1. What is Local Search Marketing?
Local Search Marketing is a highly effective way of attracting motivated buying customers and putting them in front of your products and services.
Most people when looking for a product or service want to find a local business to help them solve a problem. Attracting new business here means that we are connecting with the customers who are more likely to spend money with your business.
Traditional ‘paper directories’ advertising is now defunct with the majority of savvy consumers now searching online from their desktops and with their smart phones. Local SEO companies like Blend Local Search Marketing PTE Ltd employ a wide variety of proven online strategies that including, Google My Business, 3rd Party Review sites and Directory listings (managed with our partners, YEXT) and Video Marketing to ensure it’s your company that gets founds time and time again by local customers.
2. What is a Local Search?
There are 2 types of local search queries. The first is conducted by simply adding a geo-targeted location modifier to the search term (a city, town or post/zip code). Lets assume you go to Google and type in the phrase ‘local search marketing in London’. The results will show local search marketing companies in the London area.
The second type of local search is known as an ‘implicit local search’. The person searching does not use a location modifier in their search but the search engine assumes the search is local in nature and uses information associated with their account, IP address, location or smart phone to return local search results. For example, if you were in the area Gainesville GA. and did a search for ‘Orthodontists’, Google would automatically return results related to your location and not an Orthodontist in Timbuktu.
3. How Can My Business Be Found in Local Search
One of the ways to get your business seen by hungry customers in local search is to claim and set-up your business listings on Google My Business, Bing, Qype, Wampit, Citysearch, Brownbook, Yelp and up to 50 other online business directories.
Most of these listings are free to claim but most businesses set them up completely wrong, or not at all so that they do not receive the benefits of connecting to their target market. Once you have claimed them you need to compete each section fully with the same information paying particular attention to your business Name, Address, Phone number (NAP’s), website URL and primary keywords that your ideal customer would use to find you.
You can also add additional information like your opening times, brands and payment methods.
4. Why is it Important to Claim My Local Business Listings?
It’s very important to claim your local business listings such as Google My Business so:
- No one else hijacks your web presence
- You will also have full control over your brand, messages and content on the web
- It ensures the search engines find the correct information about your business and delivers targeted results to your prospects
- Improve your rank in SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages)
- People looking for where you are located can easily find you
5. How Long Will it Take To Get My Google My business Listing Live?
When we implement a local search marketing strategy for any business, the Google My Business listing is actually the last listing we claim and complete in Phase II. This is because we claim around 50 local business listings and complete them fully with all your company’s information first. We do this to help you connect with your target market 98% of business fail to structure the set up correctly so they get poor results here.
We also produce a video and include more business information in the uploaded description and claim your listing with the two major data aggregators. The search engines verify your company details online use these 2 data sources.
Once we have completed all these tasks we claim your Google My Pusiness page. Once claimed Google needs to verify the listing and currently sends the business owner a postcard with a verification code. This can take 2 or 3 weeks to arrive by snail mail. Once we receive the code we can set your Google My Business page live.
6. What Makes a Great Local Search Listing?
There are three key components that will make your local search-listing stand head and shoulders above the rest.
- Accuracy of Data: Your business information across all your 3rd party review sites, directories and local search listings has to be accurate and consistent. Particular attention to detail should be applied to your business name, address, post/zip code (NAP’s) and website information.
- A Complete Listing: Every field in your local listing should be fully completed. This includes videos, photos (named with your keywords), opening times and business description. By completing all sections of your listing not only provides more information for the search engines to deliver better results but gives the searcher more information about your business. Once again, most businesses get this wrong because they do not understand the process of creating a targeted listing that matches the customers needs.
- Keep your Listing up to Date: Keep you coupons and ‘special offers’ seasonally fresh to convert searchers in to customers at a higher rate. Also remember to update your opening times and manage and respond to any comments or questions. We would also encourage you to visit the page monthly so Google now’s you care.
7. How Do I Get Reviews On My Local Listings?
Reviews matter and will make a big difference that will result in higher rankings for your local listings if you have them. They provide third party information for the search engines and customers alike.
- The best place to start to acquire reviews for your local listings is to simply ask for them from your current happy customers and/or patients who are pleased with the services you provide to them. With new customers, ask them for favorable reviews of your business towards the end of the buying experience or treatment plan. You can provide them with a link to your listings to make it easy for them to leave a comment or review.
- Request an ABC Review Strategy from us. We will produce a custom package targeted at your customers or patients using the top five 3rd party review sites that will yield you the best results.
- If you send out emails place the listing link in your signature section and ask the recipient to write a review. If you have an Autoresponder series or newsletter you can do this too but vary the local listing on each mailing to keep it fresh and spread your reviews out on different listings.
- If you engage your customers with Social Media like Facebook Pages and twitter, you can provide links to your listing on your page or in your tweets and invite your fans to click the link and write a review.
Never create fake reviews. You’ll get rumbled and not only will it look bad for your business but it will erode the trust factor you should be building between yourself and your customers.
8. Can Social Media Be Used For Local Search?
With the constant changes in Google’s algorithm, there are now huge benefits for using social media such as Twitter and Facebook in your local search SEO strategy.
If you have claimed your Facebook Page for your business you should be directing your customers to ‘Like’ the page. Ideally you should have a Facebook ‘Contact Us’ button so your ‘fans’ can easily contact you and you can have a dialogue with them to further your marketing opportunities.
Once someone has given your page a ‘Like’ you should engage with them and provide value and interest around your business and local community. Post on your wall on a regular basis and always include your keywords, hashtags and location modifiers in your posts. You’ll soon start to notice these posts in SERP’s.
Twitter is another powerful tool for local search marketing. If you use an external management system to automate your tweets you can target keywords and fellow tweeters in specific areas. This will allow you to build a list of targeted followers on twitter that you can drive to your website many times a day with your tweets.
Many people forget that Youtube is not only the second biggest search engine on the planet but it is also a social network.
You can upload your videos to Youtube and ensure you have a good description, keywords and at least one link back to your website. See our blog post Video Marketing 101 if you want to know how to do this. (If you are a local business, remember to include you company name, address, telephone number NAP’s and website URL too). Engage with your viewers by leaving comments on their channels and allow them to do the same. Send out friend request and subscribe to similar channels to your own.
You should also post your videos on your website, Facebook Page, Twitter, Pinterest boards and Google+ and before long you’ll see your videos getting more views and turning up in the Google search listings too. (Google love video and own Youtube!) If you are not using video in your local search marketing strategy, you are leaving out a vitally important part out your online success story.
9. Are Blend only a Local Search Marketing Company?
Blend Local Search Marketing specialize in local SEO and Internet marketing but also do so much more. Our unique difference is that we literally hold your hand and ensure that you attract more motivated customers, dominate local listings and more importantly help you convert your increased traffic into more sales success.
We are passionate about helping businesses grow and succeed online and view your success as our success. We have proven Internet marketing strategies that work with all our clients, in fact many of our clients have come from recommendations from existing clients: )
Our results speak for themselves 100% of the time as we have no where to hide. Our customers can simply type their keywords into Google and very often they will see multiply listings for their businesses dominating their local search results. An added benefit is not only do they get a greater share of all the searches, they also push their competitors completely off the page.
It is because of our skills of putting all of the ingredients of Internet marketing together that we also have a lot of experience and success with the following to:
Website Design and Development – We build great websites that not only look great but are also functional and are designed and optimized from the ground up to perform well in search engines and convert more prospects into paying customers.
There’s no point in paying a lot of money out to a regular SEO company to get high rankings if all those people who visit your site soon leave it through bad design and unclear messages.
We build websites with strong ‘on page’ SEO principals, hypnotic copy, optimized layouts and many other tried, tested and proven marketing tactics.
Video Marketing – We have developed a highly successful video marketing strategy that sees our clients’ videos (or our in-house productions) not only getting hundreds and thousands of hits but also dominating the normal search results on Google for all their major keywords.
Social Media Management – You know everybody is talking about twitter and Facebook to name only 2 social media networks but don’t know how to start or have the time to keep them running with fresh and exiting content. Blend Local Search Marketing implements and manages social networks for clients, building up loyal followers and alerting them to your products, services and offers while keeping them engaged with your company or brand so you don’t have to.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – We have dedicated team that optimize your website ‘off the page’. I.E. building natural links back to your website, this is because gaining more links helps it rank higher in natural searches online. We believe in creating a strong foundation not only for now but also the long term success of your business.
It is by building relevant links consistently across a wide number of sources for our customers websites that ensures that they remain stable during and after Google’s Panda and Penguin updates.
This includes: Directory Listings, Videos, Blog Comments, Forum Comments, Press Releases, Article Marketing, High PR Links, .Edu and .Gov links, Social Media Networks, Local Online Community Websites, Blog Swaps, Outreach and many more.
10. What is the Future of Local Search Marketing?
We’ve seen a rapid shift from traditional marketing and adverting with TV, radio, newspapers and paper directory market shares all dramatically dropping over a very short period of time.
Now we know customers are online searching for products, services and local businesses so if your business isn’t being found online you can bet your competitor’s is.
Technology has moved at such a lightening pace that even the desktop PC is looking a little jaded as more and more people now use their smart phones, ipads and tablets to surf the net. This is great news if you are a local business and have a website and your local search listings set up correctly.
There are now exciting opportunities for local business such as orthodontists, restaurants, sports clubs, and pubs to send out bulk SMS marketing text messages easily to their opt-in customers.
Most people have a mobile device with them at all hours of the day. Image if you could send a ‘special offer’ SMS message to your local customers on a ‘quite night of the week’ and fill never have a quite night again! Well now you can when you join us with text marketing too.
This kind of targeted, local mobile marketing strategy has a high response rate and a high ROI. It is definitely the future of Local Search Marketing, just you see!