You need to walk before you can run. That’s a sentiment that is often lost on business owners that are only interested in fast and significant expansion. But what good is reaching out to a broader audience if you haven’t even been able to conquer the local market? Spoiler alert: not very. Before you even think about how you can venture out into the untamed world, spend time focusing on how to get the better of your local competitors.
Before we go any further, let’s talk about why it’s so important to be the king of your local market. Well, to put it simply, that’s the biggest buying audience available to you. An awful lot of thought is put into ranking high on search engines, but more crucially is appearing in front of a very particular set of eyes. Namely, your local audience. They’re your niche. Get them on side, and then you can think about national (or even global) expansion.
Given that the digital marketing world is dominated by the highly contested best SEO practices, let’s take a step back for a minute. Instead, let’s focus on local searches. High visibility in your local market is crucial for small businesses, but your strategy doesn’t need to be complicated by any means. It just needs to be planned well. So, here is how to optimise your search strategy for the local market.
First of all, let’s make sure that Google knows exactly where you are. The search engine giant needs to pinpoint your location to gear your visibility towards people in your area. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that, when you search, local results often appear higher in the rankings. That, too, could be you. Just fill in all the relevant information requested by the big search engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and you’re all set.
Be aware that all of the usual SEO standards and practices still apply. Do not breach any of frowned upon techniques, or you’ll be penalised accordingly. Local SEO strategies aren’t a million miles away from regular SEO strategies. So, digital marketing agencies like http://www.websitepromoter.co.uk are still your best friend. Many of them are versed in making sure that your website ranks highly in the local market, so you won’t need to worry about it.
Continuity is key here. All your information should be consistent across the board. If you update your address, phone number, or any other citations on one medium, make sure you do the same with others. You may find that your business has already been categorised, but you just need to claim it to make it your own.
I’m sure you’re well aware of the benefits of reviews, but they’re even more important in optimising for local search. Google, especially, places accurate reviews on a pedestal when it comes to ranking local pages. So, if you aren’t already, make sure your customer service is top notch. An unhappy customer could lead to massive setbacks in your quest for local ranking. Likewise with quality photos. Address those issues, and you’ll find yourself flying up the search rankings sooner rather than later.