Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Marketing firms in Los Angeles are fully aware of the latest trend that is local searching, and how it’s quickly becoming an important marketing tool. For businesses that wish to increase sales, local search has come up with research studies and surveys, one of which recorded by John Schepke of Marketingprofs.com, that show it to be a vital tool: by 2015, local search as an advertising tool is expected to increase its activity by 10 percent, making it one of the fatest growing methods of online advertising; thirty percent of searches are expected to become local by 2015. Also, eighty percent of all browser searches via smart phone, android or tablet are for local searches and local businesses.
The main search engines are propelling themselves towards a more user-friendly, and thus more local-based, experience. For example, any and every Los Angeles marketing company is aware of the implementation of Google Places allows for a user to find relevant results for products and services within their area.
A local search will undoubtedly give your company a competitive edge that perhaps more traditional marketing venues would not offer. There are several ways in which you can make the most out of the local search trend.
First, make sure your website is optimized. Any advertising agency in Los Angeles would recommend that you contact a search engine optimization professional, who would enhance your web presence on search engine sites such as Google and Bing. Explain to your SEO consultant that you’re especially interested in more geographically specific keywords associated with your website. If your business has more than one location, it would be advisable to optimize a web page for each location.
Set up local profiles online. Your website shouldn’t do all the heavy lifting in making your web presence. Internet users should also be able to find your business in online directories such as the Yellow Pages, Citysearch, chambers of commerce, as well as third party review sites such as Yelp. When claiming these profiles, make sure every listing has the correct contact information. Search engines like consistency, as do Internet users, so having erroneous information on each Internet profile will do great harm to your web presence.
Openly embrace third party sites and consumer ratings online. Encourage consumers to rate your business on these sites, perhaps even with a bit of incentive in return (ex: “Review us on Yelp, we’ll give you 10 percent off on your next visit!”). A large majority of people trust online customer reviews just as much as word-of-mouth reviews from there friends, as a 2010 Bright Local study shows. Getting people to review your business also heightens your rankings on major search engines.
You can also boost your rankings with major search engines by including more, high-quality photos. Visual content can be just as important as your written content in bringing more customers to your business.
Finally, make sure to update your business profiles and websites regularly. Update your website with your latest products and services, as well as limited time offers. Regularly visit your online directories and platforms and make sure all of your business contact information is up to date.