This article is designed to arm SMB’s with insights that will better help them understand the local search marketing landscape on Google.
As a local online marketing consultant, it is important for me to point out that Google is the most important resource, online or offline, to market your small business.
This should not be a surprise to anybody, but I emphasize this fact because Google is where most local business marketing campaigns should begin. How do you make a root beer float?
Local search marketing revolves around a universe of keywords. What keyword sets are important to your business?
For the purpose of this article I am going to use The Tuxedo Gallery, a tuxedo rental shop in Santa Rosa, CA as my example. The Tuxedo Gallery not only rents, but sells designer formal wear for men–think homecomings, proms, weddings, and other special events.
Using the Google Keyword Tool, it is easy to get some quick insights as to how people search for tuxedos and formal wear for men:
After performing the proper research it is time to define which keyword sets are the most targeted for The Tuxedo Gallery. Here are some examples with and without geo-modifiers:
- “tuxedos Santa Rosa CA”
- “tuxedo rental”
- “men’s formal wear Santa Rosa”
- “prom tuxedo rental 95404″
- “wedding tuxedos Santa Rosa”
- “Santa Rosa tuxedo shop”
- “The Tuxedo Gallery”
- “Calvin Klein tuxedos”
Now that we have some keyword sets to focus upon, let’s take a look at the opportunities on Google to engage prospective clients and customers.
Local search opportunities for small business on Google.
Below are screenshots of specific opportunities in which The Tuxedo Gallery can connect with targeted customers–Google local business results, Google organic search results, and Google paid search results.
1. Google Local Business Results
Local business results are presented in Google Web and Google Maps searches (including mobile) and are highlighted within an adjacent map.
In order to be visible in Google local business results it is important to claim and optimize your free local business listings, which includes business listings in other search engines, internet yellow page websites, interactive directories, local directories, and industry directories.
There are many factors that determine your business’ rankings in the local business results, but be careful, ranking at the top for targeted keywords might provide you with more business than you can handle!
Local Business Results – Web Search – “tuxedos Santa Rosa”
Local Business Results – Maps Search – ”tuxedos Santa Rosa”
Local Business Results – Web Search – ”tuxedo rental”
Local Business Results – Maps Search – “tuxedo rental”
Local Business Results – Web Search – ”men’s formal wear”
Local Business Results – Maps Search – ”men’s formal wear”
2. Google Organic Search Results
Organic search results generally provide the most trusted content on the search engines and offer your website an opportunity to connect with local customers.
Small business websites that rank at the top of the organic results will experience nearly as much traffic as the businesses at the top of the local business results–in some cases, even more.
Unlike your Google business listing, your website does not display competitor ads, so the opportunity is often more valuable, and you control the content to further engage and convert customers.
One more thing to note. Google doesn’t provide local business results for a lot of your targeted searches–searches that are longer in composition but still feature local intent. An example for The Tuxedo Gallery is “wedding tuxedos Santa Rosa CA.” We call these long tail searches.
Organic Search Results – “tuxedos Santa Rosa”
Organic Search Results – “men’s formal wear 95404″
Organic Search Results – “Santa Rosa tuxedo rental”
Organic Search Results – “wedding tuxedos Santa Rosa CA”
Organic Search Results – “tuxedo shirts in Santa Rosa”
3. Google Paid Search Results
Paid search results are an important piece of the marketing mix for many small businesses on Google.
For one, paid search results serve as a turn-key solution to generate customers when your first starting out with a local search marketing campaign.
But let’s say your already visible in the local business results and organic search results for a very competitive keyword set. Adding a paid search listing with good creative and a clear call to action will increase your lift (overall conversions) and your bottom line.
Paid Search Results – “tuxedos Santa Rosa”
Paid Search Results – “tuxedos Santa Rosa”
Paid Search Results – “tuxedo rental”
Paid Search Results – “men’s formal wear Santa Rosa”
Paid Search Results – “prom tuxedo rental 95404″
Paid Search Results – “wedding tuxedos Santa Rosa CA”
There is your glimpse at the local search marketing opportunity for small businesses on Google. There also exists advanced tactics in Google Image, Blog, News, Shopping, and Video search, but the lion’s share for local business resides in Web and Maps search.