Local Search Marketing is a strategy of general search engine optimization. The tips in this article are to be used on physical storefront locations and not for general website marketing. By following this simple strategy, you can attain top rankings for your store:

Steps for Local Search Marketing:

  1. Make sure your business listing are claimed and optimized
  2. Maintain more citations than your competitors
  3. Optimize your listing for keywords
  4. Setup your website to properly

Optimize Your Local Listings

  • Find and save 8 photos that represent your business.  Rename these pictures as keywords
  • Upload a video about your business on YouTube use this in as many profiles as possible
  • List 5 services that your business specializes in.  These will become your 5 keywords
  • Keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent.  This means using the exact same information about your business everywhere online.
  • Make sure to add additional information to your Google places listing, such as hours of operation, products you carry, additional services you offer, types of payment accepted, directions, etc.  The more information, the better!
  • Add your 5 services as categories into your listing.  The first one should be your primary service or the primary nature of your business.  The other 4 can simply be the remaining keywords you have chosen to represent your company.
  • Write a description of your business. This should read as a light, easy to understand summary of the services you offer and the products you carry.  Do not over use keywords.  Once is enough.  Also, be sure to include your city in this description. It might be helpful to read your competitors’ summaries to gain ideas.
  • Upload the 8 photographs.  Make sure they have been renamed as keywords.
  • Visit Panaramio.com and find 2 photos that have the name of your city in the title.  Upload those 2 photos to your listing as well.
  • Upload the YouTube video of your business to your listing.
  • Add a few coupons or discounts to your listing.
  • Double check your listing for accuracy and submit.
  • After you have submitted your listing, be sure to share an update on it.  Include keywords in your post.  An example of an update could be an upcoming sale or event.
  • Try to get at least 5 people to review your company.  You can ask regular customers and even offer an incentive to those who do, such as a discount on their next purchase.

Maximize your Citations

A citation is a mention of or reference to your business name or address on other websites, with or without a link.  For example, your business may be listed on an online directory.  This would count as one citation.

As stated earlier, it is important to have a consistent name, address and phone number associated with your business.  This will help you build citations.

Citations are used to rank on major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.  If everything else is equal between two businesses, the one with the most citations will rank higher. The search engines use citations to verify your business identity and increase your credibility.

Where to get Citations

  • Local Search Directories, such as Superpages, Yelp, Kudzu, Insider Pages, Angie’s List, etc.
  • Hyperlocal Blogs, which are blogs that are central to your community.
  • Industry Focused Blogs or Directories, which are specific to your industry or services.

Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a crucial factor in listing your business effectively.  If you do not know much about SEO, you can outsource to an SEO company, who will handle it for you.  Because of its technical nature, SEO is complex and should be taken seriously.  Do not try to save money by skimping on this aspect of your listing.  Hiring an expert is a wise investment.

In a nutshell, here are a few ways to optimize your site on your own.  Make sure to include keywords in all content on your site.  But be careful not to overdo it.  A common rule is to use keywords 1-2% of the time.  Likewise, make sure to include the name of your city and the services you offer.

Another good tip is to include your keywords + city + phone number in your title tags, which will help your site have higher rankings.  It will also allow customers to see what you offer in the search results.

Some more good tips include:

  • Putting a keyword in your H1 tag
  • Putting keywords in your image alt tags
  • Using anchor text to link to other pages within your site
  • Link to other sites that are relevant to your industry

Speaking of links, it is an integral part of SEO.  Again, hiring an expert is probably the safest bet, but here are a few pointers for those who wish to take it on themselves:

  • Acquire a variety of links
  • Aim for about 50% of your links going to your home and the other 50% going to your internal pages
  • Press releases are a great way to obtain links
  • Submitting online articles is also a great way to get links
  • Post on forums or blogs for additional links