So, you know about online marketing, search rankings, SEO and you have the best eCommerce site possible. Excellent! But if you’re a hairdresser in Hull, let’s be honest, they don’t need to know your name in Hollywood. Similarly, if you’re a window cleaner in Wolverhampton, there’s no real point trying to compete for the top search rankings in the whole wide world. Local searches are how businesses like yours cut to the chase and find the customers who don’t need an aeroplane or a passport to make use of your services.
Of all the factors search engines use to decide where to rank your business, proximity is a big one. That choice of finding a business ‘near me’ means that however great business is on the other side of the planet, you’ll pip it to the post if you’re only a few miles away from the customer who’s looking. Now, of course, if you only operate online and don’t have local restrictions on goods and services that a physical shop might have, you might decide there’s no need to worry. But even then, remember that people trust what’s familiar, and if you’re just around the corner, in the same neighbourhood, you may still be their top pick.
Of course, you can use PPC to enhance your chances, but why not do all you can with the free organic stuff too. You might be asking how to do this effectively, and here are a few things to consider.
Get your local information right and accurate. Ensure your contact details and location is entered correctly. Put yourself on the map by making sure your business shows up on Google maps.
Make sure you’re mentioned positively in local reviews and in citations by people in the local area. This will signal to search engines that you really are worth ranking highly in local searches.
Get a stream of positive reviews from locals, and if you ever have a less than glowing review, do everything you can to turn it around and encourage a replacement. Get in contact with them, compensate, replace, give them every reason to change their tune and improve those local search results. Basically, remember that in the eCommerce world, proximity is a key factor in the sales that come your way.