When it comes to local search engine marketing, you need to show up on the top of Google any way you can, as often as you can. Keep in mind when someone is looking for a local service or business type, they will often add the name of their town in the query. Often times Google will display local results even without a Geo-graphical modifier.
I have been doing some traveling lately, and find my self in Cocoa Beach Florida this morning. I am actually on vacation, but with some down time this morning I am doing what I enjoy doing most, blogging and SEO research. I have been doing some searches for local handyman services.
If I were just doing some research to see how Google displays results differently in Florida vs where I live in Massachusetts. If I wanted to get an idea of what they show for results on the West Coast or the South of France, I don’t need to visit these locations, I could just tell Google that’s where I want to search in my settings.
Research Keeps You Ahead Of Your Competition
Do random searches for businesses similar to yours, or in my case businesses I market on the web. As Google changes the way it displays search results, we need to change with them. I recommend you do some searches once or twice a month.
If you don’t have access to online marketing tools like mine, you won’t see your competition sneaking up in Google’s ranking. You wont notice when they have passed you if you don’t keep an eye on them in the search engines.
How To Show Up In Search Engines For Local Searches
You want to discover every combination of keywords that result in Google showing their local maps / Google Places. Then you want to create a page for every keyword. Don’t try to optimize one page for many keywords. It’s tough enough optimizing for one keyword phrase.
Many times Google will favor certain directories for different types of businesses. For food services Google will usually show some Yelp or Urbanspoon listings in their results. For construction services and companies they often show Angie’s List or the BBB.
You need to be in these directories. You need to be well represented in these as well. Make sure you are filling in the descriptions and adding photos. Try to encourage customers to leave a review. If your a local shop, try to get customers to check in on Facebook and Foursquare from your location.
When customers go to the search engines to look for local businesses, shops or services, your business needs to be their in as many ways as possible.
Growing Trend In Search Engines With Regard To Contractors
While doing searches for local handyman services in Cocoa Beach I noticed the same growing trend as back home. Google is loving Angie’s List and The BBB. They are often the top two results when local contractors have not optimized their website enough to surpass them.
Google wants to show the most relevant results and results that are best for their clients (the searchers). By giving the best results to their searchers, they will remain the dominate search engine, and keep making money. Is your business the best choice for Google to display?
Search Engines Get You Traffic But Trust Gets You Customers
I advertise for many contractors across the US. I try to convince everyone of them to spend the $550.00 for a BBB accredited listing. I don’t have to convince them to join Angie’s List because it’s free, and I just sign them up.
I display badges on their websites for these two directories. I have noticed a correlation between how many people click on their badge and how many people contact my clients. There is no sense investing in a website if it does not lead to more customers.
People trust the ratings and reviews of these sites, these help people to decide which businesses to contact. One good review on the BBB is equal to 10 testimonials on your own website.
A listing is actually free on both sites. The BBB will rate your business, and you can point to this rating with a link. But the rating will inform customers you have not been accredited. Accreditation cost the $550.00 mentioned earlier. Even without accreditation or reviews, just being listed is a good sign.
That’s the end of my local search engine marketing tips except for one. Search engines are ranking sites based in part by social activity. If you post frequently on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to mention a few, your business is likely to rank higher. So if you found this article informative, do us both a favor by sharing this post with your fans or by liking us on Facebook