Local SEO positioning has become a priority objective for these points of sale, which want to strengthen their visibility and notoriety in the online and offline environment. They have realized that today, by not using the Internet, they are wasting a good part of their potential. For this reason, they have decided to implement new strategies adapted to the new times and the new economic reality. Google Places and, in general, everything that surrounds the activity of the American giant will mark the singing voice.
The Internet has revolutionized the consumer habits of citizens. Increasingly, they use the web to find out and obtain details about certain products or services they want to purchase. Geolocation, in this sense, has become a key strategy to position companies in the top search positions, according to local criteria. It is especially useful for offline stores, with a physical point of sale or service provision, to attract customers.
Taking into account that 40% of users with computers use the Internet for these purposes (45%, if mobile devices are counted: smartphones and tablets), we must highlight the incredible potential of this channel to increase the knowledge and promotion of these stores, focused on increasing their income generation.
Strategies geolocation represent the perfect complement to develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, which must be supported by all components of the Inbound Marketing, such as sending mass emails through campaigns e-mail or social networking presence (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, mainly).
Next, we will examine the most widespread practices that concern local SEO positioning:
Google + and Places for business
Social networks are of vital importance in an SEO positioning strategy. Above all, Google+, which allows Android and iOS devices to share the location of a registered business profile.
The Google Places tool for companies also allows you to fill in the opening hours and the activity sector of the company. In this way, the metasearch engine will more easily identify what the business does to provide the most appropriate information, according to the information search criteria of Internet users.
It is necessary to synchronize the page of Google+ and Places, so that, through the interface of the former, Internet users are allowed to leave comments and reviews. The more of them do it, the better. There will be more participation and social interaction. Therefore, the efforts of a community manager are always focused on creating user communities.
The figure of the community manager is of great importance when carrying out SEO positioning. Among its functions, it stands out that of moderating a large discussion forum in which it answers questions and doubts and provides users with a good channel where they can structure their relationship with a company.
In this context, social networks (Google+ in particular and the rest) represent a unique opportunity to generate and deploy an engagement strategy with users who, also depending on their geographical location, have established a purchase or sale relationship.
How to optimize this strategy? Some of the most relevant aspects are the following:
- Developing creative copy that includes the company’s keywords, as well as its exact location.
- Specify the sector of activity to the maximum. For example, Japanese food restaurants should include the cuisine they are dedicated to.
- Schema Markup: this field must be filled in so that the URL also specifies the sector or keywords.
Google Places gives companies the possibility to appear directly on Google Maps.
SEO optimization on Page
Each page of a website is structured according to several elements, which are used to geolocate. All of them must include the name of the city or district so that organic searches obtain the closest results to where we want to go. The elements are as follows:
- ALT section of images
- Headers H1 and h3
- URL name
- In content
Include a map on the cover
The more information provided to Google, the better indexing will be obtained when positioning a company. In this sense, just as images, videos, and infographics are very useful to acquire relevance, the same happens with maps. Inserting these elements with the exact location of the company, as well as a legend that informs about its opening hours and addresses with postal code, is a task that should not be missed.
Users will check, with a glance, the proximity or distance of the commercial premises and will decide whether or not to go, depending on the kilometers they have to travel to arrive. Without an added value to complement it, they generally go to the closest places. Hence, developing content with relevant information is the perfect complement to make yourself known and explain the characteristics of the company, as well as its prices and return conditions.
As advertised: “on the internet, content is king.” Therefore, this is one of the star strategies to achieve the desired SEO optimization. Through quality content, 100% creative and original, it is possible to launch the appropriate signals to Google, so that it puts special detail on the pages that, through a Content Plan, update the information on your site. This, together with the correct search of the keywords (which must be included in the first 100 words of your texts using the location (name of the city or district)), will facilitate the task for Google to place a web page in the first places in your organic search.
To carry out a Content Marketing strategy, it is necessary to create an attractive site that allows the constant uploading of information through texts, images, videos, and infographics. Creating an interactive and participatory setting will increase the reputation of the website. Do not forget that reviews and comments are high-impact elements in SEO positioning.
Besides, the work of a creative and eye-catching content copywriter will be of special interest in the design of emailing campaigns and the sending of newsletters and promotional newsletters. Therefore, having a good database that stores the most relevant customer data (in this case, campaigns aimed at an audience located in a specific territory), will be a must to position or promote the products and services that are sold.
The geolocation directories
The NAP ( Network Access Point ) is of extraordinary relevance in this local SEO process. Google will be waiting to receive information from the most reputable company directories to know the relevance of the company that you want to position. In this sense, always using the same name for the NAP and being precise in the information provided will be of vital importance to scale up the organic search of the company. The most useful directories to achieve this purpose are Emagister, Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages, QDQ, and, of course, Google Places (explained in previous paragraphs).
SEM ( Search Engine Marketing ) and AdWords campaigns
Do not confuse SEO and SEM. Compared to SEO ( Search Engine Optimization), Google charges a CPC (Cost Per Click) for those companies that want to pay to position themselves on the first search page and in the prominent positions reserved for ads. SEO stands behind this information.
Through a simple interface, the Californian giant allows companies, with its Keywords Planner tool, to extract the keywords that best represent the search criteria of users (future leads ) when obtaining information about a product or service.
The CPC method consists in that the company that advertises in Google pays an amount calculated through a bidding algorithm based on what direct competitors who use the same keywords pay and the conversion rate they generate.
AdWords campaigns are especially useful because they allow companies to rank first based on geolocation criteria. For example, a physical dog grooming store located in the city of Madrid would not make much sense to be placed in the first position for users from the rest of Spain. It seems clear that a citizen of Valencia is not going to travel to the capital to fix the image of his pet. Or yes, who knows? The fact is that it is much more successful to target a target audience based on a territorial delimitation and Google AdWords, through its campaigns and Keywords Planner It reveals, approximately, the number of users who are interested in the keywords (which must represent the sector of activity of the company) to give an idea about the potential to allocate a budget.
In short, local positioning has become vital for SMEs. Ignoring it implies competing at a disadvantage.