In recent conversations with customers about how to use inbound marketing to amplify their lead generation efforts these two questions come up over and over:
• How can our businesses take advantage of localized search?
• What tools exist for tracking local search performance?
That we’re hearing these questions more frequently isn’t simply coincidence. Local search marketing is booming thanks to dramatic increases in the number of mobile smart devices and the introduction of Google Places. If your business hasn’t investigated (or at least staked out) it’s potential for Location Based Searches (LBS) it could be missing some of the best low hanging business opportunity to come along in years.
Local Search Marketing
Local search marketing is a coordinated element of your overall inbound marketing campaign to create location optimized web content and social media posts aimed at action-oriented local-search traffic… where the action is an offline transaction. Local search marketing is essential for location-based services because your prospects are beginning to figure out that when they Google “auto repair” the results they receive may not necessarily be helpful – because the highest ranking service provider is 500 miles away. What your prospect intended was auto repair service near me, right now.
The goal of local search marketing efforts is to get those prospects who seek geographically-specific services to local providers. 30% of all search queries include a city or region, so if you are not integrating geo-specific keywords into your SEO strategy, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic.
Taking Advantage of Localized Search
Getting the high quality leads that local search marketing delivers requires:
- Geographically optimized web content and social media profiles
- Registering your company with business directories that cater to locally-based search
- Claiming your listings at popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing
To ramp up the potency of your local search marketing efforts, be sure you do each of the following:
- Keeping your localized listing information fresh. Don’t allow any of your business registry listings to fall into disrepair by becoming outdated or incomplete. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are your friends. Help them help you make money. You might also consider Yelp, Citysearch, Kudzu, and the Yellow Pages online directory.
- Optimize your landing pages and offers for mobile Dropping a mobile user at your home page and expecting them to pan and zoom to find the localized content on your site is a recipe for disappointment. When you know a localized search is directing a mobile device prospect to your site, feed them mobile content with the most likely actions associated with your product or service prominently featured.
- Track the performance of your local search efforts. Be sure to take your site’s temperature and establish a baseline before you begin any new marketing efforts, local search or otherwise.
- Encourage happy clients to leave reviews on your listings. Encourage reviews on sites other than your own – it carries more credibility. A review on Yelp, Google Places, Facebook, or any other social search engine establishes trust – not only in your brand, but in the authenticity of the review itself.
Tracking Local Search Marketing Performance Metrics
If you’re on the Hubspot CMS, their analytics package is already set up to help you track local traffic. If not, HootSuite and other familiar social media tools are beginning to realize the full potential of local search campaigns. HootSuite recently acquired Geotoko, a metrics service that not only runs but tracks location-based campaigns across platforms such as Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, and Gowalla. The service you choose to track your analytics is up to you, but make sure that you set clear objectives and track your objectives through your traffic volume analytics. This infographic by MDG Advertising. does a great job consolidating what you need to know to run a successful localized search campaign.