Local search marketing acts as a connection between your business and real-world communities. This bridge leads to those places where you have consumers living, working, and making the vast majority of their total purchases. These are also the places where the competition is more intense than ever.
The local marketers today are faced with more questions than do they have answers. Is Google really stealing website traffic? Is there a way of fighting the giants such as Amazon? Here is a look at some industry insights that can help you plan your game in 2019.
First, some important takeaways
· Versatility is the keyword for local search marketers to succeed:
Local search represents an ever-changing and growing field that constantly challenges marketers to keep pace with the trends. It doesn’t matter what your company deals in – the marketer today needs to have both the big picture as well as the little details in mind.
· Clients have little knowledge about local search:
Simply having great tactics will not help you succeed as a marketer today, you also need to learn how to be a great communicator. It is difficult to get clients on board with strategies for their understanding of metrics and goals is vague. Also, with SERPs becoming ever more complex, it is getting harder to teach them. Get more insight into understanding the modern SERPs, and it is important to rank number one on the local search.
· There is more to local marketing than merely search:
Google lacks any severe competition, and paid results are becoming more popular. Hence, local search marketers have chosen to broaden their scope of work. The importance of SERPs can never be ignored but the focus today has shifted to alternative platforms such as real-world community building, word-of-mouth, and email. Local businesses tend to give added emphasis to Google. Being able to locate other marketing opportunities will allow your company to stand out.
The State of the Industry
· Proximity is an important factor in local rankings:
How close your prospects are to the business will have a significant impact on whether you will show up in their Google search results. Sadly, there is little you can do in this regard apart from moving your store to a densely populated area.
· Searchers usually have a terrible experience with local search:
A person searching for pizza could be willing to travel certain distance for a slice with a higher rating. Google’s algorithm gives more emphasis to proximity, and the top results are shown based on the location rather than the quality. It is a common sight for marketers to find poor-quality businesses ranking higher than their counterparts who are better thanks to their close physical proximity to the searchers.
Google needs to do something about improving this overemphasis on location to give an improved search experience.
· SEO is an investment that pays:
Marketers who lack sufficient knowledge of SEO often tend to be skeptical of its value and can be assured when provided with the right statistics. More time people devoted to SEO, better were the observed results post an Algorithm update rolled out on August 1.
This result holds true for both marketing agencies and in-house marketers, and there is no difference in outcomes between the large and small companies.
· Google is becoming the new “homepage”:
There is more information displayed on Google today, and it also allows transactional activity within its own interface. As a result, there is little need for searchers to visit a local business website. People seem to think that these efforts (or the lack thereof) are having an impact on the local businesses.
The worth of a website remains the same, but it has become all the more important for local businesses to give higher priority to managing every element of their Google presence.
· The relation exists between organic and local rankings:
There is a common feeling that reduced organic traffic has given local businesses a chance to do away with their websites. Marketers report that a brand with high visibility in local features of SERP also enjoy a high organic placement.
Google is fast turning into the new homepage that local businesses are turning into even though the organic authority of a company’s website is what continues to support the local rankings.
· Reviews have an impact on the local rankings:
Google reviews have a strong impact on how your local business ranks in the local pack. Many business owners seem to misunderstand reviews – they can be any nuanced signal about your business including keywords in the review text, customer sentiments, recency, and ratings. As a local search marketer, you need to consider every aspect of review while designing your digital marketing strategy.
If you are based in New York, you can work with experts from New York City-based SEO services who has high-quality resource data and someone who understands the sentiments of business and expectations that their customers may have from them and accordingly build a customer-centric marketing strategy.
Strategy for Local SEO
· There is greater emphasis on revenues and conversions:
In the past, business owners showed too much emphasis on traffic and rankings. However, the focus has drastically shifted toward revenue and conversions. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of work to be done since almost one-third of marketers continue to emphasize rankings and traffic over the end result of conversions and revenues.
· Local SEO does not have such a thing as “great training”:
The value of training is well-known to marketers, but two-thirds are of the view that they are not getting the high-quality resources and training that is needed for doing an excellent job in local SEO. Local search engine experts should improve their knowledge and resource sharing to educate the marketers better.
Tactics for Local SEO
· Local businesses are overlooking link building:
A third of digital marketing teams don’t have any strategy for link-building which means they are already handicapped on a competitive front. Domain authority is strongly linked to local search rankings, and link building is something that should not be overlooked.
Those who do emphasize link building, follow direct asking and contact development as the primary tactics while event hosting and sponsorships occasionally find mention.
· Email marketing is catching up, at last:
If there is one strategy that gives consistent high returns on investments, it is email marketing. The fact that more businesses are adopting it is only good news for digital marketing experts.
However, many still remain skeptical about its powers while others just don’t know what to do with it. There is a long way to go before it becomes the go-to strategy for local businesses looking to improve upon their revenues and conversions.
Digital marketing has come a long way in recent times, and the numbers are only getting better with each passing year. However, there is still a lot of untapped potentials that it has to offer especially for local and small businesses to help them grow better and become powerful entities in the local marketplace.