Focus On Series: How to make the most of local search

Why local SEM (Search Engine Marketing) matters 

Whether you are a business with one site, two premises or multiple locations, make the most of local search engine marketing. Local SEM cannot (and should not) be ignored when it comes to creating your marketing strategy for 2020. And why? Because local SEM is key to both attracting custom and growing your business. According to the latest statistics, 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information and a staggering 97% of search engine users searched online to find a local business. 

With smartphone searches fuelling the boom in “near me” queries and 22% of all voice searches said to be local in nature, it seems clear that digital technology has only furthered the importance of local search.

That’s why the Chartered Marketers at Think Beyond have dedicated today’s “Focus On” series to getting to grips with what exactly local search engine marketing is and provide practical tips on how your business can increase visibility for relevant searches across Google, Bing and more. 

Prefer to speak with a member of the Think Beyond team direct? Call 01625 682110 for a no obligation chat. 

What is local search engine marketing?

Put simply, local search engine marketing is the practice of optimising your web presence to promote a physical location or locations. Local search marketing is all about geographic focus and helping your business to appear for relevant intent queries. 

Wikipedia further adds, “Local SEO…is focused on optimising a business’ online presence so that its web pages will be displayed by search engines when users enter local searches for products or services.

Don’t confuse local SEM with organic SEO

It can be easy to confuse local search engine marketing with organic SEO (search engine optimisation). After all, many credit the Hummingbird algorithm update in 2013 as the birth of local SEM.

However, let’s be clear: a good local search marketing plan should consider employing a number of marketing techniques that stretch across the worlds of SEO, Pay Per Click (PPC) and online web hygiene. 

Local search engine marketing tips

Wondering how you can drive relevant local traffic to your business? Check out our 5 handy tips for local SEM below.

  • Get an address

Many businesses make the mistake of not having a real location in the geographic area they wish to target, hampering local SEM from the get go. 

  • Local PPC 

Google Adwords and Bing Ads offer two of the quickest ways to climb the local SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Positions). Similarly, utilising location or affiliate location extensions allows you to display your physical location within your ad space.

A word of caution however – ensure that your PPC landing pages are performing. Are they content rich with the keywords you are bidding on to help create a high-quality score? Have you triple-checked pages for CRO (conversion rate optimisation) and UX (user experience)?

  • Online directories

Correctly list your business in leading directories such as Yahoo, Mapquest and more.

  • Technical SEO

Alongside producing quality localised content, you should conduct on page and offpage SEO work to bolster your local organic rankings.

  • Reviews

Positive online reviews increase trust and are a great form of user generated content to attract and retain custom. According to research, 72% of customers won’t take action until they have read reviews and 15% of users don’t trust businesses without reviews. 

Getting help with local search marketing

With Black Friday closing in and the Christmas sales rush just behind, getting your local search marketing strategy right is business critical. Ensure you attract, convert and retain local intent searches that comprise nearly 50% of online search volume. 

In today’s hyper-connected world, there are more opportunities than ever to get local to get ahead. Knowing how to manage and deliver an inclusive local SEM plan is where a marketing consultant can add value. 

Think Beyond is a Cheshire marketing consultancy helping UK businesses to climb search rankings and connect with targeted users. Always working with and alongside existing teams, our CIM marketers research, plan and implement solutions to deliver results.

Contact the Chartered Marketers at Think Beyond today

To find out how Think Beyond can support your marketing and sales, call 01625 682110 or email hello@think-beyond.co.uk

You may also wish to book a free one hour marketing review by completing our friendly contact form. 

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