Unless you are marketing your professional service to a global or nationwide audience, the chances are that your online presence has always been focused on attracting clients within a particular geographic region. The purpose of local search marketing is simply to refine your existing campaign so that potential clients see your business at the top of the list when they are searching for professionals in their area. In order to stay ahead of the competition and earn top placement in local search results for your profession, there are two local search marketing techniques that you need to put into place:
- Optimize your online presence for relevant local search queries
- Promote your site effectively on the local listing centers of the three major search engines
Despite the fact that most professional service firms are well aware of the fact that they are relying on local clients for the majority of their business, all too many firms do not know how to properly incorporate local SEO strategies into their marketing campaign. No matter what type of service you happen to offer, the truth of the matter is that most people prefer to do business with professionals that they can meet with face to face. As a result, most potential clients will begin searching for practices in their area that offer the services that they need once they have done the necessary research to know what it is that they want. The key to effective local search marketing is knowing how to make yourself visible at the moment that your neighbors are ready to act.
When it comes to your actual website, there are a few simple techniques that we will discuss in further detail in the second module of today’s lesson. The first step is isolating the perfect keyword phrases that will let you stand out from your local competitors in the eyes of the major search engines. While it takes a little bit of experience in researching keywords to know how to spot the right opportunities, incorporating the right long tail keywords into your site’s content and meta data will always pay off in the long run. At the same time, building a solid network of links from local sources is a time proven method of increasing your site’s authority and improving your placement in local search results.
The other side of local search marketing is learning how to create, manage and promote your practice’s listing with the major search engines. Google, Bing and Yahoo each have their own approach to listing businesses and services in their local search results, and there are a few ways to make your listing stand out by understanding what each search engine is looking for. Each of the big three search engines offer opportunities for businesses to list themselves for free, and even spending an hour or two ensuring that your listing is accurate and up to date can increase local traffic to your site. At the same time, there also opportunities for promoting your site through taking advantage of pay-per-click or flat fee advertisements that can be very effective if you know how to use them properly.
As search engines continue to make the transition towards more personalized search results, knowing how to put the right local search strategies into place for your professional service practice are becoming more important than ever. Traditional SEO practices and high quality content may continue to be at the forefront of your online marketing efforts, but local content marketing is now an essential component of ensuring that your practice’s message is reaching the right potential clients at the right time.