Local online marketing can provide a huge advantage for small businesses. Optimizing for web site for local online search is a fanatic way to reach new potential customers and drive quality traffic to your site.
Learn what steps you can take to optimize your site for local online searches.
Claim your spot on Google Places – Set up a Google Places and take the time to fill out all your local online business information. Include photos, coupons, product offerings, or videos. In description fields, insert some of your keywords (within moderation). You can also set up similar accounts with Bing Local and Yahoo Local to stretch your reach even further.
Optimize for geo-targeted keywords – Include city names in your title, h2, meta tags, and content.
Create “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages to target local terms—Include business hours, directions, and contact info. This content serves to reinforce your location with Google and other search engines.
Get your business rated – Good reviews can bring huge boosts to your business. Encourage reviews with promotional offers, or try asking for feedback via social media and local mailing lists.
Focus on social media— Social media has been proven to be increasingly important factor when it comes to ranking for local search, so be sure to spend some quality time updating your Facebook and Google+ pages.
Create different landing pages for different locations —If you have multiple locations, create a unique landing page for each location and optimize each page for appropriate location keywords.
Get your business listed in directories— You can get your business listed in a number of online directories, providing reputable links that can improve your local online search ranking.
Get citations in directories such as:
- Express Update
Also get your business listed in local directories like your Better Business Bureau and local Chamber of Commerce.
Include the HTML [address] tag— Bracket your business address with the [address] [/address] tag. Each citation you receive from a reputable site is a vote in favor of your legitimate membership at that specific geo-location.
Create a mobile version of your site— Mobile phones are often used for local searches as searchers look for solutions and businesses on the go. Having a site that allows easy mobile access is essential is getting the most out of local online marketing.
Getting your AdWords campaigns primed for local PPC is key for competing in competitive markets. Setting up your campaigns in a particular way can help you local businesses find great success in paid search.
First, you will need to set up a minimum of two different campaigns, and sometimes four. Why is this? Let’s look at an example. Say you run a mechanic shop and want to run a local online marketing campaign for auto repair shops in Swindon, in the UK.
Your first local business marketing paid search campaign will be set up with general keywords such as:
- Auto Repair
- Local auto repair
- Auto repair shops
- Emergency auto repair
- Local auto repair shops
- 24 hour auto repair
The best technique for getting high Quality Scores, and a cheaper Cost Per Click (CPC) as a result, is to add each of those keywords to their own unique ad group, with ads containing these specific keywords.
Set this campaign to run within the Swindon area ONLY. You can do this by navigating to Settings and under Location and Languages, selecting Location.
Once the map opens, choose the tab marked Search and enter the name of the town. Tick the box of the relevant area and Google will now show where the ads will run on the map.
Next you’ll have to decide if you want to run your ads only on computers, only on web-enabled mobile phones, or both. Try setting up identical campaigns, one which will run on computers only, and the second on web-enabled phones. This allows you to monitor the performance of each separately, and lets you increase or decrease bids on the two different sets of devices. Maybe you will find that a mobile searcher is far more likely to convert, so you might wish to increase bids. Or you may find less competition since many advertisers advertise only on computers.
To enable the campaign only on Computers, in Settings go to Networks and Devices and then select Computers.
You can then choose to set up a second campaign with identical ads and keywords, enabling it for iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers. The fastest way to do this is by using a tool such as the AdWords Editor, which you can use to copy and paste the first campaign, and then change the settings.
Your next campaign will be a National Campaign running across the entire country. Add keywords such as:
- Swindon Auto Repair
- Auto Repair in Swindon
- Emergency auto repair in Swindon
- 24 hour auto repair
The key for this campaign is that each keyword must include the name of the town. You can add additional detail by adding districts, such as “Lydiard,” for example:
- Lydiard Auto Repair
- Lydiard Auto Repair Shops
- Auto Repair in Lydiard
When adding districts, regions, or cities, make sure that there are not ones with identical names elsewhere in the country, as is often the case!
Once again, add one ad group for each keyword with at least one PPC ad containing these keywords for best performance and cheapest CPC.
This new campaign will be picked up outside of Swindon, perhaps by family members putting in a search for the person needing auto repair.
The screenshot below shows the excellent click-through rates acquired utilizing this method, varying from 5% to as high as 19.57%.