The Smart Marketers Guide to Local SEO

Local SEO? You need it—even if your company is an Internet-based operation with international reach.

Yep. You may live in Charlotte, and have 75% of your clients come from Guam. But you still need local SEO to increase your search engine visibility. Oh, and there’s another reason, too. I’ll get to that in a second.

Why All the Fuss About Local Search?

Search any number of reports and expert-level articles on the interwebs, and you’ll find a slew of advice on local SEO.

Here’s the thing: even if you don’t run a mom and pop/brick and mortar establishment, local SEO represents a sizable chunk of your online visibility. Your customer communication and offline marketing, too.

The trouble is that not many experts have clearly defined how to harness quality local search. What’s more, there isn’t much info on why you need a city-centric presence if you’re a digital firm that can function anywhere.

The bottom line: local search practices showcase your roots as an entrepreneur. Prospects need a good story about you, your business, and your mission. And your home base pinpoints a big part of that dynamic.

Another way to put it…

Companies who cast a wide net shouldn’t present themselves as omnipresent solution-providers. Even if you can plug in some numbers on the ol’ laptop and fix a problem for a client two continents away, this angle won’t pass the sniff test.

I’m talking about drawing prospective clients into your world, and converting them to brand loyalists. People want authenticity. They want to know they’re working with a real live person who has a unique history.

And that means having ties to a place.

We’ve worked with businesses from all over the place. And yet, if you take a brief tour of our website, it’s very clear that mouse and Man is a Charlotte-based organization…

Even though 99.99999% of the work we do happens over the Internet.

This angle—the Hometown Boys shtick—helps our clients realize who we are as individuals. For that reason, we leverage local search. And we think you should, too.

The Simple Guide to Making Your Website a Gold Star on the Google Map

Local search is paramount. Yes, it helps the townies around you find your business online. But it also establishes the fact that your business is real and authentic.

You and your team aren’t automatons running operations in a bunker 20,000 feet below sea level. So to convince your prospects that you’re not emotionless robots, implement very simple, very basic local SEO techniques on your website.

Use basic contact info, such as address, phone number, hours of operation, etc. Yes, most of the time, prospects will contact you via an online form. It’s just easier, and these days, making a phone call is like asking some to climb Mt. Everest at a moment’s notice.

Include search-friendly keywords such as “Louisville Burger Joint” or “Charlotte Marketing Company” or “Hong Kong Underwater Basket Weavers.” It’s a simple tweak that will lead grand results—even for prospects who don’t live nearby.

Create fresh, relevant content that keeps people up to date on what’s happening in your business. Keep updating, share stories, post pictures, and write down your thoughts. (Long story short, start a damn blog already.)

 

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Use Google Maps. Because I love you, you can download the plug-in for WordPress here.

What International-Reach Companies Exhibit Local Flare

Your marketing content must not only focus on your business. It should also shed light on the place where you live. Get this tattooed on your forehead if you have to.

In other words, write stories that capture the spirit of a place. Your place.

A few notable examples include:

Ferrara Pan Candy in Chicago, IL

You may not have heard the name, but you’ve seen the product. Lemonheads—those yellow droplets of hard candy sunshine.

Oh, and they also make Now & Later: Long Lasting Chews, Red Hots, Atomic Fireballs, and Super Bubble Gum. All the non-chocolate goodies that will rot your teeth, make kids bounce around in the backseat, and help you forget the world for a moment.

Guess what? The candy factory is a Chicago staple. They make no secret about that.

Kentucky Downs in Louisville, KY

Ah, big hats, bow ties, and bourbon. Mid-day drinking and horseracing is the ideal way to usher in the warmer months—at least in Louisville. Each May, the city of Louisville lights up with all things Derby.

The thing is, not many locals attend the horse race. Tourists from all over the world—including celebrities and British royalty—flock to Kentucky for fried candy bars and equestrian fun.

The festival is an international event, but the marketing is local. And that’s the way it works best.

Dangerous Threads in Nashville, TN

If you’re in the market for a pair of leather boots adorned with chains—and really, who isn’t?—then look no further than Dangerous Threads. As a Nashville staple, Dangerous Threads offers an assortment of leather clothing.

(Not THAT kind of leather. You’ll have to go to the shop down the corner for your cat suit and/or whips.)

Snakeskin and spikes are a big draw for the Nashville tourist who wants to take home a sample of music culture. They’ve been around 25 years, and pride themselves on being a Nashville institution…

And yet, a sizable portion of their patrons don’t hail from Music City. The owners are well-aware that shoppers want to bring home a flamboyant example of Nashville. And they leverage that fact.

In the comments below, tell me where your business is, and how your city influences your business.

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