Local Search / Local SEO
There are many ways to get your business found on Google, but Local Search, also known as Local SEO, is the only way to generate clicks and leads that are absolutely free.
The goal for any Local Search campaign is, first and foremost, to get listed on Google Maps. Your ranking in Google Maps is going to vary greatly depending on two factors:
- the location of searcher in relation to your business
- the keyword phrases the searcher uses in the query
Local SEO Ranking Formula
Keyword Research & Planning
This is the basis for any type of search program … because, let’s face it, people search by using specific keyword phrases.
Using one of many keyword tools, you need to begin this process by putting together a list of keyword phases that people use to find products, services or businesses like yours.
This list can be very long – you can organize it by search volume.
Obviously, the keywords with the highest search volume are your best candidates, but there’s lots of competition for those keywords – so lower volume keywords might also make sense.
Unless you are highly focused with one product/service, chances are you will have more than one keyword list – each representing a different product, service or niche market.
Everyone will have an opinion on your website, but those opinions are very subjective and often nothing more than an aesthetic opinion.
From a Local Search (or SEO) perspective, aesthetics doesn’t have a role in this process.
Google has a different agenda.
Google is looking for how well and how thoroughly you discuss topics around specific keywords. This can be a single page on a topic, or a cluster of pages.
This discussion should include text, images and video.
Google also wants to see you give some attention to the location of your business and/or service area. This should appear on your home page and your service pages – and not just your contact page.
When reviewing a website for local search, we typically look at the home page and the individual service pages.
All of the above has to do with getting more visitors to your website, but your website should also focus on getting more of those visitors to convert into leads and customers. A strong conversion strategy will get more people to fill out a form, make a phone call or engage in chat.
Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile, formerly know as Google My Business, is often overlooked as an important ranking factor.
Most businesses fill out the essential information, but then move on to other things.
Sadly, these businesses are missing out on what Google really wants.
There’s always more to do on the GBP – from more categories, more services, more descriptions, more Q&As, more posts, more photos, more everything.
Google uses many factors to learn about your business and decide where you should be ranked.
One is the Listings Alignment where Google looks at business listings and directories across the web to verify the Name, Address and Phone number (known as your NAP) of your business. If your NAP does not align with your Google Business Profile, it creates a problem for Google’s verification and you will pay a price in your rankings.
But we can help get your listings aligned.
Google has made it very clear that Google Reviews are a key ranking factor – by the number of reviews, the quality of the reviews and the recency of the reviews.
If you want to rank on Local Search, more specifically on Google Maps, you need to have a system in place to consistently generate more reviews on Google. You can do this manually and face to face, but at some point, your customers have to go online to submit their reviews.
Alternatively, you can set up an online process that uses email and text messaging to bring customers along in the process.
Ongoing Content & Links
What kind of content makes sense for a local business? Yes, you can fill your blog with multiple “tips” or “how-to” posts and videos, but
How-to articles and videos are everywhere on the web, it’s hard to imagine any local business owner is going to develop something new or better than what already exists.
But what you can produce that is even more relevant to your local customers is content related to your own projects and your own community.
Finding the right mailing lists is arguably the most important challenge for any direct mail campaign.
Let’s face it, if you’re not reaching the right people, you are assured of failure.
We use a variety of mailing list sources and methodologies to find the right list for you. Of course, if you already have a list, we can use that as well.
Direct mail gives you flexibility for use many different formats – everything from a simple postcard to a multi-dimensional package.
We typically use one of four formats – a letter package, a large postcard, a folded self-mailer and perforated snap pack mailer.
Choosing the right mailer format depends on your audience, your product or service, you need for personalization and your budget.
Creative starts with an understanding of your message – how your product or service will benefit your target audience, why it’s necessary and how you are better than the competitor.
Your message can vary by audience group or even by individual.
We provide a process for developing your message, writing the copy and designing the mailer – with your input, your approval – and unlimited, no-cost revisions along the way.
Once your mailer is finalized and approved, we will help you get your mailer printed, personalized and out the door.
Print/mail production includes the processing your mailing lists, printing of all elements, addressing the relevant pieces, inserting and mail processing as well as postage.
You can mail first class or standard class (bulk). In either case, we will take full advantage of all postal discounts that may be available to you.
Your direct mail campaign will be judged by how many responses it generates.
To generate response, you need a call-to-action and a response channel. Generally speaking, the more response channels you use, the most responses you can expect.
We typically provide responses by phone, landing page (with a QR code), SMX text and, on some occasions, by reply mail.
Our landing pages typically use 3-step landing page funnel to move prospects from an initial inquiry to a scheduled appointment during the same online session.
A/B Split Testing
Testing is a key component in any successful direct mail campaign. But testing is not just a preliminary exercise. It needs to be part of an ongoing process.
We incorporate some level testing into every campaign we conduct.
Our strategy is to first test those components that will have the greatest impact on your results – meaning we start by testing audience profiles, mailing list segments, calls-to-action and creative.
Direct mail is a powerful marketing channel on its own. But today, we are able to provide additional online support that will improve your results.
Specifically, we can use digital advertising on Facebook and Google to deliver additional touchpoints before, during and after the mail arrives.
We can also use Ad Retargeting to deliver additional advertising to those who visit your website and landing page – whether or not they fill out a form.
In addition, the US Postal Service can provide additional advertising through it’s Informed Delivery email notification service.
You’ve invested in generating your leads. Doesn’t it make sense to protect that investment by making sure every lead get a consistent follow-up?
We offer several ways to follow with your leads:
- Phone – we will use outbound phone callers to qualify your leads and schedule appointments
- Email – we will use automated email to stay in touch with all your leads both in the short term and the long term.
- Retargeting Ads – we will track all visitors to your website or landing page – and then we will deliver ads to them as they travel around the web.
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