I read a great article this morning on Search Engine Land and I realized that I haven’t been providing enough detailed information about how local search marketing is changing and how that leaves you with huge opportunity for your business.
Most of the clients I have worked with have been on a national level, so there weren’t as many opportunities for local marketing. But the majority of our economy is made up of small businesses and they need to bring in clients from their local markets.
Local search marketing can be implemented on many different platforms, but starting with your Google My Business (GMB) listing is the best idea. Here are some easy tips to help you get the most out of your GMB.
1 – Fill Out Your Listing With As Much Detail as Possible
As is often the case in marketing, the devil is in the details. The biggest mistake (and the easiest mistake to fix) local business owners make on their GMB is not taking enough time to fill out a detailed and comprehensive profile.
This means giving a great explanation as to what your business does, who you serve, what your customers look like and why you are different. There are so many new features to GMB listings and the opportunity to tell your story has never been greater. Plus the more content you add, the better your chances for ranking in local search.
Use a few keywords in your profile. Link out to pages on your website and don’t be afraid to sell yourself.
Try to make your business profile at least 1000 words. Put in as many pictures as you can. Publish pictures of your products or even your staff. When potential customers are looking at your business in GMB, they are looking at everything. Every little bit helps.
2 – Positive Customer Reviews
Reviews are probably the biggest influence in terms of how well your GMB profile will rank on Google. The more reviews you have and the more positive reviews you have the better. It’s really that simple.
I like to automate this process because you want to incentivize your customers to leave you a review without being manipulative. Below is a brief overview on how to do it. If you want me to explain how to actually implement this, then shoot me a message on my contact form and I’ll gladly walk you through the process.
First, you need to collect an email address from your customers. This could mean starting a membership club with discounts, an opt in form or a simple ebook.
Next, I recommend sending a survey email that will calculate your Net Promotor Score. Basically, you send an email asking your customers to rate you and your service.
Finally, you set up automation so that if your customer rates you an 8-10, they receive a follow up email asking for a Google review. If your customer rates you a 1-5, you can send a follow up email asking how you could improve. This will give you a chance to reach out personally to your customer to try and make up for any mistakes you have made.
It sounds like a complicated process, but once you set it up, it’s rather simple.
These positive reviews will be honest and authentic. Better yet, you are finding ways that you can improve upon your customer experience which will play huge dividends in the long run.
3 – Dedicating a Local Add Budget
Google makes it very easy to run some local ads within your niche. If you can create a GMB listing, than you can run some ads around the listing.
The great thing about local ads is that it cuts the competition (and thus the cost per click) down drastically. Let’s imagine you own a local yoga shop. If you run local ads, you are only bidding against other yoga shops in your area. This is drastically different and much less expensive than competing against national organizations or membership sites.
The great part is that you can get an overview of your add spend directly in your GMB dashboard.
Adwords is an effective marketing product, but be careful. If you get careless you can easily burn through cash without getting a good return.
A Changing Landscape
Keeping up with local search is challenging because there are so many new additions and adjustments being implemented all the time. However, I think it will be important for me to keep better track of this for everyone.
I’ve been involved with at least a half dozen local businesses doing some work on their GMB listing and increasing their foot traffic and their phone calls by 200% or more. Local search is simple and easy to implement and simply effective.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to reach out or ask me in the comments below. 🙂