Enhance your local SEO content while integrating into your overall organic and paid search ads strategy
- High performance for brick and mortar locations as well as any organization needing to build their brand locally – keeping in mind that “locally” does not just mean one local location. Local SEO can be applied to any number of locations
- Providing local content spills over into total paid and organic search performance
- Digital location management tools make it easy to provide rich content for your audience to engage
Paid Ads on the right side of Google are gone – now what?
Back in early 2016, Google made a major change in the way it served up search engine results. It eliminated the right side that was part of the pay-per-click/paid-search – “AdWords” search product. This was based on research by Mediative in 2014 on where people’s eyes went. The eye-tracking research showed that searchers would focus on 1) The 1st organic search / SEO result, 2) local search results and 3) content towards the top of the page. Google research has also shown that organic search garner the most click-thrus as well as local search content results.
Yes, Google Wants to Sell You More Ads
Now, what Google’s new search interface does is allow for more paid ads at the top. Then the new format serves up local search content – of which you can also pay to enhance and improve local search performance beyond basic setup. Finally, the organic search content, performance-based by your keyword and meta-structure web content development, is pushed further down. Yes, this means that while Google is still good for organic search performance, their goal is for you to pay them to get more search results. Paid search can be a very effective approach to growing direct sales for your brand, depending on certain factors such as industry, competitiveness vs. budget and how well it is integrated into your organic marketing plan. All three variations of Google search can be considered as part of your marketing strategy.
What is Local SEO?
SEO or Search engine optimization is creating great content for your brand audience, then framing it within the rules of Google and other major search engines for your targeted audience to find your content, engage with your brand, and procure your related products or services. Metrics, provided at no cost by search engines, help you monitor progress, identify trends, and show you where to adjust your online marketing campaigns. These are far more powerful when you configure the advanced settings, such as goal conversions for ROI, cost per acquisition (CPA) and social interaction results.
Local SEO is content you develop within the search tools as well, rather than on your website. For example Google My Business is another free tool from Google where you can set up and regularly update content. When users search locally, your business information gets served up in the local space – typically with a map image and some basic content such as address, website, hours and phone number. From there you can provide promotional updates as well as purchase advertising to expand your audience reach.
Enhanced Local SEO
With more attention now to optimizing local search performance, tools are now available to help develop and deliver local content for one or many locations. Rather than paying for one directory provider to enhance advertising such as Yelp! and Foursquare, a local SEO tool aggregates content throughout multiple prominent local business directories. And can be up to 35% less or more than paying a single directory provider for their specific advertising offering. An aggregated digital location management tool integrates into intermediate networks that enhance delivery to mobile phones and even automotive navigation systems as well. These digital location management tools provide efficiency while enhancing performance to increase overall ROI of your local SEO investment.
No matter what – focus first on quality content
The key to any digital advertising is quality content – text, graphics, video and audio that provides high value for those you want to reach online. Why? Because you can follow the technical rules all day long, get tons of visits and even clicks – but if you do not provide valuable enough content for your target audience to engage with, they will not convert into customers, clients and/or patrons. That said, you still need to get the rules of engagement set up properly and running smoothly for your audience to find it and engage with it. You also need to consider paid search when the results you are looking for require it.
SEO is slow, but steady — and it works great if done right. I like to think of SEO as a plant that starts as a seedling, that must be watered, fed and given care to yield fruit. Paid search advertising can be the plant food to make your brand and sales grow faster.
When implementing local search engine optimization, it is far more affordable for small businesses to enter the paid search space. Local content can still be set up and delivered with nothing more than the cost of time and digital assets. However, an overall strategy that includes Local SEO, Organic Search and AdWords can deliver a high return on investment, if the strategy and tactical implementation gets carried out properly. A complete search engine performance strategy – local SEO, organic and paid-search will deliver an optimal approach to digital advertising for long-term sustainability and ongoing freshness of your brand.