Having an online presence is a must for all sizes of businesses because most of the buyers conduct some search on the internet before making any purchase. Small businesses can take advantage of this habit of buyers and reach them through local searches by implementing local SEO. Understanding the behavior of the target audience is vital to succeeding in SEO because it helps to create SEO strategies matching with the behavioral patterns of the audience. Moreover, the pattern of searches has changed over the years, and the majority of buyers focus on the local availability of materials, which has given rise to local SEO. To match the changing search patterns, Google has modified the manner of displaying search results with more focus on local businesses and introduced a new SEO mold to serve the interests of small businesses that cater to the local requirements.
Local SEO explained by Eric Dalius
Although named local SEO, it is the same as traditional SEO with more emphasis on local factors and local searches. Local searchers or buyers are keen to find nearby supply points and sellers as evident from the inclusion of the phrase ‘near me’ in almost all searches, which underlines the high intent of buying that local businesses can capitalize upon. Local searches have some typical attributes that can include some geo tagged elements like the name of the city, state, zip code, etc. It provides enough hints to Google about the location from which the search originates that helps to serve them with localized information matching the geographical criteria.
According to Eric Dalius, a renowned marketing expert, the surge in the number of mobile phone users has triggered the popularity of local searches because 95% f local searches originate from mobile devices.
SEO building takes time
It does not take too much effort or time to launch SEO if you have an SEO-friendly website ready to start the campaign. But it takes some time for the campaign to become steady, and you must have the patience and perseverance to allow it to stabilize. The local SEO space is intensely competitive and continually evolving. You must have the right attitude to keep pace with it without worrying about the results, which takes a long time to show up. Developing the right strategies and implementing it by withstanding the competition holds the key to any successful SEO campaign. You must aim to popularize the business with search engines first, which will automatically draw the audience to it.
Small companies can create various strategies for implementing local SEO forcefully that becomes the mainstay of the marketing campaign.
Go for directory listing
Spreading the name of the business and brand far and wide should help in popularizing it among the target audience. The easiest way to spread the name is to enlist your business in online directories like Google Plus, Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, Yahoo, Bing, etc. This would increase the chances of finding a business when people look beyond search engines and refer to online directories. It is often easier to locate businesses from directories by matching the needs of searchers.
Listed companies in directories enjoy higher credibility and are an endorsement of its legal entity, which in turn generates trust among users and search engines and helps to improve ranking. Include all details of your business in the listing like name, address, telephone number, website address, e-mail address as well as products and services, business hours, photos, and credentials. It is imperative to maintain data consistency across several directories because any data discrepancy or error can dent the confidence of users.
Customers depend a lot on online reviews to form their opinion about the business and the products and services offered, and you must attach due importance to the reviews, which captures the experience of customers. Most of the buyers refer to online reviews before making a purchasing decision, and Google too considers the reviews as an important factor in ranking.
Have some system in place to gather and track customer reviews and use the feedback for making improvements wherever needed. Encourage customers to provide an unbiased opinion based on facts and be ready to encounter negative views positively to redress the grievance. Consider the merit of the reviews and respond to it accordingly to demonstrate your good intention for making good of the drawbacks.
Create local content
To fulfill your marketing goals, you must use SEO for engaging with the audience by creating and publishing engaging content that is useful and relevant to them. Since the focus of the business is on the local audience, the content must have a local flavor that attracts the audience, which should meet with their expectations. Create content by understanding the location of buyers in the purchasing funnel so that it meets their requirements for which you must analyze the groups of buyers to understand their intention of buying and then create appropriate content that satisfies them and generates better engagement.
Be active on social media
Alongside SEO, you must explore all other avenues for expanding the reach of your business and ensure that the name and fame spread fast across the internet. Taking your business to the social media platform is the most effective means of garnering quick attention and spreading the name through sharing. The social media platform provides enormous marketing opportunities, and you must make full use of it.
Staying active on social media helps to interact with the audience closely and demonstrate your authority that helps to build relationships based on trust. Devote enough time to interact with the audience on social media and use the opportunity to promote your business subtly. Make a routine to spend some time on social media every day to interact with the audience and draw them closer to the business. Going ahead, if the budget permits, you can also post ads on the social media that augment the marketing efforts as the business and brand gain high visibility through sharing across the channel.
Review your performance regularly after implementing the strategies to make improvements.