All Marketing Is Local
73% of search activity online is “local” in nature.
97% of Internet consumers in the U.S. research products and services online, and 51% of those, have the intent to actually make their purchase offline (locally).
70% of online searchers will use local search to locate physical stores or local businesses.
43% of search engine users looking to buy a product or service seek a local merchant to buy that product or service offline.
Local SEO is a practice focused on making online presence strongest where your business is located. What makes more sense than utilizing your local market to the fullest? Our approach to local SEO is one of religious consistency. The details that relate to your location are the most critical elements involved in your local presence in the digital space. The smallest variation in your address or your business name can essentially dilute the power of your brand and create a lasting legacy that is impossible to rewind. This is why we are meticulous in the way in which we act as stewards of your localization. There is no substitute for establishing your company’s business listings and geographical presence with an unmistakable footprint.
Increasing your local search presence through the acquisition of business listings (citations) online is a fundamental part of any search engine optimization program. Below we cover some of the venues where you can accomplish building a successful effort.
Local Search Engines
Local search engines like Google and Yahoo! spider the web for listings that validate business information such as phone numbers and addresses. These listings are also called citations as these are references to your business entity and your website in particular. Acquiring listings online in resources like Yelp, Foursquare, Hotfrog and others can improve search engine confidence in the accuracy of your business name, location and web address. Most local businesses benefit from a concerted citation building campaign that ensures that they are listed in as many relevant, authoritative local business directories as possible.
If you search for blogs related to your city or neighborhood, you will often find great resources and potential websites on which to acquire a link back to your local business website. The sites that show up “[city] blog” searches rank well in search engines and will be closely related to your area. Search engines will have a high level of confidence in the businesses which are linked to from such blogs.
Yellow Pages listings are often free online. These listings offer natural opportunities to be seen when someone searches for what your business offers. For decades a large number of businesses that wanted to generate new business relied heavily on advertising in the printed phone books that phone companies and other publishers provide to their individual residents on a regular basis. The same publications still exist, while at the same time, they offer digital versions of their phone directories, which now contain other information such as reviews and ratings and user generated content. Yellow Pages listings are seen as credible citation sources in the eyes of search engines and potential customers.
Human-edited local directories are great places to acquire citations for your business. Edited directories are superior to those that are not Checked by humans for quality control as edited directories will not be prone to listing poor quality results that are simply meant to manipulate search rankings. There are a number of authoritative regional web directories including those, such as a Yahoo! and Hotfrog.
Industry Related Resources
If a website is focused on topics and keywords related to your business or industry it is likely a good fit for citation building efforts. Online trade magazines, business associations, guilds and other such resources offer great opportunities in most cases, to establish a link back to your website through a listing to your business. Many of these resources are local in nature, and even if not, represent valuable venues for increasing the visibility of your business online and within your trade or industry.
These are just a few of the possible sources for citations. Getting your business listed in the right places online is key to building search engine presence and driving business to your site and physical location (if available).
Verticle Leap offers customized local search programs designed to meet the needs of each business we work with. We do the work of acquiring listings on websites where you will see the most benefit, and we build your campaign in a search friendly, paced process that provides long-term value to your business by insuring the consistency of your listings and increasing your presence across the web and even in offline contexts, such as GPS POI listings and directory assistance databases. Take the leap today to catalyze your local visibility and reach new customers: 214.499.9998.