Local Search Engine Marketing for Small Business

I can tell you from experience that being popular has its perks. Did I say experience? I meant observations. Okay, so my braces and lack of a hair straightener didn’t get me popular in high school, but I have quickly learned that popularity is even more important when dealing with Google than it was in high school (I know; it was hard for me to believe too). Getting your website or personal blog to the top of major search engines is crucial when it comes to generating traffic. Everyone knows that increased traffic usually means increased ROI, or return on investment, so helping your website accrue this traffic is essential. However, many businesses are discovering that while all traffic to the company website is good, targeted traffic is better. For this reason, local search engine marketing is quickly becoming the coolest kid around.

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search engine marketing for small business

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Local Search Engine Marketing vs. Organic and Pay Per Click Marketing

For those who are unfamiliar, there are three kinds of ways to help generate traffic to your website using search engines: organic search traffic, pay per click traffic, and now traffic that comes from local search engine marketing. Pay per click traffic is probably the most straightforward way to get your name to the top of Google or Bing—you pay for an ad on the first page. Organic search marketing simply means a company has proved themselves relevant through quality content, quality backlinks, and quality management amongst many other factors. Local search engine marketing is very similar to organic search marketing, just on a much small scale.

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search engine marketing for small business

specialists.

One of the most popular local search engine marketing platforms is a free service known as Google Places. According to Google, “97% of consumers search for local businesses online.” The idea of this is to then help both companies and consumers target their searches. Take web design services for example. If you have a Web Design Company in Fredericksburg Virginia, your company website may rank well organically with Google under the term “Web Design Company in Virginia.” This will bring your website a lot of volume. However, it is likely that only residents of Fredericksburg will walk into your shop. For this reason, you will get a higher ROI if the people clicking on your site live in your area. In other words, think quality of visitors, not quantity. Below lists the steps a business can take to make sure they are optimizing local search engine marketing:

How to Get Your Company Optimizing Local Search Engine Marketing

1.    Set Up a Business Page

If you want to get listed on Google Places, you will need to have a business page created. All you need to do is set up a Google account and fill out every detail you possibly can (don’t worry; it doesn’t take long). The more content, photos, and videos the better in Google’s eyes. This is generally true for all search engines local search functions, not just Google.

Note** This first step is the only step you need to worry about when it comes to most local search engine website. Anything further is simply optimization!

2.    Focus on Citations

If you want your company at the top of a local search engine, it is important than your business is mentioned on another site (preferably in a similar location). This works the exact same way that it works for organic search; you will simply see results faster because you’re dealing with less competition.

3. Make Updates

Making updates to your Google Places page has been known to jump a company in rankings because it shows that you are an active account manager. After all, continually upload coupons will make consumers happy, so you even benefit twice.

4. Reviews

Each time someone visits your company, ask them to write a review about you on Google Places. This will help bring your name up to the top because you will be considered popular. Once again, the more reviews the better.

The

search engine marketing for small business

specialists.

Finally I want to add that local search engine marketing works well no matter what site you try to utilize. Ideally, try to get your company on every local search engine possible. Aside from Google places, many consumers use other local search engines such as CitySearch, local.com, AskCity.com, and other search engines local features like Yahoo!, AOL Local, and Windows Live Local. If you’re worried about popularity, you have to get involved in different circles. Didn’t you learn that in high school?

Photo Credit: bostinnovation.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is an expert writer on employee background checks based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as business phone systems. You can find more of her articles as well as vendors comparisons for your small business needs at Resource Nation or Business.com.

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