What is Local Search Engine Optimization?

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Let’s say you own the world’s most delicious Mexican restaurant, and you’re super stoked to get people in the door. Of course, you want to start an online marketing campaign that’s just as awesome as your food. So, you start doing some keyword research on generic terms like “Mexican food” only to realize that about a bazillion people are searching for that term. Additionally, a bazillion other restaurants, markets, and businesses across the nation are targeting that term. Good, right? Wrong! While you may have the best Mexican food in the world, you probably don’t have room in your restaurant to fit everyone in the world searching for that term. That makes national SEO sort of a bummer for a business like yours.

Local search is an answer to your prayers (insert angelic singing here).

Local search is the ability to build an online marketing campaign that targets only your specific area. That way, if your restaurant is in Portland, Oregon, you don’t have to worry about your website showing up for people looking for Mexican food in Portland, Maine, and any other random place in the nation. Local search engine optimization is the perfect way to get people in your area into your business. Here are a few ways to make local search work to your advantage:

Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting is the ability to target a specific region with your online marketing efforts. It works a couple different ways.

For SEO (search engine optimization), you can optimize by targeting specific keywords and a geographic location. For example, you could target the term “Mexican food in Portland, Oregon,” rather than just trying to target the term “Mexican food.” This way, your content is more likely to show up for people searching for Mexican food in Portland, Oregon, only.

Geo-targeting also works for paid search. If you are thinking about running a PPC (pay per click) ad, you can make sure your ad only shows up for people searching within a certain radius of Portland. That way, you don’t have to worry about paying for clicks on the word “Mexican food” from someone that lives too far away from your restaurant to actually make it to your restaurant. Geo-targeting ensures that the clicks you pay for will have a better conversion rate.

Maps

Another way to use local Internet marketing is by setting up a Google Maps listing for when someone types in search terms related to your business. For example, I type in the word “Mexican food,” Google will recognize my location and only show me listings in my area. These listings will include a map that shows me exactly how to get to your restaurant. You just scored a customer, and I just scored a tasty meal. Win-win.

Mobile Marketing

Have you ever told Siri you wanted some Mexican food, and she so kindly presented you with a list of viable dinner options? When you invest in a local search optimization campaign, you are making friends with Siri, Google, and other Mobile devices.

Local search marketing is one of the best ways to acquire targeted consumers. Customers will not only learn about your business, but chances are, Google will lead them right to your doorstep.