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    Added on 20 November

    How to Easily Convert Local Prospects into Real Customers

    20 November

    If your business highly depends on foot traffic from local customers, then naturally, that’s where you should invest your marketing efforts. However, how exactly do you target those that are already technically there? Luckily, there are methods that are more refined than going out on the street and handing out flyers (though, feel free to do this if that’s what works for you!) There are many things you can do in the digital realm that will aid your efforts at helping local prospects find your business. Here are 9 tips that you should incorporate in your strategy.

    Start by putting yourself on the map

    The first step to taking control of your local presence is claiming your Google My Business profile. A lot of small business owners make a mistake here by failing to realize its importance. Sure, Google will create a profile for your business and fill it in with the available information, but this is not always comprehensive and accurate. Considering that Google prioritizes this listing among search results, not making the most of it simply does not make sense. Optimize your listing by updating all your information – make sure your contact info, operating hours, and address are all not only up-to-date but also uniform with all the other places where you display your information. Consistent NAP signals Google that your business is legit and thereby, helps you rank better.

    Rethink your mobile site

    Your Google listing is extremely valuable for local marketing as most people look up businesses on the go. From there on, they will be able to easily contact you directly or access your website. This is where the importance of a responsive website comes into the picture. Prospects don’t have much time and patience on the go. If your site fails to load immediately, or worse yet, is not optimized for mobile, they will be quick to close your page and move on to the next business. Responsiveness may not be a ranking factor of its own but it’s clear how it will affect your bounce rate and conversions.

    Take real photos

    The next way to convince your local prospects to give your business a chance is by supplying them with visual information. Having claimed your Google My Business listing, you’ll have the opportunity to add attractive photos of your business from the inside and out, instead of having to rely on a poor street view image. Great photos that reflect reality will make it much easier for your local prospects to spot your business. Putting your best face forward will also make it more likely that they will choose you. Posting up-to-date photos regularly also suggests that your business is active and doing well – another reason for them to look no further.

    Rake in reviews

    Another important method for boosting your traffic is a great review management strategy. Having lots of reviews boosts your business’s trustworthiness, so you should be encouraging your customers to leave you a few words if they were satisfied with your business. Most people at least skim reviews before deciding where to do business, but reviews are important even for Google, as highly rated places will naturally be favored. As for negative reviews, it’s important to deal with them appropriately. Instead of ignoring them, stay respectful and offer a solution. You might not only retain a customer, but you will also exude professionalism.

    Consider schema markups

    As we already mentioned, a lot of browsing now happens on mobile, and often on the go. Even at home, people value their time and prefer to get as much information as possible instantly. There is also a growing trend of zero-click searches, which means you might not even get the chance of telling them what you want through your website. This is where schema markups can help you out tremendously. Schemas help you display more information about your business on the results pages, which will serve as an important element in convincing your prospects to check you out. Schema markups that display your reviews under your meta description, for instance, instantly boost your authority. They can even help you take it a step further and acquire rich snippets. Needless to say, these give you an incomparable competitive advantage.

    Boost your local SEO

    You may already have an SEO strategy in place, however, if you want to leverage your local presence, giving special attention to local SEO is key. Local SEO is different from regular SEO; it utilizes your physical location to boost your ranking in local searches. Google uses different ranking factors in these searches, some of which relate to your My Business profile, so you might need to take a few extra steps to boost your visibility. Outsourcing your SEO to professionals is always an option if you are having trouble figuring out what’s missing.

    Publish relevant content

    A crucial element of SEO, relevant content is also going to play an important part in your efforts at gaining local attention. However, besides being relevant and valuable to your customers, to boost your local presence, your content also needs to be localized. Of course, there is nothing wrong with attracting visitors to your website from all over the world; it will only benefit you and your SEO results. But to draw local prospects, in particular, talking about things that directly concern them is the way to go. This may include local industry-related events and similar things. Additionally, making your FAQ, testimonials and other pages location-specific with the right keywords can also yield great results.

    Give some thought to Google ads

    SEO is naturally the best way to gain authority as a business. However, there is nothing wrong with boosting your efforts with ads. While local SEO will get you on top of local searches, a bit of advertising can also keep your business visible when it comes to more general searches. It goes without saying that targeted ads also take location into account. This makes them effective in performing just like local search results even when the search itself is not local. Google ads are also less expensive than you might expect, and tracking their ROI is not difficult at all, so you will always know whether they worked for you or not.

    Sign up for other directories

    Google My Business may be very relevant, but it’s not the only directory out there. Signing up for other, especially local, directories can also give you a boost. There are actually more directories out there than you might think, many of which are specific to different states or even cities, which makes them ideal for the goal you want to reach. Remember, that a consistent NAP is a key factor in your ranking, and making sure that your information in all of these directories is correct, up-to-date, and consistent is the only way to reap the benefits.

    Local marketing strategies like updating your Google My Business listing, optimizing your website, and publishing location-specific content go a long way in putting you on top of all the “near me” searches and beyond. The aforementioned tips will thus help you with transforming local prospects into real customers. Even locally done business often starts with a Google search, so don’t underestimate the power of great SEO. If necessary, entrust the task to professionals.

    Author bio:

    My name is Grace Wilson. I’m a 27-year-old biotechnologist and kind of a bookish girl. Surfing the Internet is my favourite, that’s why I’ve turned into blogging. Following a healthy mindset and lifestyle is what I consider my life principle. If interested, follow my Twitter.

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