If you have a business that relies on its physical presence, local search marketing is something you can’t afford to ignore. This was already true to some extent several years ago, but the various platforms involved in this ecosystem have evolved significantly since then, and it’s now something that most of your customers will expect by default. It can take some time and effort to get everything set up at first, but the resulting benefits will more than make up for that.
What Is Local Search Marketing?
If you’ve ever opened Google Maps and used a search phrase like “accountants near me”, you’ve already used local search marketing in one form. Google has taken this concept and extended it further in recent years, and as a result, searching for certain queries in their regular search engine now also produces local business results as top suggestions. It’s important to take advantage of this as much as you can, as it’s basically free advertising space right at the top of Google’s search results.
We keep referencing Google in this, but it’s important to remember that other search providers like Bing have also been pushing forward with the development of their own equivalents. It’s crucial to target all popular search engines if you want to maximize your exposure.
Who Can Benefit from This?
Local search marketing makes sense for businesses with an actual physical presence. But they’re not the only ones who can benefit from it. If you, for example, run an online store that’s specifically targeted at a small area, you can also take advantage of local search marketing listings to promote your services. Businesses with multiple stores can also see good results from this, allowing them to provide additional exposure for some of their less popular locations.
Getting started is very easy – you just have to submit your business listing at each search engine you want to get exposure in. If you’ve been on the market for a while, you may already have a listing in Google. In that case, you’ll have to claim it by providing the necessary proof of ownership.
Regular SEO Is Still Important
For this to work properly, you still have to leverage classic SEO tactics to ensure your exposure stays as high as possible. Google and other search engines still pay attention to the regular ranking of your website, which is affected by numerous factors like the age of your domain and the ranking of sites linking to you. Working with an SEO specialist who understands all components of local search marketing is important – simply having your business listed is far from enough to get the exposure you’re probably looking for.
The sooner you get started with this, the better. Like any SEO, it will take a while for the effects to become noticeable. You must maintain an organized approach to this throughout and ensure that you pay attention to any deviations from your expected results.