Local search is a powerful piece of your digital marketing strategy for your local business. More and more consumers are beginning their search for local products or services by searching online. And the stats show exactly why this is a smart move:
- 97% of consumers use internet when researching local products and/or services.
- 59% of mobile users who look for local information visit the business on the same day.
- 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day.
But often, companies don’t know how to get started building a local presence that generates results for their business. Here are 7 steps to get you started!
Step 1: Gather Your Data
The key to a truly powerful local SEO strategy is to get the data right. Whether you have one location or one hundred, creating one, centralized spreadsheet with all of your location information can prove a valuable resource to ensure consistency across the web.
Include your business name, address, phone number, website URL, email address, hours of operation, and any other information your potential customers may need. Gathering this data and centralizing it will make dispersing it across the web correctly much easier.
Step 2: Create a Website Landing Page
If you don’t have a location landing page on your website, you may want to create one. This should include basic information about the location, such as the address, phone number, and other data you gathered for your spreadsheet in the previous step.
But you may also want to include a longer description about what your location has to offer and what makes it unique from the competition.
Step 3: Disperse Info to the “Big Four”
The “Big Four” directories are the starting point for local search optimization. These directories include Infogroup, Localeze, Acxiom, and Factual. These four directories feed information and/or validate information on secondary directories. Getting the “Big Four” right is key to powerful local search.
Step 4: Create Listings on Secondary Directories
Once you’ve distributed your business’s information to the “Big Four,” you should create listings on high quality secondary directories. These include:
- Google for Business
- Yellow Pages
- Apple Maps
Step 5: Identify & Create Niche Directory Listings
Your industry may have very specific directories where people go for information regarding your particular products or services. It is important to identify these opportunities and determine if you should have a listing on these websites.
Often, these websites require a fee to be listed. But depending on the website and your business, it may be worth it to gain that extra traffic.
Step 6: Optimize Web Pages for Local Search
Now you may have created a specific landing page for your physical location, but you want to be sure to optimize that page, and any other relevant pages, for your physical location.
Conducting some local keyword research is your first step, then incorporate relevant keywords into the appropriate pages. Be sure to use the keyword or keyword phrase you choose in all the right places, including:
- Page title
- Meta description
- Image alt tags
- A few times naturally in the copy
Step 7: Create Local Content
One way to make your business’s local SEO strategy stand out is by creating local content. We all know that content is king, so why not incorporate geo-specific information your buyer’s will appreciate into your content strategy?
This might include writing about local events, local news, “best of” posts for the area, or any other creative ideas you might have to incorporate geo-specific information into your content.
Follow these seven steps and you will be well on your way to building a powerful local search strategy that drives more customers to both your website and your physical location. And remember, these steps are only the beginning. It is important to be continuously monitoring and updating your local search presence to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about your business.