Local Search – 5 Quick Steps To Boost Visibility

Does Local Search Still Matter?

Of course local search still matters.Local Search - Elephant in the Room

While much of the online marketing focus remains on social media, it’s easy to ignore the fact that local searches is the elephant in the room. Tweet This

Last year, Google revealed it does 100 billion (with a “B”) searches each and every month. Tweet This

Of these, estimates are that somewhere between 20–30 percent are “local” searches with 40 percent of these searches via mobile.  Tweet This

Based on these estimates, this means that the size of local market is approximately 30 billion.

Local Search Stats - Google 2012With increasing popularity of everything mobile and the propensity for mobile users to take immediate action, the prospects are pretty good that local search is going to continue to grow.

Are you getting your fair share of the local search market?

Probably not.

That’s okay.  You can change that.

Here are 5 tips to get your local search marketing efforts back on track.

1.  Boost Local Search by Boosting Local Business Listings – Tweet This

If you haven’t already, claim all of your free business listings from Google, Bing and Yahoo.  If you’re in retail or the service industry add Yelp, foursquare, WHERE and SCVNGR to the list.

If you have these accounts already set-up, dust them off and update them.  This might include new staff, awards, new products, upcoming promotions or events.  Don’t forget great looking photos and videos.  Make these accounts stand out so when someone is doing a local search, you‘ll be in one of premier 10 spots on the first page.

2.  Ask for Customer Reviews

In your next email communications to your customers, provide them a link to your Google business listing and ask them to provide a review of your company, product or service on Google+ Local.  Some will and some won’t.  That’s okay.  What matters is that you make an effort to collect reviews for your business on a regular basis.

3.  Listen & Respond

Set up Google Alerts for your company, any proprietary names of products or services.  Pay attention to these alerts and make certain you address both the positive and the negative reviews quickly and professionally.

Whatever you do, don’t get defensive with negative reviews.  Instead, use a negative review to demonstrate your professional attitude toward customer service.  Ideally, view positive and negative customer feedback as valuable insights into what your customers want and need.

4.  Geotagging

Make certain that all of your social profiles for your business are tagged with your city, location so customers in your area can more easily connect with you and vice versa.

You also want to make certain to use geotagging in your tweets, Facebook updates and Instagrams.

5.  Become a Local Community Cheerleader

Demonstrate your community pride by sharing your photos of local events, places, people and those of others.  Be certain to tag the locations.  Write blogs and post information about community and/or chamber events on your website and share with your social networks.  Share your participation in local community events, your support of local athletic sports, etc.  Let people know you are an active community supporter.

Not only will this give you fresh content to post and share, but it will also generate a lot of goodwill for your business.

What other ideas do you have on boosting your local search visibility?  You should share them below in the comments box.

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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