From location targeting to beacons, location-based technology opens up a world of possibilities for marketers. But it’s also complicated, as new features and use cases seem to emerge every day.
In an effort to break down some of the most important “geo” concepts to provide a better understanding of the basics – and a starting point for exploring how far the power of location can take us – we present the next installment of our GeoMarketing 101 series: improve your local SEO strategy.
Why is local SEO important?
It’s pretty simple: Boosting your business in the local community is important. Ranking in the local search engine results pages (SERP) is how nearby customers find out about your business. “Nearby” mobile searches have been on the rise since 2015, and 76% of those location searches result in a business visit during the day.
So, we know it’s important to rank well for relevant keywords, and especially since Google started showing only a set of three mapped results at the top of the SERPs. But what can businesses do to improve local search?
The 101 guide to improving local SEO
Practice location management: The first step in getting customers to find (then visit) your business is to make sure your name, address, and phone number are listed correctly – on your website and on all platforms where your business is listed.
If your business details are incorrect or inconsistent, chances are the business won’t rank well for a specific location search, or the customer could become confused – and the business loses a sale.
Plus, 2017 will likely be the year consumers rely more than ever on location services, leaving them on and becoming more receptive to alerts. Read more about this in Yext’s 2017 Forecasts series, here. (Full Disclosure: Yext is Geomarketingthe parent company of. Details on this relationship here.)
Claim your ad pages: For reasons similar to the ones above, it’s critical that businesses claim and correct all ad pages, from Google My Business to Yelp and Trip Advisor.
Along with making sure the information is correct, having these citations and local links can help improve search rankings, putting you where you want to be on the SERPs.
As Vistaprint’s Scott Bowen said earlier last year, “If businesses aren’t listed [accurately] in a wide variety of online locations, they risk going unnoticed by fast-moving, mobile-preferred consumers, which ultimately has a major impact on bottom lines. Businesses, and small businesses in particular, are now operating in an environment where being the first to reach a potential consumer makes a huge difference when it comes to where that customer ultimately chooses to spend their money.
Design local content: Most companies know how to optimize around certain keywords or searches – “keying”, perhaps, for a locksmith or “high heels” for a ladies’ store. But creating and publishing immersive local content can come in handy in ways that are often overlooked.
This can include information on local events, built-in reviews of local sites, a neighborhood guide, or even more in-depth blog-style content on trends or shopping in the area (if that’s right for your particular business.) Creating this type of content not only improves search rankings for terms related to the events or products discussed, but gives customers the information they want or want. need when they actually come to your site.
Finally, don’t forget the human element: Speaking of giving customers valuable content: It’s critical that businesses remember that while attracting customers to the store often starts with discovery on the SERPs, visits do occur and loyalty continues because people have the feeling that a business can provide them with the information and / or products that they need in an easily accessible manner. Remember to make sure your address information is not just listed, but easy to find – and design your overall site experience in a way that is aesthetic and, most importantly, optimized for mobile.
Learn more about local SEO here:
Home Depot’s Everhart: Why Local Search Matters More Than Ever
SEO is not dead for local businesses
Google local referencing in 2017: no blue links