Proving the value of local search is crucial in the digital marketing and advertising world. To secure the necessary budget and resources, you need to demonstrate the impact of local SEO.
We’ll unveil the secrets, share detailed explanations, and equip you with the powerful steps necessary to demonstrate the immense value it holds. Get ready to unleash the full potential of local search and discover how it can skyrocket your business’s success. By the end of this article, you will have a far better understanding of the various aspects of online presence work together and how to successfully implement effective strategies to ensure you are not missing out on the chance to be present when the need arises!
- Measure Traffic and Conversions
- Conduct a Local Listing Audit
- Leverage Local Associations and Partnerships
- Optimize Internal Location-Specific Pages
1. Measure Traffic and Conversions
Let’s start with the easiest thing; if you have not already, find your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing and claim it for yourself. You may have to provide evidence of ownership, but once the claim to the listing is verified, our efforts to improve our local online presence will not be in vain. After all, Google dominates the search engine landscape, making it essential to assess its performance for your local business.
Whilst we are claiming listings, go ahead and do the same for Bing Places and Apple Maps. We will concede that these platforms do not get near the same volume of queries, but they are very authoritative and trusted platforms that do expose your business to those in your local area.
Next, we want to optimize these listings to drive traffic, calls, requests for directions, and website visits. We can accomplish this by having a description that mirrors how our ideal audience searches for services we offer, completing all the relevant form fields on the profile(s), and using all the tools that they provide.
To effectively measure the impact of these optimizations over time, use the Google URL Builder to implement a UTM variable in your website URL link. This will allow you to track local listing traffic in Google Analytics and associate it with leads, goals, or website revenue data. Additionally, connect the GBP to Google Looker Studio for a comprehensive view of location-specific engagement and improvement over time.
Opportunity: Analyze the data from the Google Business Profile and identify areas that require additional attention. For example, if we compare your organic results to your competitor’s ranking, what could be the reasons they are showing up higher in search results? Things like new 5 star reviews, GBP posts that are relevant to the audience, better descriptions and more are all differentiators. Dedicate the time to optimize your listings by adding informative details, photos, and videos that are created or owned by you. Limit the use of stock imagery as much as possible. Utilize GBP Questions and Answers to address common questions you may be experiencing from customers. GBP posts about company updates, promotions, or industry insights are received warmly by viewers. Consider using review generation services to increase positive reviews on Google and other third-party review sites.
2. Conduct a Local Listing Audit
While Google is the dominant player, it’s crucial to explore other local platforms that can drive traffic to your website. Use local listing audit tools like BrightLocal, SEMrush, or Moz to assess the presence and accuracy of your Name, Address, Phone (NAP) across the web. Ensuring that your NAP information is not only accurate across the web, but is consistently presented in the same way. This is an often overlooked step in the optimization process. It is critical to ensure uniformity of your NAP information as search engines and users have very little patience for conflicting information. Think about it: You want to direct traffic to the correct destination, right? Then we need to be vigilant about how we are being represented across all known channels. By doing this, we are showing the digital world that we are trustworthy, relevant, and physically found in the user populations geographic area.
These audit reports will also provide authoritative listing sites, allowing you to filter website referrals from quality domains and assess the quality of visitors from these domains. This is also referred to as citation acquisition or backlinking. A backlink (also known as “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one way links”) can be defined as links from one website to a page on another website through an anchor text. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks “votes” for a specific page, website, or listing thus indicating relevance, quality, and authority to the web page. Pages with a high number of relevant backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings.
Opportunity: If you discover inaccuracies or a lack of presence in local listings, consider using a local listing management feed distribution service provided by the aforementioned tools. This will correct inaccuracies and expand the reach of your web information, potentially driving more traffic to your site. Additionally, managing and monitoring reviews through review management or generation tools will help you maintain control over your local reputation.
3. Leverage Local Associations and Partnerships
If your organization has partnerships, sponsorships, or other associations with websites that receive significant traffic, these associations can become valuable traffic drivers. Consider this: these highly trusted, valued, and well-trafficked platforms exist to distribute users to relevant websites and businesses.
It would then stand to reason that if we want to get more traffic or visibility, we have to take advantage of these opportunities to be viewed as a trusted resource by way of our associations. The inbound links from these websites hold local area-specific relevance with search engines, providing additional benefits over competition who may not have them!
Furthermore, look for chances to engage in local events, sponsorships, or community initiatives. Participating in local activities not only helps build your brand’s reputation but also creates opportunities for local link building and exposure. By doing this, you can also establish relationships with complementary businesses in your area. Cross-promotion and mutually beneficial partnerships can expand your reach and generate valuable referrals.
Opportunity: Filter traffic from these associated domains and assess their potential for lead generation or revenue. While direct lead attainment may be low from these associations, it is still worth doing! You want to keep in mind that user behavior online should be critically examined. Meaning, DO NOT go out and affiliate your business with every association, sponsorship, networking group, trade organization, mastermind group, chamber of commerce, or small business support group just to get more backlinks. Review their benefits and determine whether or not they hold value to your specific audience.
Analyze bounce rates and whether visitors explore your site to learn more about your offerings. Capture this audience using Google Analytics audience targeting and retarget them with future Display and YouTube ads if possible. By maintaining visibility and relevance, you can maximize the impact of mutual associations from locally linked sites.
4. Optimize Internal Location-Specific Pages
Did you realize you can evaluate your internal location-specific pages to enhance your local search performance? It’s true. Stating what areas of a geographic zone you service helps search engines and users understand what you are able to offer. Even if you don’t serve clients directly in all areas of a given geographic zone, offering location-specific pages on your website is crucial for associating your address with local listings and providing convenience to users of all types.
Conduct keyword research specific to each location you serve and incorporate those keywords naturally into your location-specific pages. Ever heard the expression “Localize your language?” Well, that’s exactly what we want to do! We want to use the words our target and ideal audiences use. Examples could be different terms for a product category (for example, soda vs. pop vs coke), regional variations or colloquial names of a particular product or service (for example a professional electrician in certain parts of the world are referred to as “sparky” because they work with electricity).
Also, don’t miss an opportunity to demonstrate social proof. Including customer testimonials and reviews on your location-specific pages will build trust and credibility. Positive reviews from local customers can encourage potential customers to choose your business over competitors.
Finally, ensure that your location pages provide relevant and valuable information, such as operating hours, directions, unique features or services, and any localized promotions or offers. Don’t miss an opportunity to capitalize on the attention once you have it!
Opportunity: Use Google Analytics to review landing pages specifically for organic search traffic. If the percentage of traffic to these pages is substantial, invest in local search optimization efforts. Analyze user behavior, conversion rates, and goal completions. Identify the necessary information to include on location pages, such as contact details, company information, and internal links to relevant site content.
By understanding the impact of local SEO and implementing the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively demonstrate the value of local search for your business and pave the way for success in the digital landscape. Start by measuring traffic and conversions, optimizing local listings, conducting a local listing audit, leveraging local associations, and optimizing location-specific pages. However, navigating the world of local SEO can be complex, and it’s important to have experts on your side.
Contact the team of local SEO experts at CodingIT today to have your online presence reviewed by professionals. Our experienced team will assess your current strategies, identify areas for improvement, and provide tailored recommendations to enhance your local SEO efforts. Let us help you unlock the full value of local SEO for your business’s growth and success.