Making Local Search More Effective

Google is global. Now that searching for local businesses and services is moving away from the phone book to the search bar on the screen, it's not too surprising that marketers are rating local search as being a highly effective marketing tool. Check out this chart and then take a look at 10 ways to make your local search marketing more effective by raising your visibility and customizing your offer.

How effective is local search?
MarketingSherpa reports that 39% of marketers rated local search as being highly effective in 2009; up from 27% in 2008.

Year over year, we see that more marketers believe they have enough experience to have an opinion on the effectiveness of local search -- and the opinion is quite favorable. As a searcher’s location becomes a standard bit of metadata to be factored into the PPC bid process, geotargeting is likely to become the norm. On the other end of the geotargeting search equation, we see that landing pages are somewhat neglected. Survey results showed that few marketers were taking advantage of geolocation-specific messaging once the searcher clicked through. For retailers, in particular, this is a huge missed opportunity.

Source: MarketingSherpa on Local Search Effectiveness

PR Pointers
1. Add in the search terms for the cities and zip codes you serve to your news releases.
2. To make the releases even more effective locally, quote someone from each town who has a fan base online.
3. Organize your newsroom by location.
4. Focus on areas you want to build in.
5. Link to a landing page for the community.
6. Track geographic visits based on news release views.
7. Watch the competition to see how they turn up in local searches.
8. Offer discounts by community or zip code.
9. Analyze your customer database to see where your best business is coming from.
10. Be visible on and offline in your community.

How do you use local search in your marketing or public relations?

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