The world of marketing has changed drastically in the modern age. The rise of technology and digital media has meant that companies can reach customers from across the globe. However, local marketing remains an integral part of any marketing strategy. Through local marketing, businesses can reach customers in their local community and build strong relationships with them. Here are four powerful local marketing ideas that will help your business succeed:
Even in the digital age, print media such as flyers and business cards are still a great way to reach customers in your local area. They not only act as a physical reminder of your company but also provide potential customers with contact information, product descriptions, and other vital details about your business. Print media does not have to be expensive. You can often find a local printer that will provide significant discounts for bulk orders. The Printed Image is an excellent option for local businesses in Columbus. Not only do they provide quality printing services, but they also offer promotional products such as banners, signs, and apparel.
They say the best way to build customer relationships is to get involved in the community. Attend local events, volunteer your time and resources, and sponsor a local organization – these activities will help people become familiar with your business and create positive impressions. It’s also important to share your experiences on social media so potential customers can see how you engage with the community. This will help increase your brand awareness and loyalty among local customers.
Social media networks are powerful tools for engaging with local customers. You can use them to share information about your products and services, post promotions, and connect with potential customers in the area. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great platforms for reaching out to local customers. Create a profile for your business on these networks and post content regularly to keep your followers engaged.
Local search engine optimization (SEO) targets customers in specific geographic locations by optimizing content for local searches. Local SEO can help your business rank higher in search engine results, increasing its visibility and traffic from potential customers. Make sure to include relevant keywords that describe your business and geographic area in your website’s content to help it rank higher in local searches.
Incentives come in many different forms, but they are all designed to help attract and retain customers. You can offer discounts, loyalty programs, coupon programs, reward points, or other promotional offers to encourage local customers to choose your business over others. If you opt for a loyalty program, set up a system that rewards customers for their continued patronage. In addition, make sure your incentives are communicated clearly to your customers. Social media is a great tool for this – post announcements and updates on new offers, discounts, or other incentives that you are offering to attract more local customers.
Local marketing is still an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy. It can help businesses reach their goals and build strong relationships with their local communities. Utilize print media, get involved in community events, use social networks, leverage local SEO, and offer incentives to attract more customers. With the right strategy in place, you can be sure to see success in your local marketing efforts.
The real estate business has changed quite a bit over the years. The days of cold calling, cold emailing, lead scoring, WOM, and prospect profiling are not as powerful as they once were. But these are not the most efficient or far-reaching methods of marketing any longer. Social media and online digital marketing have taken the lead in most markets.
Online marketing specifically has become the mainstream method for marketing real estate. People realized the convenience of remote marketing and property hunting even before the pandemic. It is cheaper, reaches the target clients easily, and often times when done right is engaging. But to take full advantage of it, you have to go full throttle with the SEO process.
As a realtor, you’re always looking for ways to generate new leads and ways to get your name out there for potential clients to see. You may be wondering if you should invest in local service ads or local SEO. Here’s a breakdown of the two methods and what they can do for your business.
Local Services ads (LSA) are a paid form of marketing that allows you to advertise your business on Google. Your ad will appear when someone searches for a relevant keyword or phrase in your area. For example, if someone searches for “real estate agent in XYZ town,” your ad could appear at the top of the results.
Local SEO is a bit different. It’s an organic form of marketing that focuses on optimizing your website and online presence for local search results without paying Google. This means making sure your website appears high organically in the results when someone searches for relevant keywords in your area. We’ll learn more about the local SEO portion throughout the article.
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, isn’t completely rocket science once you understand the fundamentals. It is to simply prepare targeted content, typically articles or blogs, in a way that they have the opportunity to come up when people search for certain topics. The goal is to make your content the first answer that a search engine will display for users. Please keep in mind that this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. But once your content starts to rank it can anchor in the search results for years bringing residual traffic to your website.
To do so, you have to make good use of keywords. These are common phrases that people will search for when they want to look something up. By including the most searched phrases and words directly into your content, you ensure that a search engine will ping it whenever someone searches for anything relevant.
You can also include LSI keywords, short for Latent Semantic Index keywords. LSI keywords are semantically connected words that Google, in particular, finds when it looks for content. These are essentially paraphrased terms for the same keyword or topic that you can focus on.
Keywords also apply to your website. Your website must be properly optimized for your target keywords so Google can index them properly. Things like metadata, copy H tags, and image alt tags are all important to have optimized.
The content will contain backlinks, which will refer to your website and draw in traffic for you. Backlinks are naturally placed within phrases to not come off as marketing. This can help create a good impression and anticipation in a visitor before they visit your site.
SEO can provide any business with powerful advantages when done properly. Instead of just searching in the dark for potential clients, you’ll have access to these features.
Every single one of these advantages applies to you as well. However, you have some unique additional advantages when it comes to real estate marketing, and these can put you in the lead.
Real estate or property marketing and sales work on building a relationship with the client. You have to come across as accurate, trustworthy, knowledgeable, and prompt. Here’s how SEO can achieve all of that for you without any effort.
SEO is a very powerful tool for real estate businesses, but you haven’t gone the whole nine yards yet. For that, you’ll need to look into the benefits of local SEO for real estate businesses.
Local SEO is optimizing your content for local searches. This promotes your content and website aggressively within a specific geographical location. This drives up your online ranking by eliminating competition and coming up with specific searches.
To understand how local SEO works, you have to understand local search. A local search is when the user uses terms such as “Real estate agents near me.” Google then uses the geographic location of the user to track businesses nearby and cite them. You want your website and business profile to be referred to in these searches and come up as high in the rankings as possible.
The benefits of local SEO for real estate businesses are not very different from SEO strategies. But it is far more focused. You’ll have some enhanced advantages.
This all may sound convenient, but setting up local SEO strategies can get pretty convoluted. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to untangle it and do some of it yourself.
You can take the first step of arranging local SEO for your real estate without assistance. To do so, you have to set up your business profile on Google.
To set up your business profile, follow these steps.
Once you’re verified, your profile is set up. Customers will find you in local searches on Google and also on Google Maps. You can go and edit your business profile further to state when you’re open and a few other features.
The rest, however, is best left to professionals. While SEO isn’t totally rocket science, it takes time and experience to properly set up a business for online visibility and brand image. It’s not different from how people see real estate, it’s only easy on the outside.
The benefits of local SEO for real estate businesses are not to be overlooked. Beyond the leads, ROI, and efficiency it brings you, it buys you time. A human cannot serve as many clients as a website can, and it can save you from pitching to every customer. It won’t just give you more business. It’ll give you more time to enjoy success.
Nearly 76% of online shoppers prefer to read product information in their native language. In fact, according to the same study, as many as 40% of online shoppers will never buy from a website that’s not in their native language.
And that means companies that want to expand into new markets and reach new audiences must be willing to offer them information and support in their native languages.
Luckily, that’s where website localization can be incredibly useful. It allows companies to remove not just any language barriers between the company and the audience but also account for cultural and other important aspects that can remove friction and ensure your audiences are happy across the world.
But how can you get started with building an effective website localization process? Let’s explore some of the most important steps below.
Any effective website localization campaign must start with a plan. The process is complicated and lengthy enough as it is, so you need to at least establish what you’re trying to achieve and lay out the steps that will allow you to bridge the gap from where you are now.
Creating a comprehensive plan will also help you focus your resources where they are the most useful, making the process of website localization not just more efficient but more cost-effective as well.
A good starting point to look at is how your products and brand fit with the market you are trying to enter. Sometimes you won’t need to make any changes to how your brand and products look, but in other cultures, you may need to make significant changes to make your offerings look appealing.
Another key part of making a plan is to look at your timeline. If you want to make an aggressive push into a new market and want to launch as soon as possible, that will probably cost more to implement quickly. Think about whether the timeline makes sense and if it will offer a good ROI.
Finally, map out the stages of the process and mark down significant milestones you can use as signposts that show you’re heading in the right direction.
Most of the decisions that you’ll be making in your website localization project will revolve around the audience you are trying to cater to. And that means that to make informed decisions, you need to start with in-depth market research that will help you discover the subtle differences between your current audience and the one you want to serve.
And at the very first stage, that means identifying the markets that show the most potential for success. You could potentially expand to any corner of the world, but you should prioritize the countries and languages that have the biggest ROI potential and have audiences eager to buy your products.
When you identify the best potential markets to enter, make sure you dive deep into understanding their core needs, unique localization challenges, and which segments you should prioritize when designing your website’s functionality and structure.
Even though localization can be a complicated process, the good news is that there are tools designed to make the process simpler and more manageable. In a global economy, millions of companies are looking for ways to better cater to the needs of local audiences, and these solutions allow streamlining various tasks and steps, improving effectiveness while simultaneously reducing the time it takes to complete the project.
But what can localization solutions offer your company?
Well, one powerful feature is the ability to build a centralized database for all your translations, which can help maintain consistency and identify the unique patterns that should be maintained across different localization projects.
A localization software solution can also help speed up the translation process itself using machine translation, which can then be further worked on by a human translator to ensure that the subtleties of the local language aren’t lost.
Finally, with the help of localization software, you can establish a terminology glossary, which will help maintain consistency in phrasing and wording in projects that are worked on by multiple people at once. Even a seemingly simple feature like this can go a long way in ensuring that no part of your core messages gets lost and that the local audiences understand your offer and value proposition.
Website localization is a key part of successfully entering new markets. A significant percentage of buyers want to interact with brands in their native language, so it’s up to you to provide them with a seamless experience they will enjoy.
And the good news is that you can break down the website localization process into actionable tasks and streamline each aspect through specialized solutions.
Search engine optimization has become one of the most turbo-charged marketing tools in the service industry. It drives a higher return on investment than any other marketing strategy. Google has become a dominant part of everyday life, delivering a 34% click-through rate to those lucky enough to rise to the first-place position. If SEO isn’t right at the top of your marketing priority list, you can cut a significant chunk out of your profits. Let’s look at a few easy ways you can gain Google power.
Google’s algorithms are too intelligent to trick these days, so dishonest tactics will hinder more than they can help. Keyword spamming and duplicate content might seem like cheaper ways to gain rank, but the search engine penalties can last a lifetime. Your search engine optimization strategy should focus on providing real value to your audience. Google rewards content depth, relevance, and originality, so quality should be your highest goal. Play by the rules, and the benefits will follow. Google rewards:
Google crawls the internet in search of content constantly, so it’s quick to reward updated websites. Fresh content is worth its weight in pixels, and the modern interwebz offer hundreds of opportunities to create it. Review sites are enjoying their heyday, so you can even count on your customers to create a steady stream of new SEO-worthy content.
Blogs, podcasts, and video blogs can encourage your users to engage, so they offer more than just the SEO value of the content itself. Comment sections are a goldmine to the organic marketer. Search engines also favor trendy topics, so use your blogs to publish newsworthy keywords. The freshness algorithm update counts on four dates to assess every URL:
In other words, even a rewrite can boost your freshness score.
Product-based businesses can market via their product features, but service-based businesses work a little differently. Google expects them to demonstrate authority and expertise, and there’s no better way to achieve that than through FAQs. They open up the possibility of ranking in the “People also ask” box, which dominates service-based search results. They also improve your EAT components, which measure your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. You can geotarget your rich results to achieve an extra dose of relevance.
You can sell a product to a customer on the other side of the world, but your service offering must cover a smaller patch of land. That makes geotargeting one of the strongest SEO tools at your disposal. You’ll need separate subpages for every location and service you offer. That’s a lot of content, but there are easier ways to cover your location.
You can strengthen your geotargeting with the mere inclusion of local citations. These are SEO tools that mention your company’s address and phone number. You can include citations on social networks, business directories, and service pages. NAP (name, place, and phone number) inclusions will allow you to rank under a narrower Google search, so they make it easier than ever to achieve that coveted number one search result.
Don’t forget the geotargeting potential of reviews. They can help you to earn more SERP real estate for branded search terms, so it’s worthwhile to offer discounts and credits for every ounce of customer feedback.
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most powerful ways to boost your service-related brand. This is a free tool that puts you on the map. Pin your location to Google maps, and the search engine will enhance your local rank for location-specific search queries. If your customers request your service “near me”, you’ll rise right to the top of the pile.
You can only draw GMB’s best results by including high-quality photographs, FAQS, and reviews. Your social media presence will pack an extra punch because Google awards a higher rank to those with a robust PR strategy. You can also boost your GMB rank by:
There’s a reason SEO has grown in importance among service-related businesses. Google is getting better at localization by the day. That means your potential customers can find you more easily than ever before. This is the time to perform an SEO audit that harnesses this new power. The investment will do more than just push you to the top of your search results. It will also boost your credibility and give you an extra edge against the competition. Almost 80% of local mobile searches end in conversions. Now that’s a statistic worth investing for.
Author: This article was written by Michael Dinneen of NYC Nanny Agency NannyCity. NannyCity is a leading Nanny Placement Agency with locations in both NYC & CT. To learn more please visit https://nannycity.com.
Whether you’re running a small business or a nonprofit organization, location plays a primary role. Even though these days, a lot of people are shifting towards the more virtual world nothing can replace the level of trust a physical location can provide.
When we want to look into a company or a business, the first thing we do is Google it. There are several ways you can make your business discoverable online, but one easy and effective way is joining Google My Business.
Through Google My Business you can make sure you can be found on Google Maps and Google Earth.
This is one of the first steps in becoming discoverable online.
If you haven’t already, you can get started with Google Maps with the following steps:
Step 1: Make a Google My Business account and disclose your business address.
Step 2: Specify the business or services you offer.
Step 3: Get your business location verified by Google.
Step 4: Specify all the relevant secondary business categories.
Step 5: Add an introduction and images.
Step 6: Include social media channels and any other relevant links.
The value provided by Google location services like Google Earth and Google Maps tends to be the gift that keeps on giving. First and foremost, it helps people find you. But also, it leads people to your website, builds credibility, and can help you enhance your brand image across multiple platforms.
These features are not limited to just businesses, it can also help bring awareness to community locations, nonprofit organizations, and even events.
If you’re a nonprofit business, something interesting you should look into is how to use Google for Nonprofits. Google has several unique services nonprofit organizations can take advantage of.
The best part about all of this is that it’s free! You can also get additional free credits from Google if you register for a Google Non-Profit Business Account.
With regards to this type of account, to reap the advanced benefits of Google Maps there are eligibility criteria that you need to pass.
However, once you get this, you and your organization supporters can use advanced features which you would normally have to pay for. This works by Google providing you free credits that you can use as your business deems fit.
Even though this is pretty much a self-explainer, there are so many ways where you can make your business discoverable. One of the biggest benefits of Google Maps will lead to a lot more foot traffic or prospects.
However, having your location online can help customers tag your business in social media posts. Customers can even help set meetings through platforms like Facebook, or through the Google Events Calendar.
Google Maps along with the use of geotagging and the Google My Business Platform, helps bring awareness to your business. With the help of geotagging, marketers can use location-based SEO and SEM strategies to rank locally.
Now people in close vicinity or those who are interested can find your business a lot quicker and easier.
Customized Maps is yet another lesser-known service offered by Google Earth.
With Customized Maps, you can walk people through your brand story. You can present your motivations, business locations, and general day-to-day business – which is a great way to promote yourself to people.
These people can be potential business partners, clients, and even future employees.
In the case of nonprofits, you can show donors the factors and areas in which your work is effective through a presentation.
You can even touch on the various reasons your business does what it does, with the use of images and insightful text. The images and text are accompanied by map locations, or even 3D views of the location – to help paint a clearer picture.
If you want to look more into it, Google does a great job of explaining this in-depth.
3. Virtual Tours
When making pitches to clients, or closing deals, from the client’s standpoint, they must know who they’re in business with. When dealing with clients overseas or also while in a tough spot due to a global pandemic, virtual tours can come through.
It would be a smart move to indulge your prospects with an immersive virtual tour experience. With Google Maps, you can create virtual tours that can highlight the different parts of your business. You can also give them a look-in in the day-to-day activities.
With little spending, you can utilize high-definition 360° images to give them a unique experience from anywhere in the world
This is possibly the most underrated provision provided by Google Maps and the most overlooked one from a digital marketing standpoint. However, there is undeniable value in reviews on Google Maps.
Search Engine Ranking is something that’s at the center of any digital marketing campaign. When dealing with businesses, taking advantage of local SEO techniques is key.
However, when dealing with conversion, what it comes down to is customer experience.
An infographic conducted recently by Invesp concluded that 90% of consumers read online reviews before purchasing. It also mentioned that 72% said that good online reviews made them trust a business more.
Allowing for customers to rate your business, leave reviews and also add pictures on Google Maps is an aspect that often goes overlooked.
Another element worth mentioning is tagging the business’s location on social media. This is a good form of word-of-mouth marketing and is also really good for local SEO.
Generally, people love to know what is trending. Positive reviews on social media that geotag your business location is a great way to keep getting new customers.
However, one should keep in mind that they should go out of their way to provide their clients with positive experiences.
As reviews can be just as harmful, businesses should keep in mind customer satisfaction and delivery of quality services.
With Google Maps, people interested in your business can find it easily. But more importantly, they can lead to the different platforms on which your business markets itself.
With Google My Business, your clients can access contact information such as your telephone number, email address, and website. This helps with local SEO based on the nature of the service you offer.
They also can help people engage with people on several other platforms that can be accessed all at one point.
These days, most business details can be found when looking for the business on Google Maps. The predominant reason that people like Google mapping services so much is because it provides a legitimate and trustworthy access point.
It can be accessed on different types of devices and overall has a user-friendly interface.
From everything we’ve just covered, the benefits that Google Maps and Earth offer clients are quite clear. The only thing people need to keep in mind is how to utilize it to best suit their needs and functions.
Regardless of whether your business provides food, products, or services, there is an undeniable need to acknowledge the impact location plays.
Whether it’s leading to potential prospects, potential employees, or even just awareness, map location and accessibility play a vital role.
In the case of Google for Nonprofits, there are several ways in which you can offer your potential donors enticing, location-centered content.
But your general takeaway from this article should be to take advantage of numerous opportunities these location services provide. Google Maps and Google Earth can provide your business with several perks if you know where to look.
Recent surveys indicate that 75% of local searches result in a visit to the store. Any business owner knows statistics like these mean optimizing to better capture those local searches is an absolute must. Over the past few years, the entire search industry has made a huge shift. Because in-store visits are down and smartphone searches are up, the search industry has realized that optimizing to make in-store visits increase is no longer optional.
Local SEO has to be addressed for brick and mortar business of all types, almost faster than traditional SEO concerns do. Consumers on the go need accurate specifics to move from the smartphone to the store, and they need it quickly, making local SEO practices that much more important. More and more businesses are investing in the help of local SEO services to make that happen, but not every company knows what it’s doing. In fact, if you’re paying for local SEO services and they’re making any of these three mistakes, it’s time to make a change.
A Google My Business profile is how the search engine giant displays verified information about your company. It’s a tool from Google that gives you full control over their listing about your company. The profile offers a lot of information about you to customers and opens it for reviews, photos, and questions from those same customers. In most cases, the information listed on your Google My Business profile will be populated across the web. If you haven’t created your own business profile, though, you don’t have the ability to manage the information it displays or even review the information that is being collected.
Local SEO efforts must begin here for companies with brick and mortar locations. Even if you’re already using other eCommerce SEO strategies, not claiming your profile is a serious mistake. It’s completely free, it takes about twenty minutes, and it puts you on the map (quite literally in many cases). If there are already Google business listings for your company, check them. If they’re fraudulent, talk to Google so you can have them removed as quickly as possible. As you complete your profile, think carefully about your company. Google will ask you what categories your business falls under, and if you miss one, you could miss out on some serious traffic as a result. Don’t select anything irrelevant, as that will get you in trouble, but make certain you’ve selected all of the potential categories involved.
Remember, even if you have multiple locations, you just need ONE Google My Business Profile. You can then list out your locations within that same profile and further optimize it. There are multiple ways to optimize your GMB profile one of the most efficient ways is to geo-tag the image and improving the citations.
You might hear SEO bloggers talk about your NAP information online as you think toward local SEO. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, and it should be the same on your website as it is off your website. You want standard contact information across every single listing you have online. It should be on your Google My Business Page. It should be in every directory for your vertical. Any place your contact information is listed, it should be the same.
Fortunately, most SEO companies have access to local search tools to help find and identify information that isn’t consistent. Make sure your SEO services company is taking advantage of that. Google takes steps to ensure the accuracy of your business is valid, so if it’s different almost anywhere on the internet, you have a serious local SEO problem.
Whether you’re talking about eCommerce SEO, local SEO, or technical SEO, the one thing that will ALWAYS remain important is content. You’ve probably heard the now familiar saying, “Content is king.” There’s a reason everyone is sick of hearing it. Content really is king, and if your local SEO services provider hasn’t even approached the content equation with you, there’s a serious problem. Why does content matter when you’re talking about local optimization? It’s simple.
For years, Google’s goal has been to give those who are searching the single most relevant results possible. If your website doesn’t have any content, how can Google even begin to know whether you are the most relevant result possible? Sure, the My Business listing will help, but if you have great content on site, Google is going to rank your site a lot higher. It can’t just be any content, though. It has to be high-quality stuff. You want at least 500 words a page if Google is even going to notice you. You want keyword-rich content that actually answers queries people might type in. You don’t want 300 words of keyword-stuffed content that Google will promptly brand as spam and begin noticing that your entire website has problems. Add some high-quality links to the equation, and you not only have a site that is going to rank well for local SEO purposes, but you have a site that will rank well no matter what the search query might be.
No matter what SEO company you’re talking to or what services they specialize in, if they’re not talking to you about content at every single opportunity, they are failing to do their job. Content matters in every arena and local optimization services are no different. Worried now because you’re paying for local SEO services that clearly aren’t delivering? Local SEO is just beginning to gain traction in many places, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not important for your business. Choose a provider who can help you do it right. Contact us today to learn more about how our services are different and can move your customers from smartphone to your store in a matter of seconds.
Digital marketing is making its way into many industries. As more and more of our lives become digital, so does the marketing around us. Furthermore, digital marketing has made its way to the real estate industry. How customers find and buy homes is moving to the online space, so top realtors are needing to adapt to keep up. As a result, realtors are expected to have a strong online presence. In this article, we will discuss how digital marketing will transform the real estate industry in 2019.
No matter what industry you are in, an email newsletter goes a long way. This newsletter, at least in the real estate industry, should contain updates and information that is valuable and relevant to your clients. The idea is to push the people who read the emails towards a specific action. Normally, that action is a click through. However, according to Smart Insights, the average open rate of emails for real estate businesses is around 27%, with a click-through rate (CTR) of 3%. The more relevant your email is, the more likely people will click through to your page, so think carefully about what you want to include in your newsletter. Make sure information and images are tailored to the audience you want to target. An email newsletter should also include links to your social media, like Instagram or Twitter, so you are easy to find across the internet.
When potential customers or clients do click through to your website, make sure the website they land on is up to the task. Nothing will make a customer hit the back button faster than a poorly created website, especially on mobile. Take the time to ensure your website loads quickly and that the layout looks how you envisioned. There are plenty of website builders, such as Wix or SquareSpace, that you can use to improve your website.
An important factor when creating a website is to optimize it for mobile viewing. Almost half of all web browsing is done on mobile so it is crucial that your website performs correctly. Thankfully, the aforementioned website building services ensure your website is ready for mobile viewing.
Additionally, your website you should include the listings you currently have open for showings. You can also post content to walk customers through the buying process and answer any questions they might have. It is a good idea to also include links to other services they might need. Someone who is shopping for a house might also needs movers, a home inspector, or a lawyer.
Pay Per Click advertising is a common marketing practice that could greatly benefit realtors looking for to create new leads. This is done by running ads across the internet that pay every time someone clicks on them. These types of ads are seen everywhere, from banner ads to pop ups. It is hard to go anywhere on the internet without seeing Pay Per Click ads. Not only does this method of advertising net you money, but it also directs potentially interested customers to your website.
Virtual tours can make a realtor’s job much easier and make the shopping experience easier for customers. Being able to get a sense of what a house is like before touring it in person can help customers eliminate houses. This saves both the realtor and customers time. These virtual tours do need to be of good quality to be effective. A good virtual tour will use real footage, not an artist’s rendering. However, before you post a tour, make sure to go through it yourself to ensure everything is working correctly and is easy to use. If you are going to go through the effort to record a virtual tour, make sure it can be viewed without complications.
Digital marketing practices are popping up in every industry and real estate is no exception. Realtors are sending out email newsletter to keep their customers engaged and informed. Custom websites from real estate agents showcase their listings while answering their customers questions. A website can even showcase virtual tours to make the buying process easier for buyers.
Mobile search has drastically changed search engine results pages in recent years, with an increase in users looking for locally relevant information while on the move. Smartphones are able to deliver location information to search engines; ensuring users get location-specific results to their search. Queries like ‘nearest Italian restaurant’ and ‘pubs near me’ are some of the most popular searches carried out on Google, so it is no wonder there is a growing importance for local businesses to optimize their information accordingly.
With only three spaces available within the ‘local pack’ displayed at the top of a search results page, it has become even more important for businesses to invest time in optimizing for local SEO, such as by creating their ‘Google My Business’ listing, submitting their business to local directories or using local structured data markup in order to secure a top spot.
The ‘local SEO 3 pack’, or local pack, is the list of the top three organic results displayed in search results when there is a localized intent. The results are displayed in a large map with the top three business or venues marked with balloons, indicating their location. The results also display a snapshot of information for the company, including quick links to call them, access the website and get directions to the location.
As well as contact information, Google has introduced reviews and photographs, giving users the opportunity to see star ratings and images next to your business name. Customers have autonomy to include their own images as well as add reviews to your business profile. These additions, could make a real difference to your business. Whilst you may not have much control over what customers say in the reviews, it is highly recommended that you are seen to respond to them.
As well as greater exposure to a business, being featured in the top 3 for local search results is one of the best ways to increase local organic traffic to a website, as many studies have indicated the click through rate for the top businesses featured is considerably higher. There was initially more opportunity for businesses to benefit from local search results, as the pack was longer, with seven listings. However, when Google rolled out the Pigeon update, the results page appearance drastically changed, reducing the display to just three local listings. This is in part due to the fact that a list of 7 results didn’t display very well on mobile. Three looks much better.
Reducing the local pack has minimized the opportunity for local businesses to gain free exposure. If you run a local business or restaurant, being featured in the local pack is one the more important aspects of search engine optimization, as previously mentioned, most users click on the first results they find.
Listing your company on ‘Google my Business’ will ensure the most accurate information is displayed for your business. Having consistent details such as business or company name, address and phone number is really important, as Google will identify the consistency (or inconsistency) of information related to your business across your website and other places on the internet.
If Google can’t identify consistent information relating to a business, they will display the information they deem most relevant which could be inaccurate and detrimental to your business. Although there is no real certainty that a business will be listed in local search results, there are a couple of things Google have stated that can increase the opportunity of your business gaining the exposure it deserves:
There are of course, lots of other SEO factors that will impact the success of your local SEO and levels of organic traffic, but ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and has relevant local links built will increase the opportunity of being displayed within this local pack. Industry expects have long speculated that Google will soon look to monetize on this organic listings space, and they have already started to introduce adverts among the organic listings.
For now, it is highly worth investing some time into ensuring you have optimized your website and business information if you want to stand the best chance of being featured within the local 3 pack for free.
Copyright: gilc / 123RF Stock Photo
Now that you’ve mastered local SEO and it’s working well for you, it’s time to start thinking about the next step in maximizing your reach – hyperlocal SEO. Search engines – and especially Google – are always evolving in an effort to make search results more relevant to their users. That’s why optimizing even further can benefit you substantially.
Since Google got its start more than two decades ago, it’s had one primary goal – to deliver the most accurate search results possible to its users. Over the years, Google has adapted its algorithms in such a way that the definition of what is relevant (and what isn’t) continues to change. Gone are the days of simply inserting a few keywords to climb the ranks; these days, you need outstanding content, superb backlinks, and content that appeals to consumers at more than just the local level. These days, you need hyperlocal SEO to improve your rankings.
If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, or if your business is service-based, then you’ll need to make sure that you’re appealing to people locally. Google is certainly getting smarter, and it knows that if a user types in “get a haircut”, that person isn’t going to fly across the country for a trim. Local SEO was once all you needed to bridge that gap. When the user would type “haircut in Boston”, Google could show that user a list of Boston-area barbers based on business location and SEO.
However, with Google’s push to offer even more relevant results, and with more people than ever using their mobile phones to search for products and services via Google, times are still changing. Now, not only does the search engine want to prevent someone from driving across the country for a trim, but it even wants to provide that user with a list of businesses in close proximity to his or her current location. This is even more relevant to the user. Think about it like this: is that user more likely to drive across town for a trim, or is he more likely to visit the closest barber shop with the best ratings? The latter makes more sense, and that’s why hyperlocal SEO is so valuable.
While it’s possible to go into a great deal of depth when it comes to hyperlocal SEO, there are three simple tips you can follow to get the ball rolling and start improving your rankings immediately.
As Google continues its efforts to be the best search engine available around the world, you can expect further changes in the way it measures the relevancy of your website. Taking steps to incorporate hyperlocal SEO now can make a tremendous difference in your traffic, which will boost your income, as well.
As a marketer you have a profound understanding of how the digital arena influences the way you establish and develop your domestic brand and marketing efforts.
But what if you’ve been operating in an English-centric digital bubble all these years? You may know your own domestic industry inside-out but when it comes to pitching your brand to foreign markets, you risk losing a lot in translation.
More business owners than ever are recognizing how important it is to localize their websites to foreign audiences. The truth is customers abroad are hungry for high-quality products and services that solve problems and make their life easier. Yet the provider of such services and products who are able to communicate to them in their own language is often missing from the picture. By taking advantage of this provision “gap,” your company is liable to score lots of new clients and reap major profits from interested foreign customers.
Still not sure whether you should go down the localization route? Here are five big reasons as to why you should embrace localized digital marketing:
According to a Sheffield Hallam University study, the vast majority of the world’s population, (75%) does not speak English. The other 25% may not speak the language very well or wouldn’t be able to understand sophisticated English marketing campaigns with all their cultural nuances and idioms. Only 6% of the global population speaks English fluently. Understanding these figures will help you understand the sheer value of what it would mean to present your brand in a target market’s local language.
A recent survey conducted by the Common Sense Advisory found that 84% of foreign customers preferred buying products and services from online sites that are offered in their local language. The global market is worth billions, so when you localize and pitch your site in a local language, your can generate huge profits. When you go the extra mile and additionally localize your applications, software and other digital tools marketed by your site, you reach a wider audience for your services and products. The additional exposure, in turn, boosts demand and sales.
When you localize your content, you are showing to the world that you value your customers. By taking care to localize certain elements of your website, such as the color scheme, the website’s photos (that feature local people), content, currency values, and more, you are reassuring your customers that you understand their culture. Delivering a personalized experience to the target market in question facilitates increased engagement and a greater customer trust in your brand.
Localizing your digital presence may save you time and money in the long run. Localization costs are only a fraction of product or service development costs. In other words, if you’ve already invested thousands of dollars on creating an application from scratch, spending just a small amount of that on adapting the application or software to foreign markets — which potentially leads to significantly higher revenue – means its a good investment.
Costs of localizing also go down when you make it a part of the development process early on. Using localization tools such as style guides and translation memories as you develop your product or service saves money for you in the long run.
Have your industry competitors localized their digital presence? If they have, then it’s time you caught up. But if they haven’t, then you’ll profit from the benefit of being among the first companies to engage with foreign prospects. According to a report released by California State University at Chico, 65% of multinational companies believe localization is vital for boosting revenue. In turn, an Appia study found that 86% of localized campaigns outperformed campaigns in English when it came to total click-throughs and conversions.
Embracing localization is smart because you’d be speaking directly to multiple audiences around the world. You’d be fomenting connections not only with prospects and first-time customers, but building relationships with returning customers who are the bread and butter of your business.
If you are looking to offer an easy shopping experience that engages while empowering your customers to find out what they want, it’s been proven that taking a multichannel localization approach really works in bringing home the profits.
Denise Recalde is a Senior Content Writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. A seasoned writer and editor with eleven years of experience under her belt, she is a bonafide wordsmith who loves playing with the written word creatively and always takes care to lend a certain hue of snap and color to her drafts. Always one to rise up to challenges, she has traveled to 14 countries and has worked on a smorgasbord of writing projects that spanned several industries, from finance to health to beauty and fashion.