You want to attract local customers to your business but you’re not sure how…this blog is for you!
Any brick-and-mortar or local service business needs a strong, local SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Whether you’re in real estate, construction, you’re a dealership, law firm, or financial firm, you serve your local city or region and your marketing needs to reflect that.
Businesses like yours often rely on print ads in local newspapers and magazines, video ads on local cable networks, or passing out flyers to other businesses in your area, but customers are starting their shopping online. Even if you already know this to be true, with so many ways you could market yourself online, it’s hard to know where to start.
That’s why you’re here. So, without further ado…
Let’s get started.
Step 1 – Claim Your Google Business Profile
If you own one local business, you can manage your Google listing right from maps. Simply search your business on Google, then claim your listing by clicking the hyperlink titled “Own this business?”
If you manage multiple business or locations, you can manage all your businesses in one place at google.com/business.
Step 2 – Optimize Your Profile
Once you’ve verified ownership with Google, you’re ready to edit and optimize your listing.
Make sure you cover all the basic steps Google walks you through to add your business hours, accurate address, phone number, etc. Then, you’re ready to optimize!
There are two key areas to ensure your GBP (Google Business Profile) is optimized so that with reviews and updates, you can rank in the Google Maps Pack (the top 3 listings that show up in Google Maps on any local search).
First, you want to add neighboring cities to your listing.
In your Google Business Profile, you can pick up to 16 cities to target for searches. That’s the city your business address is located and up to 15 surrounding cities. You’ll want to do a little research before entering your cities. Don’t necessarily just add the 15 closest cities to you. Make sure you’re including cities where your target customer groups live.
You can figure this out by first having a clear vision of your buyers. Are they typically families? What’s their median income? Are they homeowners or renters? Answer these types of questions, then look up the available demographic information of residents in your surrounding cities and add the cities that both align with your buyer demographic and are within a 20 mile radius of your business address.
Second, you want to add ten business categories.
You don’t have to add 10, but Google allows you to add up to ten so you should take full advantage of this feature and add as many applicable categories as possible.
So, what might these additional categories be?
Even though your business likely offers one major service, you probably have a number of additional services you offer that people may be searching for on Google, so you want to make sure you’re surfacing for those searches.
For instance, if you are a car dealership, your main service is car sales. However, you might also do detailing, tire sales, etc. You’ll want to add all those additional services as your additional categories. Or, if you’re a real estate agent, you might also do staging, buying and selling, etc. Take inventory of everything your business has to offer and make sure it’s all represented.
Step 3 – Put a Review Collecting Process in Place
Reviews are critical. Not only to your ranking in Google, but also to your potential customers.
According to dailyblogging.org, 97% of customers say that reviews influence their buying decisions. And, according to this Inc.com article, 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as the word of a friend.
Honest reviews are key. Don’t only invite people whom you know will give you a five star rating. If you have a high volume of reviews with a 4.5+ overall rating, you’re better off than fewer reviews that are all five stars. So, make sure you ask every customer and even visitor to write you a review in Google.
You can ask them to do so when they’re on site at your business, after you’ve closed the sale, or even if you didn’t close the sale. Visitors and customers alike can review your business based on the interactions they’ve had with you regardless of whether they went through with purchasing your product or service.
If you want to get a great review strategy underway, make sure you read our previous blog Get More Google Reviews In 2022 – Increase Your Star Rating And Rank Higher In Maps for a comprehensive look at the ins and outs of a successful review strategy.
Step 4 – Create and Share Localized Content
In the immediate future, content is how you can establish your local authority with readers. In the long term, optimized, local content helps you rank higher in Google Maps and Google Search.
A lot of people get intimidated by the thought of continually creating content. It feels like a big commitment. But, you’d be surprised how much mileage you can get out of a single piece of content. While it’s always best to post more, posting consistently is most important. So, make a content creation and publishing schedule that works for your business.
For a great, manageable content strategy, you first want to pick your long-form content format. This could be blogging, video (YouTube), or podcasting. Google has become much more sophisticated and now pulls up video results in their regular organic searches. Plus, you can post any of these formats to your Google Business Profile as an update.
When you have a long form content strategy, that content can be easily leveraged for 10+ other content pieces for your Google Business Profile updates, social media posts, email marketing, and more.
So, now that you’re convinced you need to be creating and publishing content consistently, what are you going to talk about in your content?
Make sure you are speaking about your specific area. Show potential customers that you are the expert in your city or region. Use specific neighborhood names, street names, HOAs (if applicable), local municipalities, relevant local policies, etc. Make sure it’s relevant to your business and your local area.
Then, no matter which content form you choose, make sure you’re posting that content to your Google Business Profile as an update. Ideally, you’ll post daily on your Google Business Profile leveraging your long form content for multiple content pieces as well as other updates pertaining to your business.
Step 5 – Expand to More Channels
Now that your Google Business Profile is optimized and being continually updated, and you have a consistent content creation strategy in place, it’s time to point more traffic to your site by leveraging other channels. Social media, Google ads, other digital ads platforms, guest blogging and podcasting, anything to drive traffic to your site and the content you’re creating.
More traffic means higher rankings in Google because it shows Google that your site is trusted and authoritative.
Want Us to Do This for You?
All this local SEO is just one piece of the local digital marketing puzzle that we at Lead Revenue do for our clients. Once we get all of this in place we also have live chat agents for your website, live call agents to answer leads’ phone calls, and more to make sure we nurture those leads from interested to a sale.
Find out how we can help you double your leads and revenue when you schedule a call with us! Schedule a time to see for yourself here.