Gone are the days when we’d lug around those bulky white and yellow books to look up local businesses to get a quote or place an order or ask a question. Instead, we utilize search engines and mobile devices where all it takes to get in touch with a business is a click of a button, saving ourselves time, space and a few paper cuts along the way. There’s no doubt that search engines have reshaped the way we interact, shop and learn; right now it’s more important than ever to claim your spot on the local search engine real estate.
The importance of implementing local search strategies with online local search is more important than ever, and has incredible potential if done correctly. Each month, over ten billion unique searches are conducted in the US alone, and over 70% of those searches show local search intent by using their location, city, state, community and zip codes. With Google’s results blending website information and local listings, your biggest nightmare is getting pushed to the bottom (or not ranking at all) for local inquiries. Local inquiries are expected to increase, and with over 50% of mobile searches showing local content, local SEO shouldn’t be ignored.
So, where do you start? Use your words! Content is still king; relevant, quality content on your site remains the most important factor for ranking in search engines. Optimizing pages for location specific searches with unique, geo-targeted content and well-researched keywords will help you gain greater rankings in the local market. And for heaven’s sake – make sure it’s accessible with mobile! Once you’ve got a properly optimized site, it’s time to build a local link building strategy. Getting quality links from local sites and directories helps to improve your search engine rankings, grow traffic, builds your brand, and gives you more control over your online presence and your business’s reputation.
As search engines are reprioritizing their algorithms for local searches, it’s time for businesses to reprioritize their own local online marketing. If you’re not taking advantage of local online opportunities, you could be missing out on customers searching for you.
Britt Bischoff is a Digital Marketing Specialist at TargetClick – Powered by Mudd Advertising. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about local search and other forms of SEO.