Focus on local search results and local traffic will focus on you

By Chris Marentis

GenNext Media Corp.

One way to know what the latest trends are in search engine marketing is to pay attention to what local search marketing services and experts are doing. What they are currently doing is focusing on local search marketing to push local search results and ultimately drive local traffic to a business’s website or, even better, through its doors.

Search engines made the shift

A few years ago, Google made the conscious shift towards providing local search results to its users. Google went so far as to reserve a section of the first page of results for local business listing optimization only. Many people refer to this section of Google’s first page as the “seven pack," because normally, Google will list the top seven most relevant and optimized business listings from its Google Plus pages in the business listing section on its first page of results.

A golden opportunity was presented

Local search marketing services and experts noticed this shift almost immediately and began looking for ways to use the revamped approach by Google and other search engines to push the success of their clients. There are other participants in this marketing game, but more recently, four major players have emerged and become key to local search engine marketing success.

1. The business website — This is a business’s website, except now it has been updated to include geo-targeted content to reference the cities, states and surrounding areas that a business services.

2. The local business listing — In Google’s case, this is called the Google Plus page. It is important that every business take a few minutes to create and optimize its Google Plus page, as well as any and all of the major search engines’ local business listing pages.

3. Local citations — These are the references and mentions of a business’s contact information including name, address, and phone number on authoritative sites, such as online yellow pages, or a local chamber of commerce website.

4. The NAP — NAP stands for name, address and phone number. The NAP is what ties the other three elements together. When a business has a consistent and uniform NAP listed on its website, local business listing and on all local citations, search engines can easily match them all together and connect them all to collectively boost the authority of the group.

The result of this is more online authority, validation for your business and an increase in rankings. Because of Google’s focus on local results, an increase in local rankings will then result in an increase in exposure and local traffic.