What Is Local Search Marketing?

A strong local SEO marketing strategy is foundational for setting your business up for success. This blog will give you everything you need to know about local SEO and why it’s important for your business.

What Is Local Search Marketing?

Local search marketing, or local SEO, is the set of digital marketing strategies that help your business rank higher in relevant search queries and show up on the map in “near me” and local searches.

When an online user searches for a local business, they often include the phrase “near me” in their query. One study found that “near me” searches have increased by 500% in recent years (from businessdit.com).

The “near me” phrase, or any keywords that indicate the user wants a business close to their current location, generates a list of local businesses in the search results. The local businesses that best match the query and use best practices for local SEO will show up in the Local Pack.

Local Search

The Local Pack is the list of three businesses listed next to the map in local search results. This result ranking is the best place for your business to show up for a relevant search!

The best way to get your business to show up in the Local Pack for local search queries is to implement local SEO marketing best practices. Here is why investing in local SEO marketing is worth it:

  • 46% of all searches on Google are for local businesses.
  • 68% of online searchers prefer to click on the Local Pack.
  • 88% of mobile, local searches lead to in-store visits, a phone call or a purchase within a week.
  • 72% of mobile users who search for a business nearby visit a store within five miles.
    (from businessdit.com)

With so much business possible from local SEO, it’s important to get it right!

How Does Local Search Marketing Work?

Ranking higher in local searches and getting into the Local Pack is multifaceted. The most crucial step is ensuring your business’s listings on all search engines and platforms have consistent and accurate information.

Every search engine and directory platform will have specific information they want to see about your business. Most commonly: business name, address, website, phone number/contact, hours, photos and reviews.

When information is consistent and accurate across search engines and directories, search engine algorithms will be more likely to rank your business higher in relevant search results. If your business’s listings on popular directories and search engines contain inaccurate, inconsistent information, the algorithms will skip over your business and will serve your competitors in the search results instead.

When your business isn’t showing up well in local search results, you’re missing out on business, even if you provide better service or deals than your competitors.

If your business is new, or you’ve never set up business profiles on search engines and directories, you’ll need to create profiles on those platforms. If your business’s listings have been posted for a while, ensure they are claimed and verified and have correct and complete information.

Here are some of the top search engines and directories to focus on:

  • Google My Business
  • Bing Places for Business
  • Yahoo!
  • Yelp
  • Facebook

These platforms can significantly impact your local search ranking, so ensure your information is correct and consistent across all of them! 

The Next Step in Your Local Search Marketing Plan

Once you’ve claimed and verified your business’s listing and added the necessary information, you can get more specific with what kind of local searches you want your business to be ranked for.

Choosing the right category for your business is imperative for the algorithms when they are ranking businesses. Be as specific as possible when adding your business’s category to listings. For instance, "restaurant" is too general when adding categories to your Google Business Profile. You want to specify what type of restaurant it is.

If you run a pizza delivery restaurant, use the "pizza delivery" category so that Google knows to place your business in "pizza delivery" searches when local consumers are looking.

According to Google's guidelines, you should use as few categories as possible.

Here's how you can further clean up your business’s directory information.

How to Audit Your Local Search Ranking

  1. Clear your browser history and cache.
  2. Open an incognito window and go to Google.com or Bing.com.
  3. Search for your industry and city (example: pizza Columbus Ohio). Did your business show up in the search results? If so, were you at the top, or did you have to click “view more” and scroll to the bottom to find your business?
  4. Search for your business name and location or phone number (example: RevLocal Granville Ohio).
  5. Sort through the directories. Claim, complete and/or correct your business’s information. Some directories are free, while you have to pay for others.

Establishing a competitive local SEO strategy takes time but will be worth it in the long run. Without local SEO marketing, every other digital marketing strategy you employ for your business suffers.

How to Find a Trustworthy Local Search Marketing Company

Local SEO takes time and effort. As a busy business owner, you may not have the bandwidth to give it the attention it needs to succeed. That's okay!

Hiring a digital marketing partner can make all the difference in how your business ranks in local searches and how quickly your business grows and scales.

When you're looking for a digital marketing company that offers local search services, keep these factors in mind:

  1. Avoid agencies that make outlandish promises. No one can get your business to the top of Google overnight.
  2. If a company calls, claiming to be Google and threatening to remove your listings if you don't pay them, they're probably scamming you.
  3. Look further than software. Any good digital and local search marketing company will have a person or dedicated team that works on your marketing. Don't settle for software because there's nothing quite like having a human on your side to keep an eye out for algorithm updates and plan new strategies or campaigns.
  4. Don't let yourself get locked into a business relationship with a company that doesn't put you first and doesn’t offer flexible plans. Go with a local search marketing company that proves to you that they make you and your business a priority.

For more on how to choose the right digital marketing agency, read our blog!

Final Thoughts

If your business isn’t taking advantage of local SEO marketing, now is the time to start! Even if you’ve tried local SEO practices on your own and haven’t seen positive results, hiring a digital marketing agency can give your business the extra boost it needs to get into the Local Pack and rank higher in search results. There are hundreds of online directories where it’s important to have your business listed, and an agency can take care of all of that work for you so you can focus on running your business!

To learn more about how RevLocal can help your business with digital marketing, contact us today for a free consultation.

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