Online marketing strategies for local businesses are specifically engineered to get your business in front of and attract local customers. To do that, the first and most important factor for growing your business with local online marketing is to master local SEO and ensure your website is ranking high organically in search results for your area and type of business.

Local Businesses Need Local SEO

SEO is the practice of optimizing your online properties and content to rank high in search engine results for queries that are relevant for your business. This ensures that people in your area will know that you are close and available to supply the services and products they want right now.

When your business relies on local customers to thrive, you need to focus on proven search engine optimization tactics that put your business at the top of local search results and map results. Maps puts your business in front of shoppers on the go when people are in your geographic area.  These local searches are performed by customers looking to make a purchase soon, most of them the same day.

If you run a local business, then you’ll want to know these statistics:

  • 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location. – Wordstream
  • 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps. – Go-Globe
  • 78% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase. – SearchEngineLand

Search engines and search engine users knowing exactly where you are located, being able to see customer reviews, and easily being able to find all the ways to get in touch with you is vital to beating out the competition in your area.

Why Your Business May Be Falling in Local Search Results

Have you seen your business listing drop down in local search rankings?

Local search marketing has dozens of ranking factors and can be so complex; it’s near impossible to tell why your business listing has fallen in search engine results at first glance.

But some key questions can shed light on where the problem lies. And once you’ve determined where problems lie, you can get to work on getting back on top and outranking competitors.

  1. Has Google done an update that affects local ranking?

Google is constantly tweaking its algorithms, and they claim to do this to deliver search results that are as relevant and useful as possible. Dozens of updates can happen in any given month, and they usually won’t affect hard-earned rankings. But sometimes they’ll throw out a change or uncover a bug that needs fixing, and your ranking falls because you didn’t know.

  1. Have you violated Google’s guidelines?

Use Google Webmaster Tools (go to Search Traffic and select Manual Actions) and Google Analytics (look for drastic changes in search engine traffic) to check if Google has penalized your website.

To avoid falling in rankings, or worse suspensions, you should make sure new web pages or other online content (such as reviews or business listings) aren’t spammy or misleading by Google standards.

  1. Do you routinely update your Google My Business Listings?

Sometimes competitors are passing you in local search rankings because they are simply putting in more effort. Your competitors want the top spot, so don’t slack on keeping your Google My Business listing fresh with new content like reviews and photos, as well as updating hours and services as they change.

Consider Outsourcing Your Local SEO and Online Marketing

The desired result of your investment in SEO is that everyone in your area sees your business at the top of page one of search engine results or map search results when they are looking right now to purchase the type of services or products you provide.

Outsourcing your SEO simply means you are engaging a contractor or agency to manage your website’s on-page and off-page search engine optimization. SEO services could include activities such as the creation and execution of SEO strategies, Google My Business listing optimization, content marketing, link building, local SEO, and web design.

The same way a business would contract out maintenance of the landscaping or the janitorial services of their office, you can contract out the setup and continued maintenance of your businesses search engine optimization needs.

If you don’t have the time or lack the know-how, consider retaining the services of someone who specializes in SEO (search engine optimization) and has the expertise to deliver routine results and continuous quality traffic to your website at a low cost.

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