Surfer boasts to be the best on-page optimization SEO software. Companies such as FedEx, Intuit, Shopify, are using Surfer SEO to rank higher in search engines. Surfer has a lot of powerful features, among which I wanna mention Jasper AI that allows its users to write automatically. Indeed folks, AI has come to rescue us from SEO content headaches. Now, because many of our readers are developing local businesses and creating websites for them, we wanted to help properly guide them into SEO local marketing techniques. And Surfer SEO is the right guest for this.
A brick-and-mortar local business like a restaurant, or shopping center wouldn’t make much use of internet marketing that spans the globe. It would be an inefficient use of local businesses’ marketing budget to target a global audience.
A general rule in internet marketing is to target those most likely to take your desired action — in this case, come to your local business. These businesses would benefit more from local internet marketing.
Local internet marketing, as the name states, is a digital marketing effort targeting those within the business’ immediate area of operations. Targeting this specific area is a more efficient use of your marketing budget. Keep reading for your quick yet comprehensive guide on local internet marketing.
1. Create localized content
While western culture is the dominant global culture universally understood by most people, you’d want to resonate with that of your specific area of operations. Shown below is an Indian cafe page that showcases in its copy the hospitality of Delhi.
It helps if you, or your marketing officers, know the local culture at a native level. If you were born and raised in your area of operations, you should have no trouble creating localized content.
Know your Audience
Research methods like focus groups are helpful, but the most optimal way to know your exact target audience is by hiring a superior marketing officer from the local community.
Entrust that they know the culture inside and out, and delegate to them the voice of your local marketing.
How to Create Content that Resonates with My Audience?
Once you know your target audience, your content should:
- Use imagery familiar to them. A good tip for local marketing is to use landmarks and map directions in your content.
- Some ad platforms let you know what pages your social media audience like. You can use this to determine your customers’ interests, allowing you to craft more engaging marketing content.
- Speak their language including slang and colloquial.
- Celebrate local events. The village you’re operating in may have its own festivals and celebrations.
When your brand goes global, part of your project roadmap should be a decentralized brand tone across your different branches. This is to resonate with the culture of your various branches, but still, be true to your brand guidelines.
2. Target geo-specific keywords
Google, and other search engines, are your friend. Potential customers find local businesses through search results. You can improve your search results ranking within your local area by targeting geo-specific keywords.
These keywords improve your local SEO results, helping you rank highly in the search engines’ results pages (SERPs). New customers tend to search for something along the lines of “restaurants in…” That’s assuming they dominantly speak English.
If you’re operating in Delhi, India, the keywords you’d want to use are “Delhi” and “India.” The search term you’d want to optimize for may look something like “Best cafe in Delhi.” From there, you’d want to perform deeper keyword research.
Keyword Research for Local Search Marketing
- When using keyword suggestion tools, set your area to the city you’re operating in to show you the results generated in that city.
- Only use keyword suggestions relevant to your business.
- An important rule in keyword research is to look for low-volume long-tail searches. These are less competitive and more specific. For example, if you serve spicy food, you could target the search term “Spicy Food in Delhi.”
You’d also want to consider that searches performed in your area of operation may not be in English.
If the country you’re operating in speaks a different native language – take, for example, Thailand – then you’d want to use Thai for your keywords and content. This is useful for local search marketing.
Audit On-Page SEO
Once you’ve gathered your keywords, you’d want to look through your current website’s content. Add in the necessary keywords to your website so that it ranks for the appropriate local searches, improving your local SEO. However, you’d still want your content to read naturally.
Follow these steps and you’re likely to be found on the first page of SERPs.
3. Optimize your Google My Business
If you want your business to be on the map in today’s digital age, you need a Google My Business listing. Think of it as local listings or business listings for online marketing.
Google My Business puts you on Google Maps
Your business will show up for “near me” search queries, just like how local directories function. This is important, considering the on-the-go behavior of people performing searches on their mobile devices.
There’s a lot more functionality to being placed on Maps, such as location tagging for UGCs. We’ll get to that later.
Google My Business allows you to receive Google Reviews
These testimonials attract more nearby customers and uplift your brand reputation.
Receiving Google reviews will provide your business with social proofing, thus attracting more sales to your business.
How to optimize your Google My Business listing
You’d want to keep your Google My Business listing in optimal shape.
- Fill in your most relevant business type. If your local business is a sushi bar, indicate that.
- Add other relevant categories to your business. If you also do corporate meetings, indicate that in your sub-categories.
- Add your website’s URL and contact numbers to your listing.
- Add images. You’d want to add pictures of your business’ front, the interior, and the products/service you provide.
- Collect reviews and testimonials. More on this later.
The above tips will optimize your Google My Business listing, helping your online marketing efforts. A detailed listing also appeals to most customers easily by providing your location, services, operating hours, etc.
4. Don’t Forget The Testimonial
Word-of-mouth marketing is the oldest and most genuine form of marketing. Today, there are more online marketing tools and methods that can emulate this genuineness. Let’s take a look at testimonials.
Testimonials encourage more users to try out your product. When you see good reviews on Amazon, you’re compelled to buy the product. Just like photos and videos, testimonials should also be used in your marketing collateral. Here’s how you can gather testimonials:
- Personally ask for reviews when customers visit your business. You can reward them with a discount, a free item, etc.
- Ask for reviews via an email marketing campaign. Your email list, being your most engaged leads, will likely provide you with reviews.
- Interactions with your customers may also be reviews (i.e., Thanks, I really enjoyed your pizza!). Ask them for permission before publishing these messages.
- Search for brand mentions and hashtags on social media sites.
- Invite your most engaged customers for an interview. You could make much use of a video-format testimonial. Give them a token of appreciation.
Alongside testimonials, you can also use other forms of user-generated content to support your local internet marketing efforts.
What is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content is content created and posted by individuals. According to Stackla, UGC is 79% more persuasive than brand-posted content, thereby giving you a more effective web presence.
How to Generate UGC?
There are two easy ways to generate UGC:
- When you’re on Google’s maps, users may tag your location when they upload photos of your business.
- Have a brand hashtag. Encourage customers to use that hashtag when they upload social media content.
Take a look at this image:
Shown above is a UGC for Triveni Terrace Cafe in Delhi, India posted on Instagram.
5. Adjust the geographic reach of your social media ads
Don’t waste money targeting areas you’re not even serving. You’d want to limit the targeting of your paid advertising (i.e. Facebook Ads, Google Ads) to the geographic location of your business.
You might find more use with a 2m radius since proximity is a major factor for customers deciding which local businesses to visit. This makes a lot of sense when doing paid advertising for local internet marketing.
Benefits of Geographic Social Media Marketing
- Limits your reach to a relevant area (i.e., Las Vegas, Texas, Delhi, Gurugram), optimizing your marketing budget.
- Your social media followers will primarily consist of people within your vicinity. This means that your posts can focus on catering to the ideal potential customer.
- The denser the area of reach, the more likely word about your business will snowball to nearby areas via word-of-mouth.
If you feel you’ve reached a bottleneck with your radius targeting (the projected reach doesn’t rise in proportion to the ad spend anymore), that’s when you can opt to add 1m more to your targeting radius.
6. Get proper inbound links
There are likely a bunch of content websites that cater to your country, region, or city’s niche. Generate links to your website via mentions on their pages. This increases your website’s domain authority, ranking, and organic traffic.
Cafe Delhi Heights is a well-reviewed restaurant in Delhi. However, they don’t have the best domain authority. To combat this, the restaurant tries to secure inbound links. For example, they got featured in a top travel blog and received a high-quality inbound link.
Here are ways you can generate inbound links from relevant content websites:
- Guest Blogging
Write a blog that they’ll publish on their site. In exchange, insert a link that leads to your website.
- Pay to be Featured
Pay to be featured on a list blog or feature article. If you’re a restaurant, you’ll benefit from food and travel blogs published by local websites linking back to your website.
- Conduct an Outreach Campaign
Do an outreach campaign, tapping as many reputable local sites as possible. The more quality inbound links you’ll generate for your website, the better your SEO performance. You’d also want to actively avoid low-quality sites as they can negatively affect your backlink profile.
Reach out to the top bloggers in your area for partnerships that will earn your business these links. Getting featured on multiple local sites increases your brand’s reach. More local people will become aware of your business.
Local internet marketing is digital marketing for local businesses such as restaurants and plumbing services. To bring in more traffic to your business, create local internet marketing content that appeals to the locale.
In your digital marketing efforts, target geo-specific keywords by utilizing the name of the area you’re operating in. This optimizes your site for local search results. Create a Google My Business page and optimize it. This will act as an online business listing. Generate customer testimonials and utilize UGC to attract more customers. Adjust the geographic reach of your paid ads to target those that can walk into your store. You’d also want links from local content websites whose niche complements yours.
Follow these steps and more potential customers will be attracted to your local businesses, generating more sales.