Local SEO and Maps Marketing – Is It Really Worth the Hype?
One of the biggest internet marketing and reputation marketing tools that has been trending stronger and stronger each year is Maps Marketing. The tools that are used change, some are revised, others disappear. But when all debate is finished, maps marketing is here to stay, and if it is not part of your internet marketing campaign then you are losing the important local market.
Internet Marketing and Local Consumers
Before understanding the relationship between local marketing and sales a small business needs to have a basic understanding of the internet.
#1 Search Patterns and Grids
When someone in your city searches for your product they do not receive the same results. Cities are divided into different neighborhoods. So if someone in your neighborhood types in ‘pizza’ they should not get a pizza parlor on the opposite side of the city – if your maps marketing and local marketing campaigns were run correctly.
Google is one search engine that is working hard to help local companies compete in a global market. Unfortunately, the big companies know how to manipulate local marketing so that their websites show above the local small business.
#2 How Much Money Do You Want To Make
One of the biggest complains from businesses that do not invest in advertising and marketing is that they do not have enough money to pay for marketing.
Successful businesses know that 20% of their budget needs to be invested into advertising if you want to succeed in today’s world.
More than 50% of all local sales are made using a cell phone. The average person does not scroll through several search pages to make a local purchase. They will choose one of the top choices. If you do not hold one of the top positions then you lose the sale.
The main thing to understand is that the ranking position you see on your computer is not your ‘real’ ranking position. That is where you appear in your neighborhood, when the browser filters through the search using your ‘personal search.’
#3 Personal Search
Have you ever searched the internet for something, then all of a sudden your emails, facebook ads, and website ads are all related to the product you searched. This is due to personal search. If you check your computer, each browser stores up to 1 gig of data related to your recent searches. This is not considered an invasion of privacy, but improving your experience.
This works in a small business’s favor. You may not have the SEO budget to hold position #1 on Google for your most valuable keyword. But when you have properly marketed your website for local search then someone in your area will see your business in the search positions, even if you look like you are on page #5 on Google.
#4 Customer Experience
There are several things that can affect your ranking positions. Some of them include:
- The size of your website
- How many visitors you receive
- How long people stay on your website each visit
- How many pages they click
- How many new pages you publish each month
- The number of reviews your website has
- Inbound links from valued places – like maps, review sites, citations, etc
- Online Activity
If you’ll notice, most of these are dependent on the customer’s experience. The better the customer’s experience, the longer they stay. This means that articles and videos must be engaging. The buy now process must not be invasive. And the website must target people in the neighborhood where they want to shop.