Using local SEO is an incredibly effective way to market your business online. Why? Because this type of marketing places your products and services right in front of a person who is preparing to make a purchase. Before you ask, no, we’re not mystics. In today’s blog we’ll be explaining why this should be part of your marketing artillery.
Seeing into the future?
Not exactly… Say you run a business making clothing alterations. It’s easy for us to ensure your business ranks highly for such search terms as ‘quick dress alterations’. The purchase intent comes when your potential customer is searching for ‘quick dress alterations near me’. The search engine understands that the person wants to see a list of services to match that request, and responds by producing localised SERPs.
(You’re welcome The Zip Yard)
At this point that it is crucial to make sure your business is ideally in the ‘top three’: the top three results that appear beneath the map. The Zip Yard is the only one with customer reviews, and I can see the opening times, so that’s where I’m going to get my favourite dress fixed.
When someone conducts a branded search of your business, the familiar information card gives your customers all the details available on your Google my Business account. The more information you include the better you portray your business to people in the area. Things like contact information, opening hours, images and all give potential customers a better idea of what you have to offer, and how to get it.
Google My Business is not where this type of SEO stops. Citations are the places online where your business’s basic information appears. Citation building is important, as anywhere your information isn’t appearing in search results, your competitors likely are, so it’s best to maintain structured and recent citations on the most relevant websites for your business.
But wait, there’s more?
In case you weren’t already starting to polish your spot on the virtual map, here are some numbers to prove just how effective this type of marketing is:
- 44% of visitors clicked on a listing within the top three, whereas only 8% chose to view more search results in that area.
- Google has conducted research to show that businesses with photos on their listings enjoy a 35% higher click through rate to their websites.
- As a business, reviews are one of your most powerful tools. 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as if they were personal recommendations.
- 89% of people read businesses responses to their own reviews.
…and here are some things you can do for free to jump-start your presence on Google My Business:
- Encourage people to tag images on your GMB listing as well as other social media channels, this can be genuine, trusted exposure from consumers who love your brand.
- When you’ve had a happy customer, ask them to review you on Google, your reviews will show up publicly under your company information.
- Ensure your reputation is upheld by responding to your customers publicly. Encourage discourse, answer questions and react to their reviews, good or bad.
For more information about how to boost your exposure in your area, read our Five Top Tips for local SEO in Manchester. This is just one of the cogs in the First Internet Marketing machine, browse our full complement of SEO and marketing services, including social media and pay-per-click advertising.
(Sources: Local Consumer Review Survey by Bright Local, The New Snack Pack by Moz)