Local Search Optimization – The Avenue to More Customers
Local Search Optimization is a marketing term that every business owner up and down Main Street should become very familiar with. Local Search Optimization or Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of making your website highly visible among your local population.
In the past, it was important for websites to try to rank for broad terms to get as many “hits” to their site as possible. Now, businesses are more interested in targeted marketing that delivers to them only what they need – potential customers who are ready to use their services or buy their products.
So what are the steps to getting top ranking for search terms you know your target market is looking for? The first thing to do is to create your Google “Places” page. When someone searches for “Salt Lake City dentist” or “Utah travel agent,” Google Places results appear first before any other websites. This makes it probably the most important thing you can do to increase traffic to your business.
How many times a day do you see someone walking along and fiddling with their phone? They aren’t trying to call someone. No, they are looking for something nearby.
High-tech phone applications have converted phones into mini-computers. Now the internet can be carried in a pocket and ready to provide volumes of information within a few seconds. When someone looks for your business, will they find you? Not if you aren’t using Places or something similar.
Joining other options like Facebook Places and the Yahoo Business Portal should also be on the top of your to-do list. One word of caution: if you aren’t familiar with these products, you should not create your own pages. It is very apparent when an experienced internet marketer makes a Places page versus a business owner who is “winging it.” Companies like us, Local One located in Salt Lake City, Utah, are well-known for creating effective Places pages that bring results.
Next it is time to focus on your website. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make with their websites is not gathering information from visitors. Sure, we give out a lot of information: the hours we are open, what products we offer, how much things cost, but gathering information is where visits to your site can really result in increased profits.
Concentrate on providing great content, of course, but think about how you can obtain contact information from your visitors. Could you write a weekly newsletter with tips and coupons? Have visitors subscribe to your newsletter with their contact information. Maybe you can give away a free report or hold a contest?
Once you have a list of potential customers you can market to, give them information on a regular basis but continue to remind them of your services. Occasionally offer them “buy opportunities.”
Remember, it might take several encounters with a company before a potential customer makes a purchase. Don’t lose the visitors to your site. Create your list and develop the relationships that will result in sales. It is best to use an internet marketing service to help with your list-building. There are anti-spam rules to follow and the last thing you want is to be considered a spammer.
These are the bare bones basics of local search optimization. To really boost your results without damaging your website or reputation, consult with an SEO agency such as Local-One. We can help you understand the entire process and give you confidence in your online marketing efforts.