Your small business is your baby, that you’ve nurtured and help grow for years and years. But as your baby has grown, so has the environment in which it has been raised. As a small business owner, it is imperative that you are continually adapting to these changes to offer the best chance for your baby! That is where local marketing for your small business comes into play.
In the past, marketing for small businesses has been a stagnant, never-changing environment, where television, radio, print advertising and direct mail would help drive the revenue that you needed to grow. As the world has switched to a more digital, mobile landscape, with close to 2 BILLION smartphone users across the world, only engaging in traditional marketing just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Marketing your local, small business in search results is going to mesh all of your forms of marketing into one, cohesive message, across multiple landscapes, offering even further growth for your business.
So, where do you even start with local marketing for your small business to ensure that not only your returning customers find you, but you are generating the new business needed for growth? This is all going to start with search results. Search results are what appear when you are searching for information in Google, Yahoo or Bing. Let’s dive into some numbers to gain some perspective on the importance of being found online.
- Over 100 billion searches per month are completed on Google, alone
- 72% of consumers who complete a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their location
- 30% of all mobile searches are location based
- Local searches bring 50% of mobile visitors to an actual storefront
The importance of being found online is higher than it has ever been in the past, especially as more users are utilizing their smartphones to find businesses within their area.
How Can Your Small Business be Found in Search Results?
In local marketing, search results can be divided into 3 separate result categories, which we will dive into below. Keep in mind, for each type of search result, there are particular strategies and techniques needed to ensure you are being found in your local market.
First and foremost, organic search results are the results that appear when any search is done in any search engine. These results are determined by Google with a combination of over 200 ranking factors, ensuring that the user is finding the most appropriate, applicable information based off of their search.
What does this mean for your local marketing strategy? Ensuring that you are targeting the most applicable keyword phrases for your business and website is absolutely imperative. For demonstration purposes, let’s say you are a local baker here in Colorado Springs, offering some of the most decadent cakes in the area. You want to ensure that you are not only stating the products and services you offer in your keywords, but also the area that you serve. This will allow Google to associate your business with what you do, and the areas that you serve, and will help mitigate users in areas you don’t serve from finding you, and help you convert more traffic to more high quality, paying customers.
Local Search (Map Packs)
For your local marketing strategy to succeed even further, ensure that your business can be found in Google’s Map Pack. These are the results that appear above the organic search results for a local phrase. So, how does Google determine who to place in the map section for any given search? First, that all depends on the type of search that is being done, from a micro moment search to a leisure type of search.
From the above statistics, Google has shifted much more to a location-based results pattern in these search results, as users continue to look for businesses that are closest to their location. To ensure that you are not missing the mark here, make sure that you have a Google My Business page for your business that is fully optimized and verified. This will allow you to show up in this local map pack for searches in your area.
Paid Search Results
Pay Per Click advertising (PPC) is another great local marketing strategy for small businesses. PPC is where the majority of Google’s revenue comes from. In short, this is paying for the top position in Google, above all other search results, and you are only charged when a user clicks on your advertisement. PPC is a great addition to your SEO efforts, offering more targeting options to identify users in a certain demographic and geographic area.
Examples of Local Search Results
What do each of these search results actually look like in search engine results pages (SERPs)? An example of each is provided below.
To learn more, contact our experts at SocialSEO. Let us help take your business to the next level in the search engines, Social Media and PPC.