Local Search Marketing
Increasing advances and improvements have made local search engine results more relevant than ever. When you’re browsing online for restaurants or hot shopping spots, you want results that are relevant to your geographical location. Google recognizes consumer demand for this relevancy and is working hard to become more local. With that being said, it would be foolish for businesses to downplay the importance of local search. A focus on your local search efforts means taking a close look at your campaign in specific geographical locations. As a small business owner, your recognition on the Internet relies on how well you do in local search results. Even on a nationwide level, a corporation, such as World Gym, can greatly benefit from ranking higher on local search results.
Improving Your Results
There are simple steps that you can take to improve your local search results. First, take advantage of free local Yahoo! and Yellow Pages business listings. You can make sure that your business is listed in other local business directories and listings from your local Chamber of Commerce. When it comes to keeping your website updated, always make sure to include your address and local telephone number, along with an 800 number. This way, customers and search engine results can easily tell exactly where you’re located. Local SEO efforts will also be appreciated in the long run. It can be as simple as adding your city to title pages and including in keywords and while link building.
What the Future Holds
Local search will only get more accurate with time. Earlier this year, Google has even begun to add pictures to their local search result pages. While this will help put local businesses on the map, it means This means that businesses will have another task of monitoring their activity on local search results and websites. If that’s not enough for you to keep up with, there’s much more. Twitter’s search engine allows users to search in real time. When local search is integrated with real time technology, who knows what the future holds!
How to Take Advantage
Large corporations may have a bigger brand presence on social media sites but that doesn’t mean that small businesses cannot also benefit. Setting up a Facebook page for your business is a cost effective way to keep up with the latest customer trends. Facebook is an easy to use forum which allows customers easy access to upcoming news or events. Additionally, creating a strong online presence can help you rank better in search engine results and bring more relevant traffic to your site. An example of a small business that uses Facebook to its maximum potential is the Beverly Hills based Sprinkles Cupcakes. Founder Charles Nelson relies on building buzz through the Sprinkles Facebook page instead of traditional paid marketing efforts.
Stay Connected with Your Fans
Sprinkles uses Facebook to create a unique and engaging
relationship with their fans. They have even come up with a fun code system which gives the first customers with the secret phrase of the day the opportunity to get free treats! This is a great way to build word of mouth advertising, as well as bring customers to the store. A part of social networking sites is being just that, “social” – and being active can help small businesses succeed in this area. The key is to engage customers by providing help and insight or offering incentives and other promotions. By having a Facebook page, you can monitor the good and bad that is being said about your business. This is better than knowing nothing at all about how your company is perceived. It is even an effective tool that will give you the opportunity to fix those problems.
Using Other User-Friendly Sites
Local references and review sites are popular amongst customers who are looking to try new things. Yelp and Yahoo! Local Listings are perfect examples of these popular sites. Although there are many social networking sites out there, it is important to practice restraint and don’t overdo your efforts. Like any other investment, it takes patience to see a return on your hard work. Whether it is Facebook or any of these other sites, the key to strong staying power is steady maintenance of your page. It is foolish to put in numerous hours one day and then completely stop your efforts. Instead, view it as a long-term project and set aside a couple minutes every other day to monitor your growth.
We had a great turnout for our event last week. Please contact us if you’d like to be on our mailing list of free workshops. The next event will be held in early January. You can view a short video recap of the event here and also see the slides from the event below.
I’m currently putting together a presentation for an event we’re hosting in Los Angeles on November 12th in a few weeks that will discuss blogging, local search engines, social bookmarking, and how to monitor your business and was inspired to post this blog about blogging. If you’re new to blogging these links will be very helpful. I’d sign up to follow these blogs so you can see some successful bloggers in action.
You might also want to follow a few blogs that relate to your business so you can see what others in your space are doing.
Here’s a list of what to look out for when you’re observing these bloggers.
- Use of catchy headlines
- Links to other sites and blogs from within content
- Free downloads and how they capture your email
- How often they post
- Comments – post a link back to your blog if you can in the comments field (Start commenting on other blogs!)
- Ad-ons (what else do they have on their blogs that add value to the user experience – twitter feed, list of users, advertisers, links to other social media sites such as Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon)
And lastly I’d start putting together a list of ideas for your own blog. Thanks for reading! Please feel free to post some blogs you’ve found helpful.
We will be offering a free search marketing workshop on November 12th for business owners in the Los Angeles area. We will be covering the following topics: blogging, local search engines, social bookmarking, and ways to monitor your business on the Internet
Lunch will be provided along with FREE blog hosting and setup for all attendees.
Please click here to RSVP and find out all the details. We look forward to seeing you!