Search engines are a mystery to most beginners or small businesses looking for better results in their surrounding area.
And it should have been no surprise to see all the lack of tactics and strategies that businesses are missing in optimizing locally.
Since my job hunt has begun in the Florida area, I noticed that a lot of companies don’t even implement an SEO strategy or they just don’t care. Looking at the design of the site, I’d say they really don’t care.
So, after seeing another one of these today, I wanted to write this piece to reach out to local businesses struggling to establish themselves with what the search engines are looking for and to give you the plan to start a campaign to clean up the mess. Hire me, I will clean it up for you…
Why So Local?
Looking at a report from Google in May 2014 here is why you need a local plan or customers are going to buy from your competitors:
Four out of every five searchers are looking for local businesses.
50% of consumers who searched locally on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.
Local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches. 18% of local searches on smartphone lead to a purchase within a day vs. 7% of non-local searches.
With over 2.6 billion local searches performed monthly and that number grow more than 50%yearly (Small Business Community)
43% of web searches performed today use local keywords. 86% of those searches convert to phone call or visit to store.
If you already know, I can dig out all kind of statistics for you to proof to you that local customers are looking for your business presence, but most will scan this and run off to find a shortcut or two, so they don’t have to do the work that’s ahead.
There is work to be done and the ones doing it are reaping in the customers and clients.
Your customers and clients.
We need to put a stop to all this nonsense and get down to business.
Local Elements that should be there.
I live in a college town, that comes with college kids, the atmosphere, and the history.
So, you would think that businesses would show team spirit by connecting with local institutions, just being a part of something.
I saw nothing of such.
Most companies I applied to get a job with, was presenting a digital brochure, getting trickles of traffic that wouldn’t stay on site if they were paid.
It’s time for an effective SEO strategy to help small to startup businesses in the Gainesville, Fl area.
The rest of this with will be a starting point.
Foundation For Surrounding search results
Web design is one of the most important elements of showing your customers you value their time. If they see an amazing site, then comfort sits in, they get this inner feeling of being taken care of.
If they come to a website design that’s out of date, non-engaging, or just has no structure or functionality, then people leave.
They just do.
Folks already scan content or stay on websites for 10-40 seconds before finding a reason to leave.
Don’t give them any reasons to leave.
Staying relevant in than relevant world
Google, Bing, and Yahoo strictly loves them some up to date information about your business, your products, your service.
So why are so many businesses completely leaving this aspect out of their SEO, lead generation tactics and overall business?
Blogging, writing to the open internet, or digital journalism, whatever you want to call it, today its a must have.
With three million blogs being started monthly and over three billion folks on the internet today, we need to begin a content marketing strategy by writing articles once a week, maybe twice, to show we value our customers time by writing something worth reading.
Give out special offers to people that visit and reads your crafty creations.
You options with blogging are unlimited and it’s only going to grow.
Here’re five tips on how to begin a blog:
Build a one-two punch of marketing by creating your blog WITH your website, NOT separate.
For every post or article you write, you increase your chances of finding the quality customers you are looking for.
Blogging shows you care, you value, you respect your customers and clients by creating relevant, valuable information that they are searching for.
If you want to even be on the radar of all major search engines, blogs and videos are the way to go.
Last but not least, when people search on the web and the results page comes up to show the most relevant answer to the question at hand, there are only two places folks will end up going, videos and blogs….
Review Sites and Local Listing Directory’s
Couple things we need to understand, first local listings are not as effective as they once were and two reviews are extremely important to local bricks and mortar companies.
With all the past backlinking schemes, spammy content or webmasters just taking advantage of Google’s kindness, list directories are being replaced by things like Facebook Groups or Google Plus Community’s, which makes sense to me. We will get into that a little later.
List management is pretty basic in nature. Make sure you fill out all the essential information about your business such as operation hours, address, phone number, availability of products, etc…Kind of like filling out a bunch of profiles in the yellow pages.
Be very specific about your information and make sure all information is uniform across all list directories.
You can use this tool by Moz Local to establish a good plan, to begin with. Here’s a top ten list from some of my favorites list directories:
Reviews and ratings can persuade customers to buy your products and services. Bad reviews can encourage folks to run and hide, searching for a better solution, your competitors.
But good reviews can give the customer just enough positive feedback to call you and visit your shop.
With review site and rating systems in place, all across the search engines algorithm, there’s some debate about how much really does these sites affect your ranking in the search engines.
Well, instead of thinking about getting greedy and hogging up all the algorithm juices from the search results, reviews are more effective when thinking about how they persuade potential customers decision’s to choose your business.
Final Touch For a Local Feel
Get your company involved in the events and charities of your surrounding area. Definitely, make sure you are affiliated with the number one thing that your local economy thrives on,
If it’s a college town, find your businesses team spirit.
If it’s a mining coal atmosphere, start getting your hands dirty.
If your area is known for being the bubble-gum chewing capital of the world, go find Bubble-Yum and get to chewing.
Just get involved.
Some of the companies I was perusing for a job position was not involved with the major college.
We’re talking twenty to forty thousand kids come and go from my local area each year.
Sounds like opportunities to me….
One more thing before I go, these companies I tried to get a job with, were really involved with local charities and institutions,
which was pretty impressive.
Reach out to these charities and connect with them.
If there involved with some events and gatherings, help out in any way you can. Write an article about the event.
Run a contest on your site, promoting the event and offer savings on your products or services for the people that go to the event.
If they take a selfie at the event and post it on their social media, free products and services to the first ten people to accomplish this.
These are just ideas and concept I bring to the table, so businesses locally can establish a well thought out plan to gain search engine results or exposure to their business.
As this practice will change in the future with all the new updates by Google, one thing is for sure, your customers are local, they are searching for local results and if they don’t find you,
I am almost certain that they will find your competitors.
My mission has never changed I will help you create the kind of audience focused presence online that helps you reach your business goals…
You will learn that success online is not only simple and easy, but fun.
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