If you run a business that services an area limited by your physical location then you need to start thinking about local website marketing. Below we will explain some of the many different techniques that you can utilize to increase your websites effectiveness in your local area.
Over the next few paragraphs we will cover some of the most widely used and easy to adopt measures, that will ensure you are in the best possible standing to gain from your local market.
This isn't an exhaustive list, it doesn't include strategies such as paid ads, SEO outreach, or social media, but check back in the future for a follow up post that will cover those areas in more detail.
See the points to the right to get an short description of important aspects that a website should have.
1 Google Maps
As with most things Web Marketing related the single most important factor is optimizing for Google. As this is the single biggest topic to think about in terms, of search results, how your information of displayed and who can see your online presence.
Take for example a local plumbing business in the Bay Area. The first port of call is to get onto Google Maps. This is crucial as an area map is often the most prominent section of a search result and may well be a potential clients first and last point of interest.
It's easy to get set up on maps. Just register with Google My Business, they will send a verification code to your business address. Enter this into your profile and you will start showing up immediately. Make sure you choose the correct category. If you are unsure you can do a quick search for your competitors. This will highlight their categories and thus put you on the right line.
Also make sure to add as many relevant photos as you can. Whilst descriptive text is great. There is no substitute for the instant visual impact of a photo to convey your value proposition.
And, lastly focus on reviews. These are one of the biggest ranking factors, and can prove immeasurable in increasing sign ups. If you notice a client hasn't left a review a polite email follow up can go a long way.
Often overlooked, but be aware, managing your citations correctly can have a big impact in three main ways. Firstly it enhances your visibility on Google Maps, Secondly its boosts your local rankings in search results, and lastly it elevates your Domain authority, that is how Google views your websites relevance for a specific subject area or industry, and subsequently how well it ranks.
Take some time to go over your listings on review sites such as yelp, angle's list, trust pilot etc. as well as business directories such as the BBB, Diamond Certified and your other local directories.
If you're unsure of who and where you are listed, a good resource to check with is whitespark.ca. Not only will this find all the local directories you are listed in but will also tell you how many citations the other businesses in your area will have.
You can then start building citations based on that information.
If that seems like too much there are companies that will do this for you for a reasonable price. Two of note are Citation Builder Pro and Moz Local.
Also do competitive Research on listing sources of high ranking sites for your keywords Take the name of the business and the address and search for that minus the business name This will show all the places where the address is e/g find all the local places where "Bills Plumbing" is listed bills plumbing "119 Rose Street" -site:billsplumbing.com. This works because it shows all the places where there is a listing for Bills Plumbing that includes the address this will show you a ton of local sources where you should be listed
3 Webpage Alterations
A nifty trick to gain additional exposure is to create separate location pages. Make sure not to over do it. A few highlighting some of you're core areas will suffice. Then try to add location related content. Tie in Photos, details of projects undertaken in the area, reviews, highlight specific quirks to an area that an outsider may not know about etc.
Remember to include the actual location name in the URL, and don't be too heavy on the keywords. Google knows how to put two and two together so the tips stated above should suffice.
4 Local Content
Try to match the topics of your pages with searches that people are performing in your area. For instances if you are a Accountant and know that the area has tricky laws relating to property tax, try to weave that into the body of your text. This can also be reinforced on an FAQ resource which we always recommend having, this is based on both SEO benefits and for a greater potential customer journey. A great resource for relevant questions is answerthepublic.com which enables you to find automated FAQ questions based on topic. You can also get FAQs questions for a service by simply typing a question into google. And looking at the snippets e.g What is Mobile Dent Repair.
Another surefire way to increase effectiveness is to spy on local online communities to gain an insight into local issues. Read threads on online forums such a Reddit, Quora, Nextdoor. Try to find questions that crop up again and again and target the content on your site to provide easy to understand answers.
Finally take hyper specific data on what you want to rank for. and put it on your website e.g. you want to rank for "petaluma handyman" Take info from both those things. An amazing resource for this is actually Wikipedia as it uses hyper specific data. Type in handyman, and take note of some of the results. A benefit of this is that when google crawls the site it thinks "This site has a lot of associated data with the same topics".
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