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6 Hacks To Optimize Your Local Search Marketing

6 Hacks To Optimize Your Local Search Marketing

Local search marketing is a concerted effort that uses geographically optimized web content, business listings and social media signals to draw local search traffic from your neighbourhood, town or city to your business. Local search puts your company and the products it’s selling in front of your local audience. With the increased use of mobile devices, local search is a mission critical marketing tactic that cannot be ignored. Let’s look at the 5 top hacks for optimizing your local search marketing:

1. Claim Your Place(s)

Google Places
    Multiple Locations on Google Maps

    Claim a place for your business in local listings and display authentic information about your product or service to millions via search engines like Google, Yahoo Local and Bing Places for Business.

    If your business is multi-locational, ensure each location has a dedicated page that includes name, phone number address, hours of operation and (if required) directions to the given location. This information helps search engines return the most relevant results based on the location of the user and the keywords they’ve searched.

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    List your business with a 100% score on Google My Business by completely filling in the 20+ fields. By completely filling in all the different account fields, you’re more likely to earn a place in the first page of Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

    Google My Business

      2. Spread the Word

      Go beyond Google and spread the word about your business in some of the top local information repositories:

      • Search Engine Maps (Google, Bing and Yahoo)
      • Yellow Page Directories (Insider Pages, Superpages)
      • Local Directories (CitySearch, Localeze)
      • Review Sites (Yelp, Urban Spoon, Zagat)
      • Business Directories (InfoGroup/InfoUSA, Acxiom)
      • Niche, Industry Specific Directories (Health Grades)

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      While submitting your listings, make sure your local search listings are verified, accurate and optimized.

      3. Optimize Your Profile

      Even if you’ve mentioned your business name, address, phone number and other necessary information in the listings, it won’t be enough as long as you do not optimize your profile and content for the major search engines. How will search engines decide if your listing is more visible on SERPs over that of your competitors? It depends on how well you optimize your listings. Optimization, accuracy and completeness are the three qualities that help steal a march over your competitors.

      Make your descriptions keyword rich (using location based keywords), provide maps and details of your physical store or business location and embed brand photos and videos.

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      4. Distribution Is Key

      Your job does not end after claiming and optimizing your listings. Rather, it is half done unless you make an effort to keep reaching out to a wider audience. One of the ways you can do this is by creating and distributing content relevant to your business niche and its location. The content you are distributing in the name of your business must be a fine balancing act between ‘value addition’ and ‘branding’.

      A great way to target your content for local search is to orientate your content to have a local focus. This can be easier said than done, but is achieved by including a lot of place name related keywords, information about local issues or promoting your business’ voice in the local community.

      5. Track Performance

      Local search is a cost-effective marketing strategy; but the problem is that many businesses and online marketers don’t understand it all that well. Because of this, they’re also vague on how to accurately report on their efforts and measure their effectiveness. Use tools like Google Analytics and Hootsuite to realize the full potential of local search and harness its benefits for your business. HootSuite is a great tool because it can track location-based campaigns across social platforms such as Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.

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      How you track your analytics will be specific to your business goals, but make sure these are clear in your mind and you’re able to keep track of them through accurate reporting.

      6. Encourage Customer Reviews

      Optimize your online business by encouraging good customer reviews. According to a Nielsen study, 70 percent of people trust online consumer opinions. Reviews are also an important ranking signal for Google, and the more the number of reviews your business attracts, the better your ranking on SERPs. Authenticity is a key element here, so make sure you encourage real reviews as Google is very diligent at detecting fake or spammy review practices.

      Use the above mentioned six sure-fire tips and tap into the benefits that this local search marketing tactic provides your business. Not only will you more effectively target local consumers in your area, but your rankings on the results pages of Google will improve drastically.

      Featured photo credit: Hluboki Dzianis/Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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      Last Updated on November 19, 2019

      Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

      Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

      I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

      How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

      Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

      So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

      1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

      Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

      For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

      Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

      “When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

      2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

      These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

      This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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      But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

      Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

      For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

      There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

      3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

      It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

      Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

      4. Use Your Phone Wisely

      Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

      If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

      5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

      If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

      In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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      One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

      6. Use a “To Don’t” List

      We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

      But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

      Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

      7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

      When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

      Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

      “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

      And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

      8. Be Concise

      Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

      One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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      Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

      • Making new contacts
      • Talking about yourself at a job interview
      • Meeting people at conferences or parties
      • Phone calls to new clients

      9. Ask the Right Questions

      “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

      How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

      When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

      Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

      Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

      10. Learn as Much as You Can

      You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

      Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

      “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

      11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

      No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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      If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

      What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

      Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

      12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

      As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

      But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

      The Bottom Line

      The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

      Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

      More About Working Smart

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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