Local search, local search, and local search: Whether you capitalize it or not (we prefer it lowercase, but to each their own), this has become the “location, location, location” of Internet marketing for local businesses. Local search is the number one, number two, and number three of top priorities for building your marketing and advertising online.
As we’ve mentioned in previous editions, local search is where the customers lie. People looking for local products and services are finding them through local search results. Google (in particular) and other search engines now provide highly localized returns on search inquiries, and pay-per-click advertising and mobile marketing can be easily directed toward returning results for local searches.
So obviously you need your website, landing pages, advertising and other marketing structures to be optimized for top effectiveness in local searches. A recent study considered the top factors in local search, with these determinations:
- Ensure the accuracy of your business’ Google Place page. Be sure your categories are set up correctly and be certain to follow Google’s guidelines.
- Use the best practices for local search on your website. Keep in mind that quality and authority are more important than quantity in most cases. This is a recurring theme with search engines, especially Google, so focus on these areas.
- Make sure your website is optimized for local search. If you’re not sure how to do this, your Ring Ring Marketing representative will be happy to help. Keep in mind that Google recently announced that websites that are not optimized for mobile search — meaning sites that display appropriately and are effective when pulled up on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones — soon will disappear entirely from mobile device users. If you vanish from mobile users, it will be devastating to your business, given that mobile search is quickly surpassing desktop search.
- If your business is pretty well covered in these areas, focus on citations — links to your site and appearances on authoritative news sites and blogs. These go a long way toward improving your local search rankings.