Local Web Marketing strategy that works every time
Including links to 52 sites that allow you to list your business for free or a small one time charge.
Do you show up on local map searches?
When your location, phone number, and website, show up on local searches along with the correct hours and info… People find you and decide if they want to do business with you.
This is perhaps one of the most critical steps in having success in your local area.
As we write this, we are about 7 days into the process of following the steps I have outlined for kyleitservice.com.
You can go ahead and test looking for anything related to computer or IT service in Kyle Texas… If you easily find us, this Local Web Marketing strategy has been a success.
In fact, as I am typing this sentence… we have already started showing up at the top of the local map searches using Google and Apple Maps less than one week from launching the site.
-Mike Mathis, Owner
How we landed on this strategy
Years ago we were asked to help an auto repair shop come up with a local web marketing strategy. After thinking about it, we decided to ask an expert in the field. So I searched for “SEO Consultant” to find the #1 consultant that successfully outranked every SEO company in the world.
We called the company and scheduled a one-hour meeting with him for $200. The topic of the meeting was how to create a site that will be the most relevant and rank for local searches. As we went about applying what we learned at the auto shop, I also applied it to my site, we immediately won the #1 spot on Google back in 2011 for “Temecula computer consulting” and I have never fallen since.
We will discuss the $200 Local Web Marketing strategy in full during the second step AND combine it with another absolutely critical set of steps. This allows us to show up across all the mapping & directions portion of local searches in addition to keyword searches.
We fully expect you (as we did) to jump between steps a bit as you are putting everything together, but be careful to gather the information in step one before you go too far or you will waste a lot of time.
3 steps to a strong local presence
#1 Local Business information
Before you can become relevant to other people, you need to accurately define all the basic information about your business. The biggest reason why you may not show up on the map (at the top of a local search) is that your information is conflicting or missing on local listing sites.
Gathering your data and making decisions about your store hours, location, name and story, is critical to becoming the most relevant local businesses on the map searches.
As we begin, the most important decision you will make is your business name and website URL. If you are in the process of choosing a name, begin with keyword research (you can use the Google AdWords tools) and pick names that match up with what people who want to find you are already searching for most in your area.
Download free Local Listing Tracker for this part —->
Before any local listings go public gather the location’s information
- Business Name or DBA name
- Logo – Make sure you have a square version of your logo
- Physical address (or area if you are not a store)
- Mailing address
- Local phone number
- Hours of operation
- Categories you fall into, these may need to be altered to fit each listing site
- Website (at the very least you need to own the domain and have a home page to begin)
- Unique story (what makes you stand apart from the other people in your space)
- History of the company and why you are passionate about it
- Any special way you may intend to create opportunities to meet new customers
- Once you have completed (in step 2) Google Business, Facebook Business, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn Business and Twitter pages. Create URLs/usernames using your primary keyword (matching your website homepage), and then list them in the Local Listing Tracker so you can grab them later as you need them.
Note: Store all the data in a single place to copy and paste from.
#2 Create the listings
This listing process took us about 10 hours and was effective in less than one week.
Businesses that are changing location or details all the time can avoid false information by sticking to listing services, like BrightLocal, MOZ, Whitespark or Yext.
But for most of us, these services keep charging you long after you don’t really need them anymore. Yext is very effective if you plan to push out deals & promotions on a regular cycle.
If you are not sure, we would encourage you to check this resource that outlines the difference between listing yourself and paying a listing service.
Yext recently has started to provide listing services for companies like Yahoo, MapQuest, and Superpages, and Factual no longer allows direct listings, they now moved to a model that requires a third party to submit the data to them. And Localeze now decided to monetize directly from company owners at $75/year.
One key factor I would consider between manually listing or using a service is how often you may need to change information, like hours or locations. If you do need regular changes (let’s say you are advertising model homes), you may really appreciate a listing service and the ability to make those changes quickly and consistently across the many local sites avoiding the risk of becoming irrelevant by listing conflicting and incorrect information about yourself.
Download free Local Listing Tracker for this part —->
Get Started on Local Listings
Save a copy of our Local Listing Tracker – Google Sheet (see form on the right) to collaborate in a central location and avoid errors. This is particularly helpful if you need to work on it with several people from multiple computers.
You will want to keep track of the following
- Usernames and passwords,
- Categories you select specific to each listing, you can’t stick to one set as they each usually try to force you into ones they pick.
- Variations of description, this is the only time in Local Web Marketing when duplicating data is ok, but you will find each has different character limitations and you want as much of a footprint as possible on each local listing.
Listings that everyone should set up and maintain.
Here is a list of sites you will want to place your listings on, starting with the top five that feed into many smaller ones and then moving into the smaller local listing sites that will be additionally helpful.
#1 Google My Business (do this first, it requires a physical postcard to be mailed)
#2 Facebook Business Page
A quick note if you plan to run ads, create an account at https://business.facebook.com
#3 LinkedIn Business Page
#4 Bing places for business (This will sync from Google My Business but also log in and add any missing specifics)
#5 Apple Maps Connect
Yelp can be very helpful and at times very damaging (and will refuse to update a listing unless you are on a paid plan) but they are very well accepted as a local location and rating platform. You can alternatively manipulate Yelp data from platforms like Yext.
Additional social sites you will need to have created first if you plan to connect them into the listings
Links to 52 sites that allow you to list your business for free or a small one time charge.
Once you have completed the primary accounts above tackle as many of these as possible.
Note: Data Axle is a key listing to populate other listings you can’t access otherwise, and we included one or two because the end result of filling them out still resulted in some dofollow links despite the impression they attempted to give that the listing required ongoing payment that we did not sign up for.
#3 The $200 Local Web Strategy
For the sake of simplicity, we will assume that you either know how to build a website or have hired someone who does. This page is going to focus on content rather than the technical parts. But for basic reference, we use siteground.com for hosting, and manage websites with the wordpress.com platform. We have a team that handles the web design, graphics, video, SEO, coding, and so on. Contact us today if you have any questions.
How does Google deliver the most relevant result every time you search?
Google may change the logic behind what measurements matter most and why one site is better than the next, but it all funnels down to the same end goal they will always have… how can we deliver the most relevant result to any given search.
Knowing that simple fact makes it much easier to construct your content (and much easier to understand why this marketing strategy I was given works so well.
Note: As we say “keyword” we are referring to whatever word(s) are in a Google search.
So without further delay, let’s look at the $200 local web marketing strategy.
- Only focus on one or at most two primary keywords/key phrases per page.
- If possible (as we already mentioned) decide on the word or words that someone is most likely to use to find you, and buy that domain name for your site.
- Use the location you are planning to work in as part of the keyphrase
- The content you write needs to be the best possible quality and it MUST be centered around the topic of the keyword.
- The page needs its link to contain the keyword in the URL… https://site.com/keyword
- On every page, you need to have an H1 “Heading” tag to tell people and search engines what is the topic of the page/site and that H1 needs to contain your keyword.
- The H1 needs to be a link that links back to the page you are on, and the link needs to contain the keyword in the description tag.
- Use H2-H5 tags as needed to separate the other content in the same way an author does when writing a book. H tags generate the table of contents in all publishing and it is no different for a webpage.
- You need to use the keyword throughout in different ways and never in a way that causes you to write poorly or communicate less clearly. You should not over use any other keyword or phrase as much as you do the main topic/keyword. Avoid keyword stuffing or un-naturally placing the keyword as this was a common bad practice that Google will mark you down for.
- You should make the keyword bold in at least one place
- Compress your pictures and videos using tools like Caesium and Handbrake to speed up your page load times.
- Include the keyword in the filename of images or videos you upload and add the keyword to the image alt tags.
- You can use a tool like Yoast to set the page keyword as well as the overall keyword usage
- Finally, stay focused on the keyword topic, and link other topics to separate pages that are equally focused on that topic.
Checking your work
The basic tools most people use are Grammarly (it is worth it to purchase but the free version is good) and Yost SEO to custom design how your organic listings will look on desktop and mobile as well as managing URL redirects and checking content.
Another helpful tool when you check a page is to copy all your words into wordart.com you just click import and paste everything, you will want to put your key phrase together on one line, in the case of this article ”local web marketing” and make sure (by searching the document) that you have it the actual number of times.
This will create a visual of how Google sees your content and you can bounce back to find and replace words that are used too much or discover if you are not spending enough time on the main idea. For example, on my first pass on this article our keyword showed up once and another word showed up 44 times :-).
Make sure to take the time to connect Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and possibly Pinterest Tag. You will want to gather data as soon as possible and measure your performance as you go. Successful SEO for any type of marketing often comes down to how well you can measure performance.
You can have many organic visitors to a website but only the ones who interact with you and ultimately purchase or give you something of value make any difference to you so you will need to measure whatever tools you used to convert visitors into people who regularly interact with you.
Download Local Listing Tracker Free
If you invest the time in completing this, you WILL show up in local searches and you will begin showing up for various searches on the first page of google.
Local Map Results… There are many other key factors in building your website’s overall local web marketing strategy but for the local “map part” of a search, having accurate information listed on as many directory sites as possible and no sites listing wrong information is basically all you need to worry about.
Relevant links help everything… as a general rule, any legitimate “dofolowlinks” are really helpful to increase the level of importance that search engines place on you. Almost all of these local listing sites end up increasing not only your local web marketing mojo, but they also make you more likely to show up in other types of searches.
Focused high-quality exhaustive content is king… You have probably heard content is king, and that is very true but if you consider your own searches, you quickly find that you hate landing on a page to discover it is not what you were searching for (even if it is good) is very frustrating. So you ALWAYS want to deliver exactly what you promise to deliver. You can improve further by including images, illustrations, videos, and highly referenceability content that makes it as easy as possible to pinpoint the information you came to find. But Google truly loves when you produce the best resource that exists on a subject. If you are creating a list of items that someone has already written about your list needs to be longer, better and more useful.
If you need help with all or part of the process, we would gladly work alongside you in whatever way you need.