These days, everyone is going local. People want to deal with companies that are located in their respective geographic regions, giving rise to local SEO’s exploding popularity. Depending on your company’s goals, you may find that adopting a local SEO strategy is more appropriate.
Going local is more than just a trend, it’s a movement. Consumers across the country are looking to support local businesses by purchasing their food, clothing, and even web-based services from local companies.
This movement can cause local companies considerable headaches when attempting to decide between a more local-based SEO strategy or focusing more on the national market. Here we will take a look at some things to consider when deciding to go local.
Who Benefits from Local Search
Small time pizzerias, local clubs, recreation businesses and other companies which primarily serve a set geographic area are far more likely to benefit from developing local SEO. But a distinction must be made.
Those companies which have a product or service which can easily be delivered through the mail or digitally may benefit from a marketing strategy, and hence a SEO strategy that takes national SEO trends into account.
So, while a local fast food shop may want to focus 100% on local, a small time bookstore or record retailer may want to incorporate some national SEO tactics into the overall marketing plan.
Claim Your Profile
The most important local SEO best practice involves claiming the company’s profile on Google and other engines which index local businesses. So, while many of the on-page SEO factors for local and national SEO are similar, local SEO essentially hinges on this one indispensable step.
Claiming these local listings will allow your business’ profile to appear in local search listings. Without fulfilling this step, your business simply will not show up.
Reviews are Important
A final step in getting your company’s local listing to rank higher, and this is a step which is shared by national listings as well, is to focus on generating tons of customer reviews. Every time a customer reviews your company’s product or service it can theoretically make your local listing more likely to move up in the rankings, or at least prevent it from moving down.
Considering the fact that Google is the king of the hill when it comes to search, don’t forget Google Places.
Everyone knows that businesses that wish to sell their products and services far and wide should shoot for a national audience. But, should a small, local company do the same? As was alluded to earlier, there are several factors which help to determine the answer to that question, but it all comes down to how you’d like your business to grow.
The Hybrid Approach
Due to the fact that so many companies tend to compete on the national SEO stage, it can be far harder to rank nationally than it is to rank locally. Also, many marketers may find that the kinds of marketing messages which work in one niche (i.e. local market) may not work on a national scale. As previously stated, it is very important to know exactly what your company is looking to achieve before launching a national campaign.
The challenges associated with ranking nationally have actually led many marketers and marketing companies to adopt a bit of a hybrid strategy. By strategically employing local listings, which lead to landing pages for local offices of brands which have a national reach, some companies are finding that they can effectively have the best of both worlds.