Local Search Marketing Fundamentals

Local Growth Formula for Effective Results

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Here are some key takeaways from the Fundamentals of Local Search Marketing

Violating Google’s guidelines can have severe consequences, including suspended listings and a significant drop in service call volumes.
Google is the most significant search engine, so optimizing for it is crucial.
Google My Business is an essential tool for local Search Engine Optimization.
Optimizing for search engines can significantly impact your online visibility.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo drive a lot of traffic to websites.
Some businesses, like law firms, may benefit more from optimizing for traditional organic search results than for local listings.
Your business must comply with Google’s guidelines to avoid being filtered out of local search results on maps and local pack.
At Online Ethos, we developed our own local search marketing strategy to help small businesses like yours thrive in the local market and outrank competitors.

We summarized Local Search Marketing Fundamentals into 4 important key strategies

local seo fundamentals

Understanding and following the guidelines set by Google My Business

When it comes to local SEO, optimizing for Google is essential because it owns more than 90% of the search engine market. A Google My Business listing is a critical element of local SEO because it ensures that you appear in the local search results and on Google Maps, which can lead to more phone calls, direction requests, and website visits. Even if you don’t set up your listing, Google may create it if your business information is listed on other directories. However, violating the Guidelines for Representing Your Business on Google can lead to your listing being filtered out of search results or even suspended and removed entirely, potentially resulting in a significant drop in revenue.
It’s not always necessary to focus on rankings in the local maps, especially for high-value services like legal representation or remodeling, which may be better served by optimizing for traditional organic results.
fundamentals of local seo

Improve your website’s search engine ranking with high-quality backlinks

Establishing authority for your website is crucial, and one effective way to do this is by earning high-quality links from reputable websites. When you receive recommendations and citations from other trusted sites, it helps to build your brand and increase your site’s authority.
It’s important to note that newly registered domains typically have lower authority compared to established aged business website domains. So, before you consider rebranding your local small business website under a new domain, think twice about the potential impact on your site’s authority.
it’s not uncommon to see companies make the mistake of building a completely new recruiting website when they hire a new ad agency. This approach often leads to a never-ending cycle of purchasing paid advertising, benefiting the agency only but failing to capitalize on the existing website’s authority.
To build your site’s authority, focus on earning recommendations and citations from reputable sources. These can come in the form of citations in online directories like Yelp, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, Yellow Pages, and more. Additionally, securing links from high-quality websites is crucial. Remember, the quality of websites linking to yours is paramount. You want to associate yourself with reputable sources of information, rather than questionable or spammy ones.
fundamental local seo

Provide great user experience by building a website that is well-designed and easy-to-use.

Having a website that provides a good user experience is essential to keep visitors engaged and satisfied. Imagine a time when you encountered a website that didn’t function as expected – it was frustrating, right? Whether it was a non-responsive button or a form that cleared your answers, these experiences lead to user dissatisfaction and can result in them leaving your site, similar to receiving poor customer service in a physical store.
As a business owner, you wouldn’t tolerate such experiences in your brick-and-mortar establishment. So why should you accept it on your website, which serves as the digital extension of your business? Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your website delivers a great user experience by following some basic best practices.

Website user experience (UX) basic practices.

Firstly, consider optimizing your page speed. Faster loading times are generally better for user experience, with a 2-5 second loading range being acceptable for smartphones (even faster for desktops). Tools like Pingdom and GTMetrix can help you test your website’s page speed.
Pay attention to Core Web Vitals, as Google has indicated they are an important ranking factors. To provide a good user experience, focus on these three key metrics: Largest contentful paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
When it comes to site structure and navigation, it’s important not to overcomplicate things. Remember that your website is a local business, not a tech giant like Apple. Users spend most of their time on other websites, and they will expect your site to follow common conventions. Consider mobile navigation, hyperlink colors, and the placement of essential information like addresses and phone numbers based on user expectations.
Addressing specific issues mentioned in your content, sidebar navigation is generally suitable for internal resource website pages, but it may not be ideal for the business website home page. Additionally, make sure your logo is appropriately sized, hyperlinked phone numbers for easy dialing, and ensure that color choices provide sufficient contrast for readability and better user experience across the website structure.
Lastly, ensure that your website remains free of malware. Having your site hacked or injected with malware can have severe consequences. If Google detects malware or a hacked site, it will warn users on search results, which discourages clicks and harms your reputation.
By prioritizing a great user experience, optimizing page speed and core metrics, following intuitive navigation principles, and maintaining a secure website, you can provide visitors with a positive impression of your business and encourage them to engage and explore further.
local search marketing fundamentals

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your website for search engines is critical if you want to increase organic traffic from Google’s search results. Local SEO is a subset of SEO that builds off organic results and is tailored to localizing search results. This is why search queries for “leaky roof repair” may produce different results than “leaky roof repair in San Diego.”
Through optimization, you can enhance your site’s local search rankings, leading to increased traffic. Fun fact: over 47.6% of all clicks come from the first three results on mobile (57% of desktop users).

Why is NAP consistency important?

NAP, an acronym for “name, address, and phone number,” is the essential information that identifies a business. Maintaining consistent NAP across the web is critical.
If you’ve changed your business name, phone, or address, it’s a good idea to have a local SEO professional conduct a local citation audit to verify the consistency of your NAP in local and national directories. Although perfection is not always achievable, maintaining a high level of consistency across directories is essential.
Online reviews also play a crucial role in business credibility, with 93% of customers indicating that reviews influence their purchasing decisions. Having a plan to get authentic feedback is critical, and positive reviews should not be the only focus. Encouraging customers to give authentic, specific feedback can lead to a better experience and help the business improve.
Content creation is an essential tactic to improve SEO and is not limited to blogging. Videos, podcasts, white papers, and other forms of content marketing can be highly effective in reaching an audience and building a brand. Adding links back to your site can increase organic traffic.
To summarize, maintaining NAP consistency, having an online review strategy, and producing quality content are all critical parts of a successful SEO campaign.

Unlock Effective Results by utilizing Local Growth Formula

To achieve impactful results in local marketing, it’s essential to leverage the Local Growth Formula. By following this proven formula, you can optimize your strategies and drive growth in your local market.