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Jump-start a local search marketing program

The low-cost entry point, tracking capabilities and solid ROI of local search have made it a popular marketing tool for businesses that want to cost effectively target customers in a specific region. Here are some tips to maximize local search marketing.

Develop your profile page
Think about how you want to describe your business and then use this information to develop your online profile page and advertise your business. Be sure to include methods of payment, products offered, key differences in your business, driving directions, maps, photos and other content.

Strategically select categories, keywords and search phrases
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes when promoting your business. What would you look for to find your type of company online? Think about what keywords you would type into a search engine to find your business. Build your program around those phrases and words.

Broadcast widely
Use multiple platforms, including top-tier search engines. Not every directory has your business information, so be sure to submit to multiple online directories. The more unique your content, the more opportunities you will have to both improve your presence online and be found by all of the search engines.

Track your leads
You’ll need to track your leads to measure the results of your local search campaign. You can do this by using call-tracking phone numbers, which will tell you how many potential customers picked up the phone and contacted you; profile page clicks; page views on your site; or impressions to the search engine results page.

Bruce Crair is president and COO of Local.com, a search site and network that allows users to search for local businesses, products and services.

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