One common mistake brick-and-mortar businesses make in their local digital marketing strategy is failing to focus on their local customer’s geographic area. Unless you are an online retailer, your campaign needs to be locally-focused. That may sound like an unambitious gesture, but it is an important aspect that is often overlooked, and many local businesses are suffering and even fail because of this.
How to Optimize Your Website for Local Searches
Assuming your business has a website (these days it’s a must), one of the most effective strategies you can employ is optimizing your website for local market search. One study found that, on average, Americans only drive 29.2 miles per day. Consider all the purchases that you make in any given day, and then consider the geographic area in which you make those purchases. As a local business owner, it is vital to capture as much of that traffic as you can.
With the average person conducting 3-4 Google searches every single day, here are some tips on optimizing your website for local SEO, so users can find grow your business easily.
Create Local Content
While general information about your business – stay top of mind such as your products, services, or offerings – is pertinent material, it often leads to unwarranted traffic call to action. For example, if you own an optometrist office, you may have the keywords/phrases “optometrist” inserted into your website’s copy multiple times. However, there is a good chance that most of the results for “optometrist” will return the definition of an optometrist, optometrist jobs, etc. Instead, customers localizing your keywords and phrases to include the city/region in which you operate, such as “Dallas optometrist” will help bring back more refined results.
Optimize Meta Data
While metadata is often overlooked, it is extremely important for SERPs. Your URL, title tags, headers, and meta descriptions are vital to online reviews visibility, so optimizing them with high-volume, geotargeted keywords is a sure-fire way to improve your link building search rankings. There is a clear hierarchy of relevance and significance among metadata, so make sure you are including the customers local-focus and are always following best practices.
With the ever-increasing rate of smartphone users, optimizing your website for mobile (and tablet) devices is a must. In 2019, approximately 63.4% of the population accesses the internet from a mobile device. Ensuring mobile responsiveness and functionality is working at a premium has never been more important. If reading, clicking and generally navigating through your site is difficult for the user, there’s a very high likelihood they won’t convert to a customer.
Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing
According to an article from Triad, Google has recently revealed that every 1 in 3 searches has local intent. Considering there are over 5.6 billion daily Google searches, that number is pretty significant. With that being said, it is very important that your business is visible on Google. One way to help improve that aspect is setting up and optimizing a Google My Business listing.
Google My Business is an underutilized, yet very powerful tool used to help enhance your business’ online visibility. There is a myriad of benefits, and not having one has proven to be detrimental.
Below are some of the main benefits of having Google My Business Listing
Free marketing tools are a dime a dozen, and the ones that are free are typically freemium or trial accounts. However, you can access the full functionality of Google My Business without charge. The only caveat to that is it needs to be completed in its entirety for you to reap all the benefits.
Show Up on Google Maps
Google My Business provides Google Maps integration. By simply entering – and verifying – your business address and phone number, users are able to see your location on Google Maps, receive directions to your business, call your registered phone number, etc., making it much simpler for users to find and connect with your physical business.
Enhance Search Visibility
Depending on the keyword/phrase used on Google Search, you may notice an interactive panel on the front page that includes a map and 3 business listings. If your Google My Business listing is completed and optimized, your business could begin to populate this panel as one of the top 3 results. This is just an added layer of visibility for your organization.
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Increase Engagement with Potential Customers
Google My Business also acts as a social panel. It allows you to create posts where you can input blogs, company updates, season specials, etc. There is also a Q&A section that allows users to ask questions that the company may answer.
Local Search Engine Marketing
Many customers local businesses often compete for market share with larger, more established corporations. Competing for a slice in traditional marketing efforts channels is often extremely expensive and ranking higher in SERPs than huge enterprises is a tall task. However, there is one method that can quickly level the playing fields: search engine marketing.
Often referring to search engine marketing as PPC or Pay-Per-Click, search engine marketing content allows you to create ads on Google that display in the search results. If you search for nearly any product or service on Google Search, you might notice a few of the very top listings have a green “Ad” box to the left of their URL. These are paid ads.
If you’re unfamiliar with search engine content marketing or pay-per-click ads, users can create online reviews ads in a variety of formats (including text, display, remarketing, etc.), and then set specific parameters that meet the needs of the small business business, including targeting (demographic, geographic, interests, etc.), budget (bid type, bid amount, bid maximum, etc.), placement (where your ads appear, when they appear, etc.), and much more.
There are a number of benefits for a pay per click local search engine marketing campaign, including:
Not Dependent on SEO
Whether or not your site is brand new, has a high number of competitors, or is just poorly optimized, your PPC campaign has no reliance on your On-Page SEO. Although not organic, you can reach position number one on Google search results with paid ads.
Precise Audience Targeting
While the results you get organically from Google are entirely unpredictable, you are able to restrict when, where and to whom your ads are shown. There are precise features on Google Ads that allow you to even get down into the interests of the users you wish to target and remove “negative keywords” or words that you don’t wish to render results for your ads.
While not everyone wants, needs or can spend a fortune on paid ads, Google Ads allows you to set defined budgets and bid strategies, so you only spend how much you can afford to spend on your campaigns.
There are numerous strategies you can employ to help improve your hyper local online search visibility. However, these three mentioned opportunities are among the most effective and cost-efficient. It is recommended that you utilize these strategies to their full effect and reap the benefits of a well-optimized online presence.
About the Author: Code Authority is custom software development agency that opened in 2001 and is headquartered in Frisco, Texas (just North of Dallas). Code Authority also specializes in mobile application development, local digital marketing, cloud solutions, and creative design and has offices in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Little Rock, Shreveport and Albuquerque. Additionally, Code Authority is the founding company of CodeLaunch, an annual startup seed accelerator competition.