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Local Search Engine Marketing

Think Global, Act Local

Search engine led search engine optimisation (SEO) is a necessary marketing strategy – global in outlook, actual customers for a large number of B2C businesses are local. Large businesses do need national and global branding, but in today’s era of niche marketing they need to exhibit their ability to nurture localised customer needs too (like large global car rental companies). Local search engine optimisation and listing in localised web directories thus becomes important for those businesses that need to profit from local consumers. Many customers like to search online, but make localised offline purchases. Localised search engine results are important for this growing band of customers. Local searches are of two kinds, they are either localised search engine offshoots for certain locations e.g. Overture’s Local Match or the top of the search result web page carries the local content is especially helpful for those who do research online and plan to buy offline.

Localised SEO

Small businesses that target local residents as their customers, for services such as plumbing, house repair or even transport services need to localise SEO for their websites. To achieve their goals of being closer to the searches of their local target audience they need to follow generic SEO tactics, however with local geographical terms, key words/phrases and language styles. As part of their keyword research they need to include popular (local) colloquial terms, exact local destinations and other customer preferences that exactly map to local residents’ needs. Exact district names should be part of the site’s header and title tags, while you could include some local images for a sense of familiarity. Consistent postings in local directories and a link exchange program with reputable local business associations / chambers could boost your reputation and page rankings. Do not forget to participate in local interest blogs and other discussion forums to show your expert knowledge about local issues and your passion for serving local needs.

Smaller Budgets, Higher Conversion

Small businesses usually can afford only small marketing spends, yet require higher conversion rates to be profitable. Beyond their immediate local city limits, these businesses often do not hold dreams of building a significant national presence. Localised SEO makes business sense for them as it can successfully replace the offline yellow pages advertisements which eat up a large proportion of their marketing budget. For large search engines, like Google and Yahoo, adding local search brand extensions makes business sense as they can expand to new lucrative business locations. By reaching out to local small businesses they can become more useful to their local search customers.

Localised Internet marketing

From localised AdWords search engine advertisements to banner advertisements that appear on local IP pages of popular web portals, localised online advertising needs innovation and creativity. Local experts like doctors and dentists can also run successful newsletter subscriptions where they dispense useful advice. They can utilise it as a vehicle to collect views of local population to further enhance their service offerings in order to protect business interests in the face of a specialist national vendor setting up shop in the same locality.  Local advertising has the potential to generate a great deal of inbound web traffic which in turn will boost your local search engine page rankings.

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