Local SEO has been making trend watch lists for a few years now, but we’re reaching a juncture in marketing now where the SEO angle simply isn’t enough. Rather, to boost business – whether you have a brick and mortar location or function exclusively as an online business – you’ll have to up your game this year.
What else should be on your agenda beyond crafting those location-specific pages if you want to attract local attention? We recommend focusing on these three marketing trends.
Manage Mobile Browsing
Optimizing your company’s website for mobile browsing may seem rudimentary — after all, even non-local SEO depends on mobile performance — but every year a greater amount of web searches, browsing, and shopping occurs on mobile devices.
To some degree, this reflects the fact that mobile devices have become our primary devices, but in large part, it’s also an indicator that many searches happen on the fly, when we’re already out and looking for a nearby solution to a problem. If your site isn’t mobile ready, a potential customer located just down the block could have a hard time making use of your services.
Develop an App
One challenge that many people face when trying to access business resources is the issue of being offline. Whether you’re stuck in a complete dead zone or simply have too weak of a connection to download a full website, it can be hard for customers to browse those mobile-friendly websites you’ve worked so hard on. To deal with this issue, you need an app geared towards offline use.
How does offline use work for apps? Some businesses — think eBay’s app, which is contingent on real-time feedback — simply can’t go offline with their services. But for most businesses, at least some functions work just fine offline.
TalentLMS, for example, allows those using eLearning programs to work offline and sync up when they reconnect. Many local restaurants also have apps that allow users to read the menu and access a phone number while offline so they can place an order the old-fashioned way.
In the past, the majority of businesses that have developed significant local marketing strategies haven’t actually been locally based. In fact, they’ve mostly been large businesses with the time and resources to alter small parts of their content to appear location-specific. This isn’t helpful to users who are really looking for a service of product “near me” — one of the most popular search terms — and advertising hosts are catching on. In 2017, they’ll be expecting true location-based ads.
To make sure that your business registers as proximate to customers, check all of your listings and update your address, phone number, web address, and hours. Failure to keep this type of information up to date can result in sites informing potential customers that your business is permanently closed, or at least currently closed. Facebook, for example, consistently does this to businesses that don’t list their hours of operation. It’s a small mistake, but one that can be costly.
If you want your business to be a breakout leader in 2017, set your eyes on developing better local marketing strategies. It’s not enough to know your community if you’re not opening up all modes of connection to help get through your doors or onto your website.