The Role of Local Search in Your Marketing Strategy
Figuring out the different components associated with Google’s search results isn’t easy (even for professionals who make it their full-time job.) It’s a difficult task to try to decipher which search engine results are due to organic results versus social media results versus local results versus paid advertisements, etc. As a small business owner, how do you swim through the SEO waters efficiently, especially when it comes to local search engine results?
The first thing you need to do is get acquainted with how Google handles local search queries. Usually, Google tends to produce local search results from a blend of information pertaining to both your website (for organic results) and your local information (for social media results). This means that if you want to improve your local search results you must optimize both your website, your Google+ Local page, and all of your local and social media profiles, making sure your business information is consistent across each.
Ultimately, if you want to improve your local search presence, you’ll need a mix of organic and social media strategies. How you mix the two will really depend on the nature of your product/service, your business goals, and your budget. Having an equal mix of organic and social media efforts doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. The application of these techniques should be individualized for your business model.
So, for example, if the majority of your sales are in a specific geographic area, optimizing your local search results should be your main priority. Search engines like Google and Bing have revealed that 20% of desktop search queries and 50% of mobile queries are local. Optimize accordingly, and you’ll get in front of more of the customers you’ve been looking for.
On the other hand, if your business is heavily dependent on traffic towards your website (regardless of the customers location), building out your online content strategy on your site will be crucial for ranking for relevant keywords. That said, maintaining and constantly updating your website may require you to have someone in-house strictly focused on your online marketing, which can get pretty expensive.
If having a designated content marketer is not in your budget, shift the focus of your online marketing efforts towards improving your social media results. Optimize your Google+ Local Page, your Citysearch profile, your Yelp profile, and all your social media profiles. Decide on a monthly budget you can contribute to paid advertising on your most meaningful profiles and make these efforts highly targeted to your specific audience. No need wasting promotions on people who’ve shown no interest in what you have to offer.
As you become more well versed in what works and what doesn’t for your own online marketing initiatives, you’ll begin to understand more and more what’s effecting your search results. Define who your audience is and what they want, and optimize accordingly. You’ll get the hang of things much faster than you think.Share: