A Local Search Marketing Strategy
Find out what it is and why you need it.
What’s Local Search?
When someone has a problem, pain, or need, the most logical place to turn for information is to a search engine.
Just Google It
Google Search, specifically, dominates the search engine market with 92.47 percent market share as of June 2021 so it’s no surprise it has become common to hear “just google it” when someone needs an answer.
The Search Engine Algorithm
When you “just google it”, the question or phrase you type (your search query) is evaluated by the search engine’s algorithm to determine what is the best information it could possibly serve to help you get the answer you need. As search engines began to evolve over the last decade, the helpfulness of the information served to searchers has only gotten better and better.
Local Intent Searches
When a searcher’s query signals to a search engine like Google that they might be looking (or at least open to looking) locally for the answer to their query, the search engine results pages will display local businesses in the Local Pack that have proven to Google to be in the searcher’s area. Today, Google is very good at determining whether a search has local intent so local business owners are wise to take notice.
Local Search is for the Local Business
Local Search (specifically the Local Pack) is for the local business. Yes, national players can rank in the pack with a physical presence but for the local business that sells to a specific geographic area, this is your spot for maximizing your online visibility.
Commanding visibility in the Local Pack requires proving to the search engine these 3 things.
1 – Your relevancy to the search query. Do the products and services you offer solve the searcher’s problem, pain, or need?
2 – Your prominence. How many years in business are you? Have you established a strong presence in the local community?
3 – Your proximity to the searcher’s location. Yes, unless privacy settings are in place for the searcher, Google knows where they are and will show results that are close to them.
These 3 factors will determine where you are placed in the Local Pack.
The local business that wants to rank and be found online by its target customers must incorporate a local search marketing strategy to play. A local business that wants to beat their competition and rank higher must place priority on their local search marketing strategy.
What’s Local Search Marketing?
Local search marketing helps a business to be found online by local customers within a geographic area.
The Key To Growth
To grow your business, you must be “well-positioned in the search engine results pages (SERPs). A local search marketing strategy must help small business owners accomplish two objectives.
- Be Found in Search
- Be Chosen in Search
For new small business owners, the top priority is to help develop an awareness strategy to help them be found amongst the more established competition as quickly as possible. For more established local businesses, the challenge is often to help owners rank higher or to be chosen more often.
Local Search Marketing Success Story
Brunswick Cabinets and Countertops launched their cabinet and countertop business servicing Brunswick County in May 2019. The small business owners gave Top of Search the green light for a Marketing Partnership in June 2019. In mid-August of 2019, Top of Search launched a multi-channel Local Search Strategy that is on pace to help the business gross $3MM in 2021. Digital revenue has grown yearly and currently sits at 31% from inception, 40% for the first half of 2021.
History of the SERPs
The search engine results pages (SERPs) used to look a lot different. A searcher’s query might have resulted in 10 blue links (considered organic results) but today you’ll see a number of SERP features (Google Shopping Campaigns, the Local Pack, People Also Ask, Organic Results and more).
For searches with local intent, you’ll almost always see Google Ads (if the query is competitive), the Local Pack (where a strong Local SEO strategy will help you) and Organic Results.
Flip through the carousel to see the SERPs explained.
Local SEO: A Multi-Channel Approach
To increase your brand’s visibility in search, you need a multi-channel approach to Local SEO.
“Visibility” in search from a marketer’s perspective is successful when you occupy the greatest proportion of total “real estate” on a search engine results page (SERP). “Real estate” in the SERPs can be acquired through Google Ads, the Local Pack and Organic Results.
Your ability to influence how Google displays you in these channels is largely dependent on the consistency of your efforts. Local Backlinks, Topical Keyword Relevance across your website, Localized Content on your website, Online Directory Management, Social Media, Reviews, Citations and Google My Business Management are all areas where Google receives signals that you are a local business.
With increased visibility online, your chances of being chosen by customers should also increase which ultimately helps to drive more revenue into your business.
Maximize Your Visibility Potential in Search
To maximize your visibility potential in search, you will want to be where your competitors are and to choose channels strategically where they are not.
The ranking signals your brand sends to Google when you are active across multiple channels helps to maximize your online visibility.
things to know
Organic SEO versus Local SEO
If you’re in business, you want Google to list your brand on the search results pages for queries that are relevant to the product or service your business offers. Ideally, at the top of the search page.
Organic SEO (also referred to as just SEO) is the process of helping a business build visibility in the search results regardless of the actual searcher’s location. It requires a marketing strategy that helps signal to Google that your website is viewed as relevant to the search query. But, it does not factor in a searcher’s location.
Local SEO is the process to maximize your visibility for searchers when Google deems the search to have local intent. A local intent search is a searcher looking for a product or service in your geographic area. For local businesses, a strategy for signaling to Google that you’re relevant to search queries for the type of products and services you offer is critical to being found online by your ideal customer. Get actionable Local SEO Tips to get started today.
Why You Need A Local Search Strategy?
A robust Local Search Strategy is built to drive growth and beat the competition across channels.
A Strategy to Drive Growth
With a local search strategy designed to drive growth, a local business will be able to:
- Be Found Online
- Fast-Track Results
- Win More Customers
- Grow Revenue
The strategy should include:
- A Local SEO-Optimized Website
- Google My Business Management
- Brand SERP Optimization
- SEO for Organic Search
- Placement in Relevant Online Directories
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Google Ads (*Optional – Great for new businesses or targeting new revenue)
A Strategy to Beat the Competition
A local search strategy designed to beat the competition will use a sophisticated tool stack with best-in-class intelligence to guide actions and prioritization based on competitors’ auditing.
While tools tacks are re-evaluated frequently, a great shortlist of current Top of Search favorites is below.
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- SE Ranking
- Mobile Moxie
- Local Falcon
A Local Search Strategy Built for Success
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical for success. Top of Search uses the following 5 KPIs to track incremental growth for clients.
- Traffic (Visits)
- Leads (Prospects)
- Revenue ($$)
Can You Set It and Forget It?
Google’s intention as a search engine is to only deliver the most helpful, relevant information to a searcher. To ensure they can, they consistently experiment with changes to the way their algorithm serves up information on SERPs. A #1 ranking today does not ensure a #1 ranking tomorrow. A strong Local SEO strategy will ensure you can pivot (daily/weekly at times) to keep favor in Google’s eyes and to stay ahead of your competition.
92% of searchers select businesses on the first page of local search results.
Source: Joel House Search Media
Top of Search
Top of Search is experienced in driving local companies to the top of Google Search with services designed to deliver revenue growth.
Local search strategies can include:
- Local SEO
- SEO-Optimized Website Design
- Google My Business
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Local Community Engagement
- Customer Relationship Management
- Sales Enablement
- Business Planning
- Google Ads
As a local marketing consultant, Anna will help you increase your brand’s visibility both online and offline with a multi-channel approach. Her specialty for small businesses is Local SEO Marketing, Google Ads, and Google My Business Management.
Ready to solve your business challenge?
Get in touch to discover how Top of Search can help your business reach its growth potential. Email Anna at Hello@TopofSearch.com or complete the form and she’ll contact you shortly.