You may have noticed that no matter what you search for lately, your results almost always show a local business related to your query. Google announced in May that 20 percent of all searches were local search-related. Microsoft reflected even bigger figures this time last year, with 53 percent of Bing’s mobile searches having a local intent.
Local is comprising a larger part of universal search, a marriage that will have far-reaching implications for paid search spending. According to Forrester Research, local will become the biggest part of the overall interactive advertising market.
As search engines become more intuitive, the separation between local and universal search is beginning to disappear. This is great news for companies, as a simple listing with Google Places and/or Bing can bolster both local and universal search rankings without too much time or money. BtoB Magazine’s Karen J. Bannan recently penned an article on the subject, consulting industry experts to come up with the top seven local and universal visibility-boosting tactics.
- Function over medium. Successful, forward-thinking marketing teams will quickly adapt to the shifting landscape. No longer will local, paid and universal search be viewed as separate initiatives with set uses and applications; all three will be melded to create an overall search engine marketing campaign that is guaranteed to yield higher rankings.
- Back to basics. If your business isn’t listed on Google Places, now is the time to add your company. Make sure all pertinent information is included, like address, phone number and hours of operation. Since YouTube has been more deeply integrated with Google, you’ll also want to upload a video tagged with local and traditional search terms.
- Geotarget. Consider your regional audience and adjust your strategy accordingly. Tailor your keywords and messages to the specific geographic region in which they’re located.
- Collaborate with channel partners & distributors. “Partners doing your work locally should have a highly localized search strategy that also takes into account universal search,” said Bannan. They may have videos that show different locations and might be purchasing local search terms. Reach out to discuss how you can work with them to improve their existing search strategy.
- Go beyond metatags. Internet technology is rapidly advancing. In the article, Bannan referenced W3C’s Web Schemas Task that “creates a list of schemas ([HTML] tags) that can be used to mark up pages in a way so that they are better optimized.” Seek out the latest available technology and use it to improve your search rankings.
- Social media & link building. “Inbound links are still important in boosting search rankings,” says Bannan. Link building, whether it be through social media or guest blogging, should remain a vital component of your strategy.
- Create a mobile platform. Local searches are even more prevalent on mobile devices. Gain a competitive advantage by optimizing your content for smartphones. Nix the Flash and make sure your images are sized correctly.
If you’re ready to develop and grow your brand’s online presence, contact Blue Interactive Agency today. Blue offers a complete range of interactive marketing services in Fort Lauderdale, including search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, SEO copywriting and much more. Call 954-779-2801 today for more information.