As globalism and technology advance, the world seems to get smaller and faster with each passing hour. Marketing strategies that worked six months ago can feel like anachronisms, and itâ€™s easy for business owners and their marketing teams to feel bewildered as to whether or not their efforts will result in staying ahead of the competition. With social media, Google algorithms, mobile technology and more in what seem like constant states of flux, how can you ensure your marketing efforts hit their mark?
While there is no guarantee regarding the unknown future, there are some evolving tricks of the evolving trade that should improve your online marketingâ€™s reach regardless of what comes down the Internet pipeline nextâ€”especially if you work your businessâ€™s local angle.
Build Local Backlinks
While Googleâ€™s algorithm continues to adapt, it still places an emphasis on how many websites are linking back to your website. These backlinks let Google know thatâ€”at least according to the sites that are linking to itâ€”your website is relevant and useful, and the more relevant and useful Google finds your site, the higher youâ€™ll rank in its searches. As Google continues to search out ways to offer its massive search engine user base a better and more streamlined service, local searches and LSEO are gaining serious ground.
Building local backlinksâ€”especially if you oversee a brick-and-mortar operationâ€”will increase your rankings even more than traditional SEO. Develop relationships with other local businesses and vendors in your area, and offer to link to those whose business, product or servicemake sense for your company to tout. Then, ask them to reciprocate. Offer and obtain guest blogging services to and from local business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs as well, and in all your efforts, make sure the content that you are generating is of the upmost quality. Low-quality or spammylinks wonâ€™t meet Googleâ€™s standards, so youâ€™re better off avoiding anything that isnâ€™t top-notch.
Keep Web Pages Fresh
By regularly adding new content, search engines will know your site is active and up-to-date, which will generate better rankings. By regularly adding new content that incorporates news about your local milieu, searches that are looking for local businesses are more likely to find you. To that end, consider adding the following to your marketingâ€™s ongoing to-do list:
- Blog. But not just about your industry. Blog about whatâ€™s happening in your town and neighborhood and how those things are affecting your industry and vice versa.
- New site content. Even if itâ€™s just a shout-out a couple times a week to someone in your cityâ€™s civic or arts scene, refresh the content on your website so that it has regularly changing local flavor.
- Build a new local page. If itâ€™s too much to keep aiming at a local updating of your websiteâ€™s home page, build a sub-page into your site that handles local news, reviews, highlights and more.
Responsive Web Design
Your websiteâ€™s design needs to work on both a desktop and a mobile interface. In some cases this means you need to have a separate mobile site that allows users on tablets and phones the ability to access your information easily.
Responsive web design that allows all users easy access to your businessâ€™s online self is essential, as more and more people access the Internet via mobile devices, and because mobile users are mobile, they need to be able to find you online and in a way that gives them a positive association with your business, so they can more easily find your store or office in the real world.
Build Your Online Business Profile Everywhere
Local SEO makes use of citations more than it makes use of links, which means that every time your businessâ€™s name, physical address and local phone number are cited, your search engine rankings improve.
Free online business listing directories like http://www.gogapless.com/ and BingLocal, as well as Google+ Local will all greatly improve your visibility in local searches. Just be sure that youâ€™re always consistent with the listings so that they all count toward your ranking.
Know Your Statsâ€”All of Them
Would you like to know how people are finding your website and on what devices? How about what they do when they get to your website? Are you curious as to whether anyone reads your blog or not? Google Universal Analytics is a well-muscled prognosticator designed to help you know everything about how your website and mobile site are being used so you can better respond to what seems to be working and what doesnâ€™t.
Improve your online marketingâ€™s reach by thinking and acting locally with these five helpful strategies. While they may not carry you into the 23rd century, theyâ€™ll at least see you happily through the next six months.