By Sandra D’Souza
For both online and offline businesses, taking advantage of local search listings is a great way to get more exposure and, therefore, attract more potential customers. It helps advertise your business where local customers are looking. It is also more cost-effective and it can provide you with better return on investment, or ROI, as compared to print ads and other traditional forms of marketing.
In addition, a recent study conducted by Google with IpsosMediaCT and Purchased has shown the true potential of local search. According to the search giant, everyday, people rely on local searches to find various things nearby. The study also revealed that 50% of those who conducted local searches are more likely to follow up with an in-store visit. This only shows that by taking advantage of local search listings, businesses can place themselves in a better position to be discovered by potential customers and generate bigger revenues.
If you want to incorporate local search listings into your arsenal of online marketing tools, it is essential that you develop key local listing management strategies to ensure bigger ROI. Here are some practical tips to help you get started.
Optimise for Google, Yahoo, and Bing
If you want to generate more leads and attract more customers, ensure that your local listings are optimised for the “Big Three.” With 65.5% ofsearch traffic taking place on Google sites, Google is perhaps the most popular and most powerful search engine today.This is one of the primary reasons why you need to ensure your listings are Google-friendly.
However, many businesses, even the major brands, focus their attention solely on Google. According to Bill Connard, VP for local search solutions at Rio SEO, this is a big no-no. It is important to optimise your local listings for Yahoo and Bing, as well. Otherwise, you will miss the opportunity to rank higher since a comScore report revealed that these two sites also account for 28.7% of search traffic.
Aggregators are something you should consider using as they deliver “great value” to your business. According to Bill, they enable your brand to build “hundreds of valuable, relevant back links” to your local landing pages. They also help you provide your web visitors with better user experience and increase your local presence. And since major search engines compare and validate listings information using data from aggregators, they can also help you get higher rankings in local organic search results.
Consider using paid local listings management solutions
If your budget allows, you should also consider utilising paid local listings management options. Platforms like Yelp, Foursquare, Yext, and Facebook can deliver high-quality, affordable traffic that can help you generate bigger ROI. According to Bill, these sites also act as “power business review sites” and they contain valuable local business listing information.
Take advantage of outbound social media marketing
Aside from the methods discussed above, you should also consider taking advantage of the marketing prowess of social media. After all, various studies have shown that most people today spend a great deal of their time on social media sites. In addition, social media can also help you create brand awareness and generate organic traffic. However, generating traffic and obtaining leads through various social media platforms can be a challenge because you have to be in “different places at the same time.”
Fortunately, there are simple ways for you to send messages through different social media streams. One of them is to use apps like NewzSocial. NewzSocial enables businesses to fully optimise their outbound social media marketing from a single interface. By allowing them to send the right messages to the right people through the right social media channels at the most appropriate time, businesses can better engage their prospects and customers, thus, improving their visibility and expanding their local presence.
Monitor your performance
As with any other online marketing strategies, you should take the time to monitor the performance of your local listings. This can help you determine your current search rankings and the amount of traffic going in to your site. By having access to such vital information, you can determine which aspect of your campaign requires improvement.
Efficient management of your local listings is one of the secrets to getting bigger ROI. Therefore, see to it that you follow the pointers discussed above to ensure that your campaign is being handled properly and to obtain the results and revenues you are expecting.
This article originally appeared in http://www.learnmarketing.com.au/social-media/how-to-manage-local-listings-to-get-bigger-roi/