Local marketing focuses on generating awareness and leads for a business location from surrounding cities, zip codes, or counties.
It is an effective form of marketing for many types of businesses, from startups with a single location to enterprises with multiple locations.
For the sake of simplicity, there are two basic categories of local online marketing strategies: organic and paid. In this post, we’re going to focus on what you can do to increase your visibility and lead generation on search engines through organic strategies only.
Stay tuned for our take on the paid advertising tactics that work best for local Denver businesses.
Getting Started with Organic
Organic strategies aim to improve website rankings for relevant keyword phrases and ultimately drive more traffic from search engines.
Key assets related to organic performance:
- Google Local Page
- Business Website
- Citations in Relevant Directories
- Social Media Accounts
Let’s start by creating a Google Local page. Creating a Google local page is an easy way to gain valuable search engine territory in local search results.
Your company details will show up in the right sidebar on Google, an area which for now is typically reserved for local pages and the occasional product listings.
Before you can create an effective Google local page, you will need a couple of things…
There are also some important ground rules to consider. The last thing you want is a penalty from Google undermining all the work you’re doing to build up organic traffic.
•Create only a single page per location. Duplicate local pages is forbidden by Google’s Terms of Service, and can hurt rankings
•Your business address needs to be precise and accurate. Don’t use a P.O. Box or mailbox at a remote location
•Use only as many categories as are necessary to represent your business. Don’t use them to stuff keywords or describe general attributes
Now that you know what not to do, you’re ready to go through the five steps you can take to claim the right sidebar for your business in local search engine results.
Step 1: Gather all the details
Put relevant info in a spreadsheet you can reference as you create your profile. This is especially helpful for businesses with a lot of different physical locations. Here’s what that spreadsheet might look like for a multi-location operation:
Step 2: Locate Google My Business
Visit www.google.com/business/ or search for “Google My Business” and click on the top result.
Step 3: Click to start
When you land on the Google My Business page, simply click on one of the “Start Now” buttons.
Step 4: Add Your Business Data
Add your data to the fields or bulk import info for a multi-location business using the spreadsheet.
Step 5: Confirmation
Confirm proper name and address, authorize, and continue. Once a page is created, a ‘brand pages’ tab will be created where you can easily update your page.
When it comes to your Google Local page, the most important elements are: Name, Address, Phone, Categories, and URL (your web address). Getting those wrong or failing to enter them will have the biggest impact on your organic search performance.
Your Google Local profile is covered, now let’s move on to your own website.
Optimizing Your Website
Simple website changes can help improve your standings in local results. Make sure your website includes your official company name, address, and phone number in the footer and on the contact page.
Add geographic keywords to your service page titles, H1, and body copy so Google knows your site is relevant to people searching in your area for what you offer.
Building Local Citations
Google looks for consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) citations across the web to calculate the local prominence of your business.
Add your business NAP to reputable directory websites to boost site credibility, and positively impact rankings.
Check out Moz’s list of citation sources to find out which directories would be the most important for your business. You can also perform Google searches for your top keywords and see if any directories show up in the first few results.
Register with city websites; add a link to your website and create proper citations
Creating Hyper Local Content
Publishing hyper-local content help you get in front of people from the town in which your business is located.
Here are a few content creation ideas to get you started with hyper-local blogging:
- Share town news on your company blog
- Host a charitable event and share success
- Attend local events and write about them
Target geographic keywords in your blogs on these and other topics and you will be taking a big step toward making your site perform better in search results relevant to your business and geographic location.
Measuring Local Online Marketing
Before you start creating a bunch of new content, ask yourself: how will I measure my performance? There are many analytics tools available. We recommend using Google Analytics because it is easy to setup and powerful.
When tracking website performance, key metrics include:
- Traffic Sources
- Bounce rates
Also, it’s highly recommended that you create trackable links any time you share a link on social media, through email, etc. This gives you another data source to look at and determine what types of content are most effective at reaching your target audience.
Great, you’re measuring performance. How do you know if your organic efforts translate into success?
Organic marketing is a long-term investment strategy. It can take months to start figuring out what is working and what isn’t.
Review your performance metrics at least monthly to gain insights and adjust strategy. Important metrics to review:
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rates
Benchmark performance against historical statistics. If historical statistics aren’t available, use industry averages for CTR and conversion rate.
Get Started Today!
If you run a local business in Denver, you can’t afford not to take the above steps to target potential customers through organic search. Getting free clicks from search engine results can be the lifeblood of businesses in any industry.
If you want to ensure your Google Local profile, directory citations and website are optimized for local online marketing success, contact 1bg today. We can customize a monthly marketing package to fit your needs!