How To Create Successful Customer Referral Programs for Small Businesses
The Ironistic team provides tips on how to create a successful customer referral program by leveraging your existing loyal customers…
Local SEO is a specific marketing strategy that can work wonders for your business. When you use it the way that you should, it can increase your visibility to potential customers in your community and drive new traffic to your site, store, or organization. We’ve put together a little local SEO checklist for you with important stats, tips, and advice on using professional SEO services.
Whether you’re a local charity, a real estate company, a law firm, boutique, or bookstore, you need to prioritize local SEO in your overall digital marketing strategy. To prove it, here are some facts:
Making sure your site is optimized for local SEO and that you’re actively employing local SEO strategies will give you a greater shot at biting off a nice slice of this pie.
While some online searchers may be current customers and specifically look for you to get information or directions, many users are potential customers who are often searching for a service or product.
As we noted above, the large majority of potential customers turn to Google when they need some type of resolution or answer in their time of need. Google calls this a micro-moment. So, how can you maximize the visibility of your business when someone searches for the products or services you provide?
You might be surprised just how many local businesses let this opportunity slip by. Oftentimes, your business may appear on Google Maps or local search results just because Google knows (almost) everything. However, it is important to claim your local listing so you have control over the information people see. You can then leverage the other tips below to increase your local search rank.
Start the verification process by visiting gybo.com/business. You’ll typically need to verify ownership/management of your business location via a postcard being sent to your listed business address in order to make sure that you can receive mail (sorry, no P.O. boxes).
Don’t just pick any ol’ category because you think a lot of people will search for it. Your selected categories should be highly relevant to your business and service offerings.
You don’t have to fill in all five categories for your business if only two or three fit the bill. Be specific and choose wisely.
Make sure you provide potential customers with up-to-date, complete information:
When anything changes – update your info asap!
Adding service-related keywords can help you rank higher in local search results. Ask yourself a few questions:
This should help you determine what keywords you should try including in your local listings. Don’t use too many. Just a few well-selected keywords should do the trick.
Consider making your website URL a UTM link so you can monitor traffic coming from your business listing in your Google Analytics reports. This will give you better insight into which pages users navigate to. Plus, it can give you some ideas on how to improve user experience for local customers.
It should come as no surprise that local business reviews are extremely important. Not only do potential customers read reviews before making a decision on where to go or what to buy, but they also play a role in how you rank in local searches.
More and more, we’re finding that people are searching for things that are ‘the best’ or top-rated. People will often include a city, state, or simply add “near me” to find the best options in their area.
Google’s local search algorithm will then consider searcher intent when returning search results. This is a combination of evaluating the number of reviews for the business and the aggregate rating of those reviews.
So, make sure you ask your happy customers to leave you an honest review. Sounds easy, right? Not always. Let’s face it – humans can get lazy, forgetful, or just too busy sometimes. Make it as easy for your customers as possible. Here are a few tips for online reviews:
You can find full info on GMB guidelines here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177.
Once you’ve created or claimed your local listing on Google, you’ll have access to the Insights tab. From here, you can keep an eye on how and where people discover your business listing, the actions customers take on your listing (website clicks, phone calls, and direction requests), and the number of phone calls and photo views. If these stats improve over time, you know you’re moving in the right direction!
Google is the #1 search engine, but it’s not the only one. Make sure your local listing information is consistent across all platforms – this is extremely important for voice search. As we mentioned previously, well over half of Americans use voice search, so this tactic can’t be ignored.
Of course, your local listing rank isn’t everything you need to consider when upping your business game. Don’t forget about the basic strategies of search engine optimization, and make sure you check off all these boxes so you can maximize your online potential.
Got more questions about local SEO or digital marketing in general? Have you gotten to this point, and you realize you need help? We understand that search engine optimization is not a straight and easy road. It takes time, creativity, focus, and dedication.
If you need a team with the resources and experience to do the job right for you, Ironistic offers local SEO services + all sorts of digital strategy support to raise your profile and improve rankings and conversions.
We’ll also be happy to host an Ironistic workshop and share all our local listing insights with your team. Contact us for more information about setting up a virtual or in-person workshop.
Before we go, here are some final words of wisdom from our SEO-savvy team members:
Local business is so helpful because community often provides the basis for good working relationships. Much of local business often centers around helping each other out and word spreading because of the good work you do. This also happens through being involved in organizations like your local Chamber of Commerce, getting reviews online from local customers, targeting your website language to include keywords for local searches, building an email list for your regular customers, and hosting specials or demos for people to come find you in person and get to know you and your company. – Kristen Fischetti, Content SpecialistYou need to think locally: What’s going on in your community? Sponsor a local event and volunteer as a team. Be present where your customers are. Collaborate with other local businesses, and cross-promote by offering combined promotions with other companies. Network — Get to know your customers, let them get to know you, and find out what they want. – Mary Ann Jacobsen, Human ResourcesThere are lots of ways to both get involved in your local community and promote your business at the same time. Having a fundraiser for a local charity, talking to the local newspaper, and putting up bulletins at local businesses that have their own bulletin board are a couple of things you could do. – David Shayne, Front End Developer
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