Location, location, location. There is a lot to learn from this famous marketing mantra. Location is always very important when opening a physical store for example, or when choosing where to live. The same principles extend to the online medium.
This article will shed some light over some proven techniques that anyone can use in order to rank better in local search queries.
Knowing your target audience is key for any business. Even more so, knowing what type of content and what tone of voice should you use is essential to better communicate with your audience.
So, you have a local store with a local audience, right? Than why should you focus on creating content better suited for everyone regardless of the location, instead of creating engaging and relevant content for your local buying audience.
Communicating with your customers using local language particularities will provide a more direct tone of voice ensuring that you are treating your customers as equals. Also, providing local and relevant news, talking about local events and community activities will be a welcome addition for your customers, enhancing the perception of your brand as an integral part of the community.
Regardless of the location and modus operandi of a business, it’s still important to have and maintain a well written and optimized website. A website represents for many customers the first interaction that a client will have with your business. That’s why you need to provide your customers with the best experience from start to finish.
When optimizing your website for local search, you should keep in mind to use content and design elements developed with your local audience in mind. Use local words in the title of your pages, external links to relevant local pages, and description images with local emotional charge.
Local Link Building
For your local audience, being recommended by authorities in the field is a sign of trust, improving buyer perception and making the buying process that much smoother. But what if I told you that those recommendations can also positively impact your position in local search.
Being active in your community will give you good karma, the recognition of your fellow local customers and also some valuable backlinks. The process is indeed very simple. Engage in community activities, help people and make those activities public. Collaborating with local news outlets will provide you with more exposure which will likely extend to the online realm.
Another way to get links to your website is to list your business in various business directories and industry listings. Doing this will increase your domain authority and will gain your business much needed visibility. A great place to start is listing your business on Yellowpages.com and Citysearch.com.
Focusing on the right keywords is crucial for any business, especially for small local companies. Due to the fact that competition is usually very high for any local business, doing a proper keyword research will net in a higher rank for local search queries as well as a fair deal of organic traffic.
The keywords that every local business should optimize first for, are the ones related to the type of business and the location. Only then the research can be expanded to areas and vicinities. When doing keyword research for a local business the first thing you should focus on is on local keywords that are comprised of your business type and location and only then further optimize for city or country-wide specific keywords.
Local Search Ads
If organically you don’t succeed then pay your way to the top. Google advertising now accounts for more than 31.1% of the total global digital advertising market. At the beginning of April this year, Google has announced that they will focus more on Google Maps due to the ever increasing interest received in the last couple of years.
This announcement provides a golden opportunity for local businesses all over the world. With the inclusion of “next generation” local search ads it is now easier to target clients searching for products and services in a specific location.
These new ads will be integrated directly with Google Maps (app, desktop and mobile versions of the site), as well as directly in the Google places results box. In these ads, offers and brand logos will appear straight on the surface of the map; and after clicking on the logo a local inventory and promotions ad will appear.
If you are already using Google Adwords for promoting your local business, these next generation of local search ads will become a must in every local business arsenal.
Local celebrity collaborations
Celebrity collaborations are always a great way to boost your rankings and branding efforts. The drawback is that usually working with worldwide celebrities is an expensive business and not many local companies can afford to hire a celebrity.
So, what is to be done? Work with local celebrities. Local celebrities are always on the look for possible collaborations with various businesses. The best part is that working with local celebrities is usually inexpensive because most of them are looking for exposure not only for a big hunk of cash.
This represents a win win situation with the company gaining a better rank on local search using the search traffic provided by the local celebrity.
Ranking better in local search queries can be easy if you have the right tools and knowledge at hand. Having a local business and trying to go head to head with global businesses will always provide subpar results.
Starting with keyword research and finishing with community outreach, each of the actions listed in this article will help you to better interact with your local audience and optimize your listing in local search related queries.
What tools and techniques do you use in order to improve your rank in local searches?