

Schema Markup

In SERPs, Schema Markup can help you acquire a lot of traction and a competitive advantage. They aid in the display of data that is unique to a certain firm and appears as a single entity across all SERPs. Most businesses, whether they are doctors, small eateries, electronics stores, or something else, employ schema markup to help build rich snippets for their websites.

However, there are a few rules to follow in order to get rich snippets from Google. To begin with, they state that the schema must not be spammy in any way. To avoid this, make sure that your page’s markup corresponds to the user’s intent.

Common formats of schema mark up –

  • The standard schema microdata which is included in the HTML is considered the simplest format
  • JSON-LD uses JavaScript to implement it and is often the most recommended format
  • RDFa is the other type that includes XML, HTML4, SVG, and others.
Long Tail keywords

Your users are unlikely to search for exact terms all of the time. To discover the correct service or product to meet their demands, they might input a long inquiry or a series of sentences. As a business owner, you must always remember that your customers will have inquiries beginning with how, when, where, which, and so on. To answer them, there are a variety of tools available online that can help you understand the main potential queries. You may design individual web pages based on these questions that address your consumers’ particular questions.

According to the experts, if you are using a VPN, it will be easier to find the right set of keywords, specially when you are working on projects of another country.

Online Directories

Local companies had many traditional options to list their business for PR purposes a decade ago. Advertisements in local newspapers, print marketing, telemarketing, and television commercials were among them.

In today’s digital age, there are a variety of places where a business can be listed to increase traffic and revenue.

You can begin by selecting the appropriate listing platform for your business type. Online directories are the most effective and cost-effective approach to promote your company online. It is not a smart idea to list your company in every potential directory just to get your name out there on the internet.

Select the major ones to include your business name and information of which Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook are really impactful.

What to include in the list of the online dictionary?

  • Business Name
  • Address
  • Contact Number
  • Website URL
  • Description
  • Categories
  • Taglines
  • Images
  • Present Social Profiles
  • Any other additional media
  • Certification
  • Associations
  • Attributes

Citations and directories are effective ways to promote your company since their quality, consistency, and reach influence your local search engine ranking, traffic, and transactions. Because of the importance of a listing, it is critical that you list your company correctly.

Voice Search SEO

Asking Google to find the nearest salon, nearest theatre, nearest everything practically is no more a new thing. The ability to get your answer via voice search has become embedded in our daily lives. However, how does it help with local SEO?

According to researches, smartphones are used for the majority of local searches, and 18% of those searches are converted within a day. Also, there is a significant local intent in mobile searches (around 87%).

The biggest reason you should adjust your local SEO strategy is that customers see local searches differently online. Some things to consider when optimizing your business for voice search include:

  • Optimizing your content based on the purpose of the user
  • Convert your inquiries into inquiry phrases.
  • Answer questions in a concise manner.
  • Long-tail keywords should be targeted.
  • Make sure your website is quick, safe, and mobile-friendly, and that your Google My Business profile is comprehensive.

Why Local SEO Is Vital for Your Business

Local SEO makes your business stand out – even if you don’t have a website – and helps online leads generate more traffic to your location. Because these leads come from people who are explicitly looking for the items or services that your company provides, you may expect a high conversion rate.

Local searches have a seen a rise, with 4 out of 5 consumers now utilizing search engines to locate local information, and 70% of consumers visiting a real store as a result of search result information.

Local SEO also aids in influencing people’s decisions in your favor. The more information people know about your company before they come, the more reliable you are.

What are the Key Local SEO Ranking Factors?

According to Google, the three most essential factors are:

Relevance – This is the degree to which people’s searches correspond to a local listing. Adding more information about your business can help Google better understand it and relate your listing to the most search queries.

Distance – The distance between each possible business and the search terms. If a consumer does not indicate a location in their search, Google will compute the distance based on the information available about their location.Prominence – how well-known a company is, based on information Google has about it from various sources on the internet (like links, articles and directories). The number and quality of Google reviews are also taken into account when determining a business’s local search position; more reviews and good ratings will boost a company’s local ranking.

How Top It Marketing can help?

  • Local SEO audits and strategic planning, data management, local marketing campaigns, and content are just a few of the services Top It Marketing offer:
  • Google My Business – Ensure that your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) is consistent across any online directories where you’ve registered. If there are any inconsistencies, Google is likely to exclude your company from the Local Pack.
  • Signals on the Page – List all of the information that consumers want to know about your company, including locations, services, and address – and double-check that it matches what’s on your Google My Business listing.
Citations from the NAP

A local citation occurs when your business is referenced on a third-party website (such as a blog, article, or review site). This might include your company’s name, address, or phone number. It is not necessary to have a backlink to your website.

Localized Content Blogs

These are an excellent way to integrate regionally relevant topics that may not fit into your website landing pages. Page content, title tags, meta descriptions, and picture tags can all benefit from localization.

Online Reviews

If you acquire positive ratings or reviews in the hospitality industry, you can improve your Google ranking. This is likely to spread to other industries in the future, therefore incorporating positive reviews and testimonials into your company directory entry and on other sites is critical to obtaining traction. When ranking local businesses, Google will take into account the number of reviews you have. While the search engine crawler doesn’t care if they’re positive or bad, the content itself will have an impact on your customers, traffic, conversions, and money.

Local Backlinks

They assist you in obtaining backlinks from local publications, local directories, distributors, and suppliers.

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