How to Employ Local SEO to Optimize B2B Marketing
Local SEO is one of the basic pillars of optimizing B2B marketing endeavors. It’s a hot topic for Google in 2019. Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to local prospects & customers. Search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, & citations to provide the most relevant results to the local users. Marketers, therefore, need to optimize their endeavors for local SEO.
According to HubSpot, 80% of potential customers use search engines to find local information.
Hence, compromising on local SEO would mean that businesses are compromising on a major chunk of their potential customers.
Local searches are always aligned with improved users’ experiences (UX). Oftentimes, prospects who perform a local search have a greater intent to buy.
According to a report by Google in 2018, local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit stores within one day. Another report by Search Engine Land implies that 82% of the smartphone shoppers conducted the ‘near me’ searches.
While the B2B marketers don’t essentially need to prioritize every marketing endeavor to optimize their local visibility, they must focus on three strategies to improve their local SEO rankings.
- Optimizing Google My Business account
- Improving the on-page SEO by updating the website & improving the website loading time & the off-page strategies for their websites
- Focus on improving some of the off-page SEO strategies
Optimizing for the above three strategies isn’t an overnight task. One needs to stick to the best practices for a while & needs to persevere. Persistence & perseverance hold the key to optimizing the local SEO rankings.
Ways to Optimize the Website for Local SEO
Local Search Engine Optimization is a branch of SEO that is focused on the optimization of a website for local searches. Local SEO is very similar to organic SEO in the ways the keywords are researched, the pieces of content are created & links are built.
There just needs to be a special focus on optimizing the website for local endeavors. To get relevant & highly quality local traffic, to optimize the website conversion rates (as well as to outsmart the competitors in the search engine result pages (SERPs)) the marketers need to optimize their searches for local prospective customers.
The goal of local SEO is to improve the online visibility of a website for local customers. Google is the most dominant player in local searches & hence, the B2B marketers need to be well are of the guidelines for representing their businesses on Google.
The following are some of the ways to optimize the websites for local SEO:
1. The Homepage must be Optimized:
The homepage should clearly illustrate all the details about a business. This includes the location of a company as well. There should be a “Contact Us” page. If there are multiple locations for businesses, unique pages on the websites must be in place with full contact details of each location. The marketers should make sure that each of the pages is clutter-free, unique & persuasive. This ensures that Google can easily understand the elements of a particular business. The title tags of the pages, the header tags & the Meta descriptions should clearly state the vital information about the businesses.
2. Keyword Research for Local SEO:
If the marketers belong to a service industry they must ensure that they try out the specific keyword variations that include questions. The evolution of voice searches has also influenced the local search results. The number of prospects using smartphones, Amazon Echo & Google Home as primary avenues to execute voice searches for their preferred local businesses, has increased more than ever before.
Targeting keywords with local intent is an excellent idea to optimize the search results for local businesses. The topic research tools by SEMrush viz. Keyword.io, Keyword magic Tool & AnswerThePublic help searching for the local questions & keywords of relevance to local customers.
3. Optimizing the METADATA:
Page title tags & Meta descriptions are still highly relevant in shaping the first impression the potential customers have about the business websites. While optimizing for local SEO, the title tags for a page should include the name of the city & the product or services at disposal. Meta Data sets the stage up for the local customers as it informs them where the businesses can be found & explain to them what sort of services a particular business provides at a specific location.
4. Creating Exclusive Pages for Every Product, Service & Location:
There is no steadfast demarcation between the best practices for SEO & Local SEO. It’s always better for marketers to apply a schema for each of their product or service offering. This is not only holistically good for the SEO of the website but is also helpful in pointing a clearer sitemap for search engines. Besides, it also helps specific products or service rank for specific offerings; paving ways for specific schema applications.
5. Focus on Crafting pieces of Content for Local Searches:
While optimizing for local SEO, the marketers should focus on topics of relevance to local audiences. The marketers should create niche-specific content, focused on local audience groups & should analyze their implicit & explicit behaviors.
The pieces of content should resonate with the intent of the local prospects. Writing custom, quality content for the local prospects as per their areas of interest helps the business websites score better on SERPs & rank higher in local search results.
Also, including videos in the pieces of content seems to be an interesting idea. Several independent pieces of research imply that videos considerably enhance the visibility of content as well as contribute to improved users’ experiences (UX).
According to a study by Omnicore in 2018, the video-based pieces of content are 50 times more likely to drive organic search results as compared to those having only plain text. Another report by Search Engine People shows that assimilating videos in posts increases organic traffic from search results by 157%.
6. Focus on the Local SEO Links:
Marketers need to understand that link-building strategies for local SEO are a bit different than those for organic SEO. Adherence to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines helps in acquiring links as any violation can lead to penalties by Google.
A quality local SEO profile has the following elements:
- Citation/NAP sites
- Local directory websites
- Local sites related to the Industry
- Local partner websites
- The local chamber of commerce sites
- Local newspaper websites
Let’s discuss each of them.
a. Citation or NAP Sites:
These citation sites are fully focused on Name, addresses & Phone numbers (NAP) and here the primary websites are submitted to enhance their local visibility on search engines – Google in particular.
b. Local Directory Websites:
Building on the general links on local websites helps in enhancing the link authority of the websites for local searches.
c. The Industry-Specific Local Sites:
A wide array of local websites offer opportunities for link-building. These include newspapers, schools, universities & government associations. These websites resonating with the industry help in increasing the value of the local profile significantly. Google rewards the link-building strategies on these websites based on their authority & uniqueness.
d. Local Partner Websites:
These websites are local partners of businesses. Too much of link exchanges are considered deteriorative practices by Google.
Taking the help of the local business partners to achieve links helps in achieving optimized results on search engine result pages (SERPs) & in ranking higher for the local results.
Google regularly keeps on updating its algorithms for local search. For example, the first documented update of Pigeon to Google’s algorithm (in dec. 201), across all their search properties & in all their locations, also impacted the local searches.
7. Focus on the Contact Us page:
The name & address of the businesses, phone numbers included in the footer of the website on the Contact Us page should be correct. If a business operates in multiple locations, creating unique pages on the website for each location is a good strategy.
8. The Website should be Optimized for Mobile Devices:
According to a study by Google in 2018, more than 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while searching for their smartphones.
Two independent pieces of research by Junto in 2019 reveal that 78% of the location-based mobile searches result in the offline purchase & that 61% of mobile searches are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly website.
Google claims to be driving 96% of the mobile traffic & hence having a mobile-friendly website is a must-have for the businesses to be easily discovered by their local audiences.
82% of smartphone users research using a search engine on their phones when looking for local businesses.
Marketers should focus on optimizing the users’ experiences (UX), by improving the functionalities that work better for mobile devices as compared to other device platforms such as the “make a call” button. Also, the mobile version of the website should load correctly to allow users to access the options that they use the most.
9. Create a Google My Business Profile:
Several common components show up in the Google Busines Profile when people search for a company by name. Therefore, creating a Google My Business profile is important for marketers to score higher rankings in Google’s local results.
Creating a profile on Google My Business is free & it influences how a particular business appears in Search & Maps on Google. When registering for Google My Business users have to provide some essential information such as business names, addresses & contact-related pieces of information.
Constant time & effort are required to optimize the Google My Business profiles of businesses & to keep their relevancies intact. This can be done in the following ways:
- Check regularly whether all the information is correct using Google Posts
- Add images to your GMB listings & keep abreast with the availability of few features
- Using relevant keywords at correct places including the business name, if possible
- Choose the correct category or business type
- Employ Google Q&A & Google Posts to diversify & elaborate the listings
- Use photos related to the businesses that substantiate that a business is in good regards
10. Focus on Omnichannel Reviews & Reputation Management:
The B2B companies need to understand that their customers are almost everywhere across the diverse platforms on the web. Underestimating any channel might lead to degradation of the brands’ reputation.
Many professional & highly successful B2B brands have employed special people for omnichannel reputation management. Some of the vital websites where the brands need to focus to ensure that their reviews are optimized are as follows:
- Google Business Page: This is connected to Google+ & gathers reviews from the platforms owned by Google as well as from other places such as TripAdvisor.
- Facebook Page: Most of the B2B companies are present on Facebook & need to take their Facebook reviews seriously.
- Bing Platforms: These are very much similar to Google but meant for Bing Search Engine. Amazon’s Alexa software also uses Bing & hence marketers need to have reviews inspiring positive sentiments on platforms owned by Bing.
- Yelp: Yelp isn’t traditionally aligned with B2B listings but the reviews from Yelp are pulled by a wide array of platforms & hence marketers need to register their presence on Yelp.
For monitoring the reviews & optimizing the reputation of brands across omnichannel by instantly responding to the local reviews at hand, there are various tools such as Moz Local.
Tracking & analyzing the reviews is an integral part of online reputation management & needs to be done for all the channels where a business has marked its presence, irrespective of the fact whether they have a respectable audience base there or not.
11. Optimize for the Voice Search:
According to a report by OC&C Strategy Consultants in 2019, voice is expected to be a search channel worth $40 billion by the year 2019. According to a study by Wordstream predicts that by the year 2020, 50% of the online searchers will be conducting voice searches.
Analyzing the keywords being employed by the local customers in their voice searches & optimizing their websites accordingly will help the businesses perform better as voice search keeps on expanding its realm as a major chunk of total online searches.
With the proliferation of smartphones, Amazon Echo & Google Home voice is well poised to be the future of all types of searches in all realms & industries including B2B.
According to a report by Wordstream, as of January 2018, there were about 1 billion voice searches per month.
Therefore, optimizing the conversational approaches to search seems like a futuristic approach with glaring possibilities for optimized rankings in local searches.
Bringing it all Together
With the constant updates in Google algorithms for both organic & local searches, B2B marketers need to constantly teak their understandings of local SEO. As they are becoming more familiar with the context of SEO, local SEO is headed towards a paradigm shift. Marketers are better understanding & applying the principles of local SEO for improved visibilities among local audience groups.
The change in algorithms, as we have witnessed in the past, will keep on happening but it all will only be to increase the relevancy of searches for diverse groups including local audiences.
Optimizing for local search endeavors with an optimized website & several impactful off-line strategies ensures that the web visibility of particular businesses for local audiences is considerably improved. This not only results in ruling the results on SERPs for local visitors & keeps the competition at bay but also positively impacts the paid search results of the businesses in a big way.
We at Valasys Media, employ strategic approaches to improve the web visibilities of our B2B clients across multiple channels to their niche-specific personas. Our custom-made services such as lead generation, lead nurturing, list building services, contact discovery, account-based marketing & content syndication have all been architected to decipher the pathways to optimized sales revenues for our clients.
For the furtherance of perennially healthy sales pipelines & to accomplish the core bottom lines of B2B businesses such as an optimized return on marketing investment (ROMI) & improved users’ experiences (UX), feel free to get in touch with our team of experts.