To maximize your local search marketing efforts, you need to be savvy about search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. While the two disciplines often seem separate, they share many of the same goals and tactics. For example, both SEO and PPC help you get your business in front of potential customers looking for local businesses like yours — which means less competition for you. And both rely on accurate, actionable data that can help you track ROI and fine-tune your campaigns over time.

Local search marketing is all about leveraging search engines to drive customers to your business.

While there are many local search marketing tactics that you can use to attract customers, there are only two that matter: search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).

It’s important for local search marketers to understand these two disciplines because SEO and SEM are tightly linked together. So, if you want to whip your business into shape for success in local search, it pays to understand these two specific methods of online marketing.

Local Search

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

SEO is the practice of using search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to drive your business’s visibility and traffic. An SEO campaign is the combination of marketing (SEO) and technical optimization to boost your website’s ranking in a targeted search engine results page (SERP).

Why should I care about SEO and local search marketing?

There are improved local rankings in Google, which drives people to your website. And local business rankings often drive visitors to your website, recommending your business to them. Higher rankings mean more business! Google is pushing toward local/maps results that return a local personal search.

So what do you do?

You engage in SEO in order to spot an opportunity to improve your business and/or your listing to appear in these local “maps”.

How can I leverage SEO for my local search marketing needs?

Well, there are tons of cost-effective local SEO and SEM directories that advertise paid search opportunities. There are also some free portals that provide resources for local SEO and SEM, as well. One place to start is with SERanking.

You can search for your category or region of interest and use the filter to find free/paid local listings. Once you find some local directories, explore them for quality directories — they can be a good starting point for building your citation building campaign. You can also use a local SEO service for directory submissions, archiving, and syndication. Additionally, while local SEO may not always lead to increased visibility through the SERPs, increased visibility can lead to more specific search intent.

Use paid advertising to complement your SEO strategy

Most people think of paid advertising as something you do to drive sales, but it can be used to drive traffic to your website, too. If you’re using SEO to drive traffic to your website, paid advertising is a great way to complement your SEO strategy. Both strategies work together to earn you more leads, show prospects that you’re the best possible choice for them, and nurture your relationships so they stay with you for a long time.

SEO + PPC = increase in leads But sometimes, your SEO and paid advertising campaigns don’t agree on who should drive the traffic to your website. That’s when it’s time to mix things up and find a different way to increase your lead conversion.

Specifically, you’ll want to use optimization to drive traffic to your website and PPC to drive traffic back to your website. Of course, mixing things up requires you to test different techniques — and fix the ones that aren’t working to optimize them so they can roll out to more areas of your website.

If you follow SEO best practices, your conversion rate most likely won’t disappoint (for the most part). But if you pull different types of search queries (or a different set of cities) and don’t optimize for them, you’re missing out on real, local potential customers. And you could be missing out on a sizable profit.

Here, a tip to get you started:

Stop worrying so much about your website competition. In the end, the people who actually make a living on (organic) search engines are the ones you really want to work with. Invest in PPC to drive traffic that will convert — not just pique their curiosity about your website.

Limit your testing to certain regions or recall names and phone numbers of the wayward visitors.

Combine your content strategy and SEO to reach more customers than ever before

If you’re not already doing so, start to combine the content strategy and seo in order to reach more customers than ever before.

Almost every local business — whether you’re a large chain or a one-man show — needs to prioritize building offline traffic through website visits. In a competitive environment, however, you need to stand out.

In fact, your average customer walking past your shop probably doesn’t know or care that you offer an amazing selection of products. If you don’t know what’s selling, and it takes them several tries to find it, how can you expect them to remember your shop and buy from you?

Conversely, if your website provides excellent customer service and encourages them to share, review, and tell other friends about the great experience at your shop, its content is bound to rank highly. That’s great content rise to the top of the SERPs — whether it’s an article about first impressions at a new restaurant — often does two things:

It helps customers find the information they need quickly, and it helps potential customers to remember you and self-actualize what they’ve just experienced.

You’ll earn more conversions by bringing in highly qualified customers, improving your online presence and reputation, and building a credible visual profile on the SERPs. What’s more, your existing content will gain greater exposure and traction for greater ROI. Train your team to think of organic search as more than a second-order effect to your traditional marketing effort before they complete the work of creating amazing website designs.

Maximize your impact by staying organized with keyword tracking tools

Keyword tools help you find out what people are searching for and how competitive certain keywords and search terms are.

For example, Google’s Keyword Planner tells you how many people search for a term and how much traffic you can get from that search. You can also see how competitive it is and if it’s a popular keyword.

Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool can help you check to see how much traffic you would get if you were to bid on a certain keyword. It also suggests PPC ad copy types such as bid management, ad blocks, ads by location, and bid management.

SEO can help with understanding where users are clicking on local search results, how much people search on certain terms, and how much competition each term has historically had.

AdWords is a great tool for SEO because it combines three of the disciplines into one — search engine optimization. Upkeep on your PPC campaigns and ongoing tracking are critical to keep up with users clicking on your ad pages and getting your business in front of potential customers who want to do business with you.

Keep in mind that while both SEO and PPC require an understanding of Internet user behavior, they do involve some online marketing fundamentals.

Having an SEO strategy before you create a PPC ad can reduce your experience with certain terms and costs while increasing your chances of converting customers. And having a well-rounded SEO portfolio can help set your teeth on edge of your range for great results.

Use Google Maps to improve your listings and get more traffic Using Google’s “Maps” for Business feature will have a direct impact on how effective your Google My Business (GMB) listing is in local searches.

By finding and adding positive features on local business listings and promoting your own location, you can improve your local search placement.

Conclusion

Local search is an important part of any marketing strategy, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. With the right tools, you can manage both your SEO and PPC campaigns with ease.

Local search is an important part of any marketing strategy, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. With the right tools, you can manage both your SEO and PPC campaigns with ease.

Try using a tool like Moz Local, which comes with a built-in PPC tool that will help you manage your local listings and manage your PPC campaigns.

The listing on Google My Business will likely resemble your main address when it’s in GMB. When you update it, Google typically helps your clients to fight a ranking drop. So, it’s important to make sure that it’s sufficiently updated in addition to other guidelines, such as adding important phone numbers or updating hours of operations. .

Do a different photo every quarter

Designing a more visually pleasing Google My Business listing can help the local search community discover you. Your business can take inspiration from Google Photos or snap a simple photo of you with your dog or your team at your favorite sporting event. Take special care in choosing the best lighting and lighting poses on your expectant face.

Update phone number frequently

Your local business listings should be accurate and up-to-date as much as possible. Some GMB attributes can provide a clear indication of the quality of your business, such as number of locations, hours of operation, and most popular services. Some attributes, such as photos of your team, specializing in a specific type of service or product, and places of business—are more difficult to update. When it comes to updating your phone number, it’s important to remember to update your directory listing as well.

Check for any citations Local search directories, such as the Yellow Pages, should be checked for any major red flags.