Web Marketing Today gathered advice from ten marketing experts, designed to help local businesses market online with greater impact. This month, comments focus on ways businesses can leverage local SEO. Some include references to recent changes made by Google to the “local pack.”
“[T]he big national brands will force you out of town if you don’t make your presence known. They have large marketing budgets, and everyone knows who they are. Your business, on the other hand, is small and unknown.
“But, you have one thing going for you: you’re local. People love working with local businesses. They enjoy giving back to the community and perceive ‘mom and pop’ companies as more attentive and honest.
“Through local marketing efforts, you can establish, identify, and make your company known. And despite what you may think, it’s not time-or capital-intensive to develop a basic local marketing strategy.”
Digital Marketing Specialist
“Your website should not be your only online presence. People will want to leave reviews and learn more about your company from reliable sources. Start with Yelp, Google Plus, and any industry-specific directories. This is not only good for increasing your online presence, but it helps with local SEO.”
“Writing about local events is great for SEO, but it also demonstrates that your business cares about the community. Discuss elections, community events, etc., from the perspective of a local business owner.
“Your content doesn’t all need to relate back to your product … in fact, it’s important to have content that is there only to be useful to readers, not to convert. Writing about local events that are important to the community establishes you as more than just a company, but an active part of the community.”
“The whole thought process of link building has changed dramatically. Your links must not only help improve search influence but also provide value to target users. [The Google algorithm] Hummingbird has put long-tailed keywords back in business, and you need to keep these in mind while optimizing content.
“This gives you an opportunity to come up with useful content that is need-based and not keyword-focused. Thus, you have a better chance of ensuring your links will provide real value to users.”
Local Search Specialist
“If you are in a restaurant-related business, your ratings are going to become even more crucial. Google has added an option for searchers to select only businesses that are above a certain rating, currently choosing from two stars and higher, three stars and higher, or four stars and higher.
“With searchers faced with the option, it doesn’t take much to realize that users are going to select the ones with four stars or higher. So while having good ratings has always played an important part in local SEO, for restaurants this should be at the top of the marketing priority list.”
Founder and Editor
The SEM Post
Website Calls to Action Help SEO, Conversions
“Search engine optimization used to be as simple as piling keywords into the content of your website. Since then, search engines have built better algorithms so they can eliminate spam. Using specific call-to-action (CTA) methods on website landing pages can help improve your search engine traffic and conversions. ‘Google bots’ and other search engines’ algorithms will reward you with a higher spot in search returns.
“Understanding your audience can help you determine a specific CTA method, whether your goal is to get newsletter subscriptions, sell products, or boost shares to social media. Give your website users clear instruction on what to do next. Some examples would be having a ‘click-to-call’ that’s highly visible on your mobile site, a newsletter sign-up in the footer of your site, or a banner advertising a limited-time discount offer.”
Jones Web Services, LLC
“I’d say the best way to get anywhere in your local SEO — by which I mean ranking well and getting customers — is to position yourself online as a specialist. That means you don’t try to rank for every term.
“It may mean your homepage plays up some services more than others, and you don’t cram every last stinking keyword into your title tag. It means you don’t pick all the Google Places categories you could pick. It means you may pursue fewer links, but only ones relevant to your niche.”
Local Search Consigliere
Local Visibility System
“Time and time again Google has proven change is the only constant. Only focusing on an organic strategy or only focusing on a local strategy is a bad idea. Make sure you’re following best practice and constantly improving both. If you rank number one organically you’re also very likely to rank number one locally if properly optimized.
“There are only three local results now. The higher you are, the better you will perform. Do great work and get to the top three results.”
“Mobile devices can seamlessly launch phone and email capabilities when the appropriate type of link is provided. Make the contact section of your mobile site prominent so that contacting your business is as frictionless as possible.
“Be mindful that, as people become more accustomed to the convenience and speed of mobile connectivity, they become less patient with delay. It is, therefore, more important than ever that you ensure customers’ concerns are addressed promptly.”
“We have been monitoring how the new Local packs have been affecting our clients and, for the most part, it has been a non-event thus far.
“As for the number one recommendation for businesses who lost their position in the 7-pack, it’s no different than before this change. Analyze the different factors that can affect your local rankings, develop a theory as to where you are deficient, and focus on improvement. Some NAP cleanup, content, and quality backlinks can do wonders for you.”
Local SEO Guide, Inc.
This post, 10 Great Local Marketing Tips To Start In October 2015, was first published on WebMarketingToday.