Revenues for companies using integrated local marketing processes are expected to increase 10-15% by 2015, according to recent Gartner estimates. That’s great news for marketers using local SEO tactics.
Local business and services are getting smart to the search benefits in SEO and content marketing. These firms list themselves in local online directories, use blog writers for hire and manage a consistent social media stream to local influencers. How your business uses various content marketing methods in boosting local SEO awareness can be the difference between an OK year and a great year.
Online users want to find local businesses online. In searching Google, they can find reviews, websites, phone contacts and multiple locations. Prospective customers may search for “best appliance repair in (your city)” or something similar. If your company has created local-centric meta tags at your web site and set up geo tags for other searches, your customers will find you high in local search rankings.
Top spots of regular search results for business inquiries show local search results to users. If you’re searching for a florist near your office, you’ll key in “Where’s the nearest florist?” Google will return the search results with a map on your right side that designates red pins that fit the search. You’ll get even sharper search results if you’ve allowed Google to know your mobile phone’s location.
Search marketing firm Mint Social calls this tactic ‘Geo-SoMo’ marketing (geographically targeted mobile social media marketing). This means that if a business has more content built around its business locations and services, there’s a greater likelihood of building up to the top Pin A spot on local search.
Mint Social suggests the following tips for local SEO success:
- Setting up proper local profiles: Google searches pull in information from business profiles that your company has set up. Mint Social identified numerous review or directory sites that can impact a company’s Google Places search results. Companies with complete profiles rank higher in Google Places.
- Geo-tagging your content: Once you’ve created and uploaded text, images and video content to YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Foursquare and more, make sure the content is geo-tagged to let local users find the content in their searches.
- Pay to play: Local companies can always pay Google to use its AdWords Express service. When you have a special campaign and need that extra boost of marketing input, local ads may help out.
What’s most important for Google to see on these profiles are the following:
- Physical street address (not a PO Box or shared address)
- Phone number with local area code (avoid toll-free numbers)
- Physical business place for customers to make in-person pay transactions
Woorank also suggests that marketers can benefit from optimizing their sites and profiles with this localized information:
- Local Listings in Google Places and Google+
- Local Reviews and Citations
- On-Page and Off-Page search optimization
Dave M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.