Everything in digital marketing seems to change rapidly with technology and marketing platforms continually evolving, providing businesses with some awesome marketing options. One thing however hasn’t changed; the importance of search engine rankings. For small businesses operating in a specific geographic area, local search in particular is critical. Check out some of the following statistics from Google:
Eighty percent of consumers use search to get information on businesses and their offerings. Eighteen percent of smartphone local searches lead to sales within 24 hours while 7% of non-local searches do. Fifty percent of people using local searches on a phone and 34% of people on tablets visit a store within a day. And finally, one of the most important statistics; eight of every ten consumers uses search before making a purchase.
Conversions from searchers are staying focused to the top search results, with 53% clicking on the first result. Translation: You can drive a significant amount of business and revenue if you invest in proper local search marketing.
Here are five strategies you should be aware of in your quest towards higher rankings in local search:
1. Create local content. Searchers tend to look for specific information. This includes business hours, directions to the nearest store, and product availability. It is important to make that information available, on the landing page, and accurate.
2. Syndicate directory and search engine listings. Search engines count directory entries and use them as credibility and accuracy checks. Listings in providers like YellowBook and Yelp can help your search engine rank. Search engine listings also help and it is worthwhile to have a separate listing for each location. The information needs to be exactly the same across the board or it may be considered unreliable.
3. Consumer reviews. Consumers trust reviews over direct marketing. Of consumers who make purchases, 85% look at reviews. You can get reviews through search engine listings and third-party websites like Yelp and others. They key is staying responsive, engaging with your customers will even help you turn negative reviews into opportunities.
4. Create a landing page for each store location. Use unique URLs for each landing page. The pages need to be easily indexed. Third-party iframe mapping programs need to be avoided.
5. Engaging Content. I can’t stress the importance of quality content enough and how it relates to your website performance in any type of search results. To learn more about content marketing I’ve listed a number of links below to some excellent resources.