If you have not yet focused on your local search, then you are not fully optimizing your digital marketing campaign. The 2021 study by Milestone underlined the key role that local research plays in companies’ overall online marketing strategy. The study sought to answer the most pressing questions about which channel channels the most site traffic.
More importantly, it sought to identify which channel had the highest conversion rate over a consistent period. As you can gather from the chart below, organic search continues to dominate the digital traffic rankings, bringing in 46.5% of total site visits. However, what may surprise you is local search, which was clearly in second place in terms of traffic, with 22.6%.
To reach this conclusion, Milestone studied more than 500 websites, nearly 180 million page views, and 63 million sessions between January 2020 and June 2021. They also distinguished between sites with and without localization.
However, while organic traffic seems to be the most effective way to attract visitors to your sites, local search has the highest conversion potential. For example, according to Milestone’s study, the revenue share of local traffic is 25.5%, while page views stand at a respectable 28.6%.
You should be holistic in your digital marketing strategy, combining organic and local search with link marketing and paid ads. As you can see in the following graph, the combination of your organic and local search will potentially give you about 69% of total traffic.
Another strategy that has gone unnoticed is that of high quality or referral links, which brings in almost 10% of total traffic. Referral traffic refers to each page visit resulting from a link that a customer follows from another site.
Meanwhile, paid ads are the amount you pay after bidding to place an ad on a specific digital platform or space. Ultimately, the company that is willing to get its hands on it will likely be successful in getting referral traffic.
After all, getting organic mentions from reliable sites takes work. This is also why affiliate links are a valuable asset, since each successful referral receives a $100 payout.
Answer these questions and immediately improve your search marketing campaign
Another factor you should take into account is how customers behave when looking for products or services online.
Here are three crucial statistics you should know:
- The average consumer uses their cell phone to look up the address of a local store half of the time.
- Some 53% of respondents use the Internet to look for directions to find a local business.
- Finally, more than 5 out of 10 customers research the hours of operation.
Now, if you have refocused your SEO campaign to address these search queries, you already have a clear advantage over your competitors. Of course, the assumption is that you have already optimized your Google My Business (GMB) profile and have a widespread presence on local platforms like Google Maps, Foursquare, Bing, and Yelp.
Six techniques to master the local search strategy
Make sure you follow these techniques.
Google My Business (GMB)
GMB is an easy way to increase your local visibility. In addition, you do not have a paid access, so you can create your profile at no additional cost. From here, you can start pinning your location on Google Maps to make sure your customers can find you.
Creating one is quite simple. Google will guide you through the process, which is as follows:
- Enter the required information completely and accurately
- Write a description of your activity
- Fill in the information about your business hours
- Select the appropriate business category
- Select all required attributes
- Confirm your location
You also don’t need a store to create a GMB profile, as long as you can contact your customers personally.
- Develop your site for SEO
A common mistake small businesses make is to create their website with free creators, such as WordPress. However, it is worth investing in the hiring of experienced Web developers, taking into account the potential returns. For example, the average person thinks that websites are designed for companies to reach their customers. But this is only half true.
Programmers design site so that Google and other search engines index and archive your site correctly. The process is called search engine optimization or SEO. Think of SEO as putting up neon signs for people to find your location in the desert.
They have different techniques to optimize their websites, including:
- Reduce, if not eliminate, the use of Flash
- Development for mobile devices
- Ensure proper site architecture
- Design for easy navigation
- Outline of the descriptive URL
- Optimization of videos and images
For example, optimizing your image is a foolproof way to increase your traffic. The most common problem faced by websites is slow loading times. The goal is to compress the images without sacrificing quality, especially if you are maintaining an e-commerce site.
Typically, image optimization involves four elements:
- Compression level
- File size
- Height and width
- Alt tag
A professional web developer will have a checklist of procedures to optimize your site for SEO. Unfortunately, small businesses focus too much on the potential expense of hiring specialists, rather than the opportunities they miss. Image optimization aims to create high quality images with the smallest possible file size. Three main elements play an important role here:
- Establish local surveys
What do your target customers look for when they perform local searches? But more importantly, what are the long-tail keywords that type into Google’s search box? You can use Google AdWords to get the most popular local search keywords that you can use for your content.
Analyzing your site traffic will also determine which keywords people use when they come across your site. Knowing local searches is crucial for your company, as they often lead to purchases about 78% of the time.
The graph means that 7 out of 10 customers who found your site through their cell phones are likely to buy your product or hire your services.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions allow you to engage your visitors without putting too much pressure on them to act. They will remove the obstacles to converting your visitors into customers.
The FAQ section is an easy way to create internal links, which improves your SEO score. It will also allow you to move up the organic search rankings by answering general questions about your specific industry.
As you know, organic search makes up the majority of total site traffic. However, the FAQ section should answer all their pressing questions and give them a better understanding of your organization and how you can address their concerns.
The last thing you want is for your visitors to feel cheated after reading your FAQs. So not only should you have an FAQ page, but it should have a prominent place on your site where visitors can easily find it.
- Optimize for mobile devices
Optimizing means improving the user experience of your customers and prospects. The process involves several elements:
- Fully responsive
- Easy Navigation
- Fast loading time
- Automatically adjusts to screen size
- Image and text size
Google’s algorithm is now geared toward mobile device searches. But the tech giant is only catering to a captured audience. For example, 6 out of 10 consumers use their smartphones to search online. So if your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you are likely to drive away many of your potential customers.
And remember, customers who find your site through a search on their cell phones are prepared to spend their money. Finally, you should optimize your website for voice search. Unfortunately, only about 27% of people currently use Google Assistant, Siri or any other smart application for their online searches. But you better be prepared when user usage eventually catches up with voice AI technology.
Calls to actions are statements that prompt the prospect to take the next step in the customer journey. If executed correctly, CTA’s simplify the sales process as they tell the reader where to go, that is, usually to follow your conversion funnel.
Examples of CTAs include:
- Download our brochure here
- Click this button to subscribe to our mailing list
- Buy today and get a 20% discount on your initial purchase
- Buy one, get one free
- Make your reservation today and receive some free gifts
- Get some free gifts if you shop in the next 24 hours
- Learn more about our services by clicking here
You can write as many variations as you wish. But it is crucial to use strong verbs and clear sentences to avoid confusing the reader about what you want them to do.
Local search is a key component of any effective digital marketing strategy. The marketing strategy is so critical that Google has a separate directive dedicated to local SEO for businesses.
When you do a search on Google, the search engine ranks the results according to three factors: proximity, relevance, and prominence. As you can see, local search fulfills all three of these factors. Therefore, if design or redesign your site, check with your web developer to see if local search is optimized. It is too important to continually ignore it.