Local online marketing, also referred to as location-based marketing, is critical for businesses of all types and sizes, whether a business is a brick-and-mortar store front, online-only businesses or a combination of the two. Local online marketing is important because the web searcher’s location factors into the search results that search engines show. Plus, people often want to work with people and businesses that support their local area. Let’s dig into three key areas that can help all businesses improve their local marketing efforts online and attract more customers.

Web Content that’s Ready for Local Customers
Optimizing your website for local buyers is essential. With the majority of web searches happening on mobile devices, your company website absolutely must be mobile-friendly. A responsive design will allow your website to automatically adjust the size of the screen that it’s being displayed on. That helps your prospects see the needed information on any kind of mobile phone or tablet.

Using geo-targeted keywords on your website and in the metadata also helps search engines connect your business with local buyers. A company like ours should use terms such as “houston seo agency” and “houston seo services” to draw in potential customers who want a Houston-based SEO company to help them. There is a caveat to this though. Use geo-targeted keywords in a way that sounds like how you’d really talk and write. Over-using your keywords or “keyword stuffing” makes it difficult for your readers, often leading to prospects abandoning your website.

If your business has more than one location, we recommend building landing pages for each site so that you can customize the web page to the neighborhood. For instance, a localized landing page should include the street address, phone number, map and photos of the storefront. Further, you can also feature the community organizations that your business supports such as the area Chamber of Commerce and a children’s sports team. If your company has been featured in the community newspaper, the landing page is an ideal place to promote that media coverage.

Work with GoogleGoogle My Business reviews
First, claim your Google My Business page. Think of it as a free online advertising opportunity. This will also help your company show up on Google Maps correctly. On a monthly basis, post photos of your products, office, team gatherings, etc. to your Google My Business page. You can also post videos, but they must be less than 30 seconds in length. Think about bite-sized content that your customers would find of interest and then record a video of your executive(s) covering that topic. Articles that are 100 words or less are also great fodder for Google My Business. Lastly, remember to ask your clients to take 2 minutes and write a review of your business. As you’ll see in the screen shot on the right, when your business comes up in the right margin of a Google search, your reviews are featured in one section of the information that Google displays.

Pay-per-Click Advertising
Advertising does require a budget, whereas the above techniques do not. However, businesses that run Google Adwords are able to see measurable increases in traffic to localized landing pages. We recommend setting up several campaigns in AdWords so you can identify which keywords (broad and geography-specific) work best on which devices (computers, mobile devices or both). One strategy is to use broad keywords and select your city as the location in Google Settings. A second campaign would not include your city in the location settings but would include your city or even your area of town or neighborhood in the keywords. (Example: “Garden Oaks SEO agency” and Heights SEO agency”) Of course, you want to make sure your neighborhood name isn’t also a city or neighborhood in another state.

Google Advertising does allow the campaign manager to turn ad campaigns on and off as desired, offering great flexibility. It’s also a great way to really focus your online ads to your community and strengthen your local online marketing.

If you would like to talk more about fine-tuning your local online marketing, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.