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Local Online Marketing: How To Show Up High In Search?

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  • Local Online Marketing: How To Show Up High In Search?

If you run any sort of business, in our day and age you absolutely need to establish an online presence for it. This applies to literally all businesses, even tiny flower stores on the corner of your street and food trucks. This includes setting up a user-friendly website, utilizing social media platforms effectively, and considering options like flower delivery to cater to a wider customer base.

It will bring in what are essentially free leads, and serve as a means to win over the trust of potential customers.

The best of those leads are, of course, local ones. It’s obvious – people don’t want to go far to get what they want to get. This is why local online marketing is an important part of your marketing strategy.

And, if your business faces some strong competition in the area, establishing a strong online presence might just be the thing that helps you outperform them.

In this article, we will be discussing some ways of how you can achieve that.

In no particular order, let’s get straight into it.

Invest In A Strong Design For Your Website

Alright, I know I said “in no particular order”, but I want to kick off the post with something you can do before you actually go online.

Since we’re talking about local businesses, not every single one of your competitors is going to have a $25,000 website. A lot of them will be very simple presentations of their business, and maybe even built using pre-designed templates.

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And, even if you provide services or products that are essentially on the same level of quality, having a website that looks and runs better will simply make you look more professional and trustworthy, especially for people that have never heard about you.

When designing a website for a local business, it is important to consider the business’s target audience and the type of website that would be most effective for that audience.

Additionally, it is important to keep the website’s messaging and design consistent with the business’s branding and to make sure that the website is easy to navigate.

Don’t cheap out on functionality: for example, the ability to reserve a table for a restaurant or order food delivery directly from your webpage goes a long way. Not all people would be willing to go through the trouble of having to call your phone to place an order, especially if your competitor has a built-in reservation system.

Also, remember that words play a vital part in any digital design. Who’s writing the content you want the search engines to pick up? A UX writer or content designer will work strategically with your designers to make sure your web copy is as effective as possible

Optimize For SEO

Even if you spend a dozen thousand dollars on a top-notch website, it doesn’t automatically guarantee you any clicks.

In fact, most small business websites get next to no traffic at all. And realistically, you can’t expect to magically start getting visitors without putting your effort into optimizing your site for search engines.

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There are many aspects of SEO, mainly divided into three categories: on-page, off-page, and technical.

On-Page SEO

Some of the most important points of on-page SEO are:

  • Title tag: This is the text that appears in the tab of your web browser when you open the page. It should include the keywords that you are targeting for that page.
  • Meta description: This is the text that appears in the search engine results pages below the title. It should also include the keywords you are targeting.
  • Headings: Use heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) to indicate the most important keywords for that page.

Text: Include the keywords throughout the text of your page, but don’t overdo it. The text should still read naturally.

  • Images: Use keywords in the file name and alt text of your images.
  • Links: Include links to other related pages on your site, and use keywords as the anchor text. If you’re not sure how, find the answers to “What is anchor text in SEO?
  • Site structure: Make sure your site is well-organized and easy to navigate.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO relates to all activities that you do, as you may have already guessed, off your pages. The biggest part of it is link building – which is the process of acquiring backlinks that point to your site from other resources. You can do this by requesting backlinks or through SEO PR in the form of guest posts and podcast interviews.

Backlinks are one of the strongest ranking factors and serve as a sort of “vote of trust” in the eyes of Google. Besides the obvious advantage of directing extra traffic to your website, they affect how high your pages rank in search results.

In essence, the more backlinks you have pointing to your site from other highly-authoritative pages, the higher you will show up in search. In addition, if you invest heavily into link building, and your competitors don’t they will have a very hard time outranking you in SERPs until they gather at least a comparable number of high-quality backlinks themselves.

Link building has a huge downside: it’s extremely tedious to do, and takes a lot of time to kick in. So, you may want to consider hiring an in-house link builder or an agency to help you out with that.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for Google search through improving its code, structure, and crawlability. The most important aspects of technical SEO are making sure the website is properly indexed by Google, ensuring the website’s code is clean and optimized, setting up proper tracking and analytics, and fixing any crawl errors.

This includes:

  • Making sure the website is crawlable by search engine spiders.
  • Ensuring that the website’s code is clean and error-free.
  • Optimizing the website’s titles and meta descriptions for best visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Creating effective internal links between pages on the website and fixing broken links/redirect loops.
  • Optimizing images for better visibility in SERPs.

Google My Business And Online Reviews

You no longer have to wait to be featured on news and entertainment websites in order to generate leads or be found by your prospective customers. Creating and optimizing your Google My Business listing is arguably the most important thing you can do for your local SEO.

There are a few things you can do to optimize your Google My Business listing for local SEO:

  • Make sure your business name, address, and phone number are correct and consistent across all directories.
  • Include a keyword-rich description of your business.
  • Upload high-quality photos of your business.
  • Encourage customers to leave positive reviews.
  • Use Google Maps to create a custom map of your business location.
  • Include your business in Google+ Local.
  • Get your Google My Business free website

You should give special care and attention to the reviews people leave on your listing – both the good and the bad ones.

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Be prepared that some of the comments will be unfairly rough on you – some people can be excessively mean even if it is completely undeserved.

Obviously, you want to thank people for any positive comments they leave. As for bad ones, some business owners can be tempted to simply remove them, especially if they are completely undeserved.

This is the last thing you actually want to do.

If you receive a negative review on your Google My Business listing, it is important to take the time to reply to the customer.

This will show other potential customers that you are willing to address any concerns that they may have. You can reply to the customer directly on the Google My Business listing, or you can email them at the address that is associated with their Google account.

When responding to a negative review, it is important to remain polite and professional. You should try to address the customer’s concerns and apologize for any inconvenience that they may have experienced.

You should also let the customer know that you are taking steps to correct the issue. If possible, you should provide the customer with a solution or a timeline for when the issue will be resolved.

Use PPC Ads

Even if you have the best-looking and running website in your region, and it’s perfectly optimized for all types of SEO, it can be very difficult to start getting a lot of traffic organically.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertisements can provide you with just the push you need to start getting traction, provided you have the budget for it.

The best thing about these ads is that you can launch a campaign for your competitors’ keywords. So whenever someone searches for them, the first thing they will see in SERPs is your website and not theirs.

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The first step is to identify the keywords that people would use to find your business. You can use Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner to help you with this. Once you have a list of keywords, you need to create ads that will appear when people search for those keywords.

The next step is to create a landing page for your ad. This is the page that people will visit after clicking on your ad. Your landing page should be designed to persuade people to take action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service.

Finally, you need to set up a budget for your campaign and track your results. You can use Google’s AdWords dashboard to track your spending and see how your campaign is performing.

PPC ads work both for B2C and B2B marketing.

Use Social Media

While social media doesn’t exactly contribute to your website’s local SEO, it does play a huge role in establishing your online presence.

Personally, when I discover a new restaurant or a bar in my area, the first thing I do is go to their Instagram page to check out what it looks like on the inside, and, of course, stare down their best meals.

And it’s no surprise that most people do the same thing.

The best way to run social media accounts for different types of local businesses will vary depending on the specific business. However, some tips on how to run social media accounts for local businesses include creating interesting and engaging content, using hashtags to help promote the business, and interacting with customers and followers.

There are a few key things to consider when running an Instagram profile for a local restaurant, for example.

First, make sure that your profile is complete and up-to-date. This includes filling out your bio, adding relevant keywords, and posting high-quality photos.

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Second, be sure to post regularly and use a mix of photos and videos. Posting at least once a day is ideal, but make sure that the content you post is high quality and engaging.

Third, use hashtags to reach a wider audience. Research which hashtags are relevant to your restaurant and use them in your posts.

Finally, engage with your followers and respond to comments and questions. This helps build relationships with customers.

Different platforms might work better for different kinds of businesses. For example, if you run a local marketing agency, it might be better to start a page on Facebook where you have discussions with your audience, and share your knowledge on very niche topics with them.

Local Content Marketing

Local content marketing is a form of marketing that uses content that is relevant to a specific geographic region. This content can be used to attract new customers or to engage existing customers in the local community.

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To localize your content marketing, you need to first understand your target audience. You then need to create content that is relevant and interesting to them. You can do this by using local news, events, and trends to create your content. You can also use local keywords and phrases to help target your audience.

One example of local content marketing is a business providing a blog post about a recent event they sponsored in the community. Another example could be a company creating a video about a customer who won a contest they ran, or compiling the most fun places to go around your town, especially lesser-known ones.

Accounting software company, ProfitBooks is a great example of this. They attracted millions of visitors to their website when they started writing about their local tax – GST.

Final Thoughts on Local Online Marketing

There is no single strategy for showing up high in local search, and every single business’s journey will look different.

However, by taking care of all these points, you will greatly increase your chances of getting discovered by potential customers and substantially improve your local traffic flow.

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