When was the last time you used your phone book, either white or yellow pages™, to find information? What about Google or another search engine? If we are living parallel lives, you may have used the yellow or white pages™ of your phone book once or twice in the last year, but you use online search features either several times a week or as much as several times a day.
Lately, I have been searching for certain local businesses and activities related to my family. I’ve never looked in the phonebook for them, but my online searches don’t always yield what I thought I would find either. It’s frustrating to know or suspect that a service is out there, but be unable to find it online.
Local search factors and what Chris Crum calls competing for visibility in his article on local search factors should drive a portion of your SEO strategy. While we know that the marketplace is now global and we all want our businesses to apply to that global marketplace, keep in mind that you want local business to be able to find your business too. After all, if they can’t find you, then your potential clients are more likely to go with a competitor or give up the idea of using your business entirely rather than go digging around online for hours.
Here are a few of Crum’s suggestions for your local search marketing:
– Ensure that Google knows that your business is listed at your correct address.
– Confirm that Google knows what your business does.
– Consider the mapping variables used, such as the size of the map and the definition of the region’s center, and combine them with trust, a citation, and other factors when planning out your marketing strategy.
When developing SEO tactics for your local search, remember that there is more than one way to develop a strong local presence on the internet.
– Have your address listed with major data providers.
– Claim your listing at the local business center.
– Reviews on Google or in other locations are helpful.
– Be sure that your business is listed in the proper categories once it has been claim.
– Get local people and businesses to link to your website and content.
– Develop localized content.
When developing your SEO marketing plan, be sure that your SEO professionals consider your local search as an important factor in your marketing agenda. Effective SEO includes plans for anyone who wants to find your business, near and far, so be sure that the statistically applicable keywords, links to social networking, and relevancy of your online presence all work in your favor for SEO purposes.
The truth of the matter for businesses is that the only thing worse than not being accessible online is being there and no one finding you anyway