What is Digital Marketing Part 2: Joining the Local Search CommunityAt The Web Guys, we know that the foundation of great digital marketing is a killer website that engages customers and motivates them to act — whether it’s scheduling an appointment or booking a reservation online. But how do you get new clients to your website in the first place?

Considering that 97 percent of consumers search online for goods and services at some point in their decision-making process, it’s important to make sure that your business’ website shows up in local search results.

What is Local Search?

Local Search Results

Local search is any type of online search — whether it’s on Google, Bing, or Yahoo! — that’s aimed at finding a service within a specific geographic area. For example, to find a hotel for a vacation to Disney World, families can search “hotels in Orlando.” If they get hungry on the trip, a quick search on a smart phone for “best restaurants near me” will point them in the right direction. On Google, both searches will return a list of the top three local businesses based on relevance, distance, and prominence.

Not only can local search be a powerful source at the beginning stages of customer acquisition, but it also can help move prospects along the buyer’s journey. Someone who wants directions to a storefront or needs to know the office hours can find answers in local search results, which function like a faster, never-outdated version of the old printed Yellowpages directories.

Where Can I Find Local Search Results?

When a user queries Google, Bing, or Yahoo!, the organic results (usually located under the ads) include a non-paid aggregate of websites based on the search engines’ constantly changing algorithms. The top of the page may also include local listings, which in Google’s case are featured in a boxed area between the ads and other results.

Angie’s List, Manta, and Yelp are other directories where customers may be searching for services using their zip code and specific industry-related categories, such as home improvement or automotive repairs.

How Can I Dominate Local Search Rankings?

Reaching the top of the search results is easier said than done. That’s why The Web Guys is here to relieve business owners of the stress of handling online marketing. Once our Client Success team takes over, we aim to improve the following:

  1. Accuracy: We review the myriad directory listings to ensure the business name, address, phone number, and other important details are correct and consistent. Any discrepancies can cause confusion for the customer and may discredit your website authority, according to Google.
  2. Reviews: Once the listings are optimized, the next step is shooting for the stars (customer ratings of course). At least 88 percent of consumers are actively searching for reviews to determine if a business is trustworthy. Whether it’s by emailing a review link or simply asking, empowering customers to share their opinion is a good way to get valuable feedback.
  3. Backlinks: If you are vying for a competitive keyword in a targeted area, no question about it: Backlinks are crucial. These inbound links to a Web page increase exposure of the site, giving users another way to find it. Local listings act like links, since users can click to your website from them, so we make an ongoing effort to get your business into all relevant directories.

But Wait, There’s More…

Our Client Success team monitors organic traffic, local listings, and directories, but digital marketing doesn’t stop at local search results. Although it plays an extremely important part of enhancing your online presence, there are many other important factors to consider too. Learn more on the topic by following our weekly “What is Digital Marketing” blog series.

In the meantime, if you’re lagging behind competitors in local search rankings, let The Web Guys help you reach the top. Contact us at (317) 805-4933 today to get started.

What is Digital Marketing?

Part 1: Building a Solid Foundation 
This week: Joining the Local Search Community 
Part 3: Managing Your Company’s Brand Online 
Part 4: Managing Your Company’s Online Reputation
Part 5: Keeping Up on SEO
Part 6: Making the Most of PPC Campaigns
Part 7: Wrapping Up Your Digital Marketing Takeaways