Think as a local business you don’t need to worry about appearing at the top of search engine results because of your Yellow Pages ad or other local marketing? Think again!
Clients are no longer using the phone book when in search of local products and services. Instead, more and more are turning to computers, smartphones, and search engines. In fact, according to comScore, global leader in digital marketing intelligence, 54% of Americans have substituted the internet and local search for phone books. Perhaps more importantly, 82% of those local searchers follow up with an in-office visit or phone call. That means it’s vital for local search marketing to be part of every marketing plan.
Incorporating Local Search Marketing into your overall marketing plan doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are three strategies that you can implement today.
1. Establish a listing in all major local search directories
- Google Local Business/Google Places
- Bing/MSN Local Listings
- Yahoo Local
2. Customize your listing
- Include a local phone number and address. Be sure that all information is identical in every listing, including any abbreviations.
- Optimize your listing with targeted keywords and customized details.
- Add video, images, and promotional offers to enhance your listing.
3. Implement a review and reputation management strategy
- Encourage clients to post online reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, and Yahoo Local
- Do NOT post all reviews directly from your office, as your IP address will be recorded to prevent fraudulent posts
- Monitor online mentions of your firm by establishing a Google Alert
- Respond to any bad reviews with a brief explanation, without being defensive or argumentative. Showing potential clients how well problems are handled and that you care about your customer’s experience can be as valuable as a positive review.
Local search offers a tremendous opportunity to market to everyone actively looking for your services in your community. Are you reaching out to all of those potential clients?
Rita Chaires is an SEO professional, managing SEO and Social Media Marketing for Academy members. She has been part of the Academy SEO team since 2010. Rita is an ongoing contributor to the Academy blog.
SEO and Social Media Manager
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555