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STEP 4: SELECT THE RIGHT TARGETED
CATEGORIES, KEYWORDS AND
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes when promoting your
business. Where would you look for your type of company
online? In what category and section of the directories should your business be listed? Think about what keywords you would
type into a search engine to find your business. According to
The Kelsey Group, 61 million local search inquiries are conducted
online every day. This means your business listing needs to
be optimized to appear on the first page of results in your region
STEP 5: BROADCAST YOUR COMPANY’S
PROFILE PAGE TO THE WORLD.
With everything in place, it’s time to let the world know about
your company using multiple platforms, including top-tier search
engines. Not every directory has your business information, so be
sure to submit to multiple online directories. Also, keep in mind
that, according to a 2007 TMP Directional Media survey, 82 percent
of online local searchers contacted a business offline and 61
percent of those people made purchases. Therefore, make sure
you have as much relevant information on your profile page as
possible. The more unique your content, the more opportunities
you will have to both improve your presence online and be found
by all of the search engines.
STEP 6: DEVELOP A PROGRAM TO SECURE
When a customer finds you, they will also find your competitors.
Positive reviews that validate your company will help persuade
them to choose your offerings over the competition. According to
Jupiter Research, 77 percent of online shoppers use ratings and
reviews when making a purchase. Develop a customer review program
by reaching out to satisfied customers and asking them to
rate your business or write a review. Also consider providing
incentives to your employees who solicit reviews from customers
and offer discount coupons to potential reviewers. You can also
promote your reviews program on customer bills, your website or
even your business card.
STEP 7: TRACK YOUR LEADS.
To measure the results of your local search campaign, you’ll need
to track your leads. You can do this by using call-tracking phone
numbers, which will tell you how many potential customers
picked up the phone and contacted you; profile page clicks; page
views on your site; or impressions to the SERP page. The goal is
to track how many times people clicked on your ad (clickthrough
rate) or were able to see it online (impressions). If you
have many impressions but few clicks, you will need to make
some changes to your strategy.
If you have more than one location, be sure to promote your
business in each of these areas. Don’t assume that if you have
one location listed they will be able to find all of your locations.
They may see a location that isn’t near them and move on to the
next business listed, likely your competition.
Local search is an effective way to market your local business,
especially if you have limited marketing dollars. The low-cost
entry point, tracking capabilities and solid ROI have made it
a popular marketing tool for businesses that want to costeffectively
target customers in a specific region. There are many opportunities that can help deliver local customers to your website
and through your front door.
About the Author: Jennifer Black is vice president of marketing for Local.com, a leading
U.S. local search site and network attracting approximately 19 million
visitors each month seeking information on local businesses, products
and services. For information call 888-857-6734 or visit local.com.