With over a billion local searches performed each month, it’s pretty clear that if you do business locally or regionally, local search marketing should be part of your online strategy.
There is so much competition for the top spots in the search engine results pages. Why waste time and resources competing with companies who are not true competitors? Localizing your search engine marketing helps you narrow the competition, placing your company in front of people who have localized their search to find companies most convenient for them.
1. Mapping Out Your Goals
Google and Bing allow you to create or claim existing map listings. You can optimize your listings so that they are found more easily, delete duplicate listings and prevent anyone else from acquiring your listings. Map listings give your customers a snapshot of who is in their area and what is being offered. Search engines have already begun localizing search results. When a person uses a city, state or zip, the local map listing pages occur before the natural search results. Being listed where your customers are looking for you is exactly where you want to be.
2. Target Your Customers
If your customers are all local or regional, it just doesn’t make sense to try and market nationally (Even if you may be available to ship nationally). People often prefer to buy from companies that are nearby, because it’s easier to build a relationship within close proximity. When you are marketing locally, you are often reaching some of your best buyers, and repeat business is very likely.
3. Build Your Small Business
If you are a small company and are looking to build your business quickly, you may find it easiest to target customers closest to you and work your way outward as you expand. Why not localize your online search marketing to target those closest to you? It may even prevent an influx of requests you aren’t ready or able to fulfill.
4. Make the Most out of Your Budget
If you are a small business, if your business is cyclical and certain times of the year are more challenging or if you are working on a limited marketing budget, local search is a great option for you. Launching a full-blown national campaign can be expensive, and targeting a more specific region narrows your competition and can be more cost-effective. This program can help give you some time to build the capital you need to expand into national markets.
5. Create Awareness and Be Social
Developing directory listings and managing social media campaigns that are targeted locally and regionally help you build your online presence. The fact is, you have an online presence whether you claim your listings or not. This is because directory listings will populate their own databases to encourage people to join and claim them. Why not claim your listsings and ensure you are represented the way you want to be represented online? Also, directories often pull up when people use keywords to search for products and services. Why not make it as easy as possible for people to find your business?