Local Search Marketing for Small Business
As of this writing, ‘how to do local search marketing’ is a pretty hot topic for small business owners who rely on local economies to fuel their enterprises. When it comes to the question ‘how to get listed in local search’, one needs to really peel back the layers and look at all the current options available.
Basically it’s a simple concept. Get your small business as visible as possible in the search engines and directories, so the when the searcher comes looking, you pop up and say we are here, we are here!
Years ago – during what I call the early Internet age(kind of like the 1960’s), we only had organic search and a few directories. It was the wild west Internet but not as fast paced as today. For the first 4 years we were on dial up even though much faster lines were available for commercial use. The slow connections prohibited video and audio was just getting it’s start.
Today you have to be tuned in to local search marketing if your small business relies on the local method of generating new prospects and being visible to existing customers.
So let’s look at the basic overview:
You list your business in the directories just like the ole’ physical yellow and white pages books, and then make yourself really visible to the searcher in the search engines.
1. Search Engines – first you have organic and then you have paid. Do it in this order and with paid search, always test first before building out a campaign.
2. Directories provide aggregate information about businesses. You need to be listed on as many as possible. In some cases the directories might rank really high and give you extra search juice. Go to UBL.org and check out their packages. It’s well worth the money.
3. Google Places (formerly Google Maps) is what we use to find locations and destinations. Google + Local is the most current version and Yahoo! also has their version, so make sure you optimize and that your small business is listed and that you’ve utilized all the tools currently available to you.
4. Videos can be a big benefit for testimonials, demonstrations, promotions and more, so be sure to sprinkle a video here and there to help your rankings. It’s also a good idea to use sites like Vimeo and Viddler along with You Tube.
Top it all off with adding Social Media sites, add a little bit of PPC and you have a recipe for local search marketing success.
In addition to the traffic that the search engines, directories, and social media sites can bring your business, you have what I call target market vehicles, plus mobile websites to make search much easier for the mobile surfer.
What it comes down to is making it easy for the searcher to find you. Which means that you should seriously consider a mobile website, since more and more people are using their mobile devices for searches. And they especially use them when looking for a destination or are in need of contact information.
We’ll dig more into this topic in a future post. In the mean time if your small business is stuck in the local search marketing mud – check in with the SmallBiz Mechanic and see if he can help you out.