Local search optimization is the process of claiming, controlling, and optimizing your company’s online citations to give your business an edge when it comes to finding local audiences.
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Local Search Optimization Services
Whether you know it or not, your business is likely already listed in dozens--or even hundreds--of online directories and resources. Identifying these listings (or citations) and ensuring they are accurate and consistent is the first step in giving your site credibility and SEO strength.
Identifying your online citations is only the beginning. Now that you’ve got a grasp on where your company is listed, and you’ve ensured each citation is accurate, it’s time to fuel them with as much relevant information as possible (hours of operation, directions, relevant links, etc.)
As you’re probably well aware, people are talking about your business online (and hopefully in a positive light). And their voices are being heard. Through review generation, we’re able to inspire positive customer reviews and manage those that are less flattering in an effort to put your business in the best light at all times. For good or bad, these reviews are having an effect on the future of your company and you need to be proactive in handling them.
How to Find the Right LSO Agency
Finding the right agency to guide you through the LSO process can be challenging, and it’s important to find an agency that you’re comfortable with; someone that brings knowledge and experience to the table and works diligently to stay up to date on the latest in LSO strategy.
Here are a few things to search for when it comes to partnering with an LSO agency:
Do Your Own Google Search
You’d think if a company can promise to get your site ranking for relevant search terms, then surely they’re doing it for themselves, right? So if a quick Google search of “LSO + your city name” doesn’t yield results, it might be worth looking elsewhere.
Find an agency that doesn’t outsource LSO/SEO
For many agencies, SEO and everything under the SEO umbrella is simply outsourced to the lowest bidding freelancer in town. And as the adage goes, you get what you pay for. You need your LSO strategies executed perfectly in order to get your brand in front of those in your area likely to become customers, and you can’t risk this by letting agencies pass the buck on your behalf.
See what other clients are saying. If you’re trusting this agency to handle your review generation and moderating, then you should have no trouble finding qualified references and reviews from previous satisfied clients. A word of advice: look beyond the company’s website and jump into Google reviews or industry-specific rating sites for perhaps a more transparent look at how clients have viewed their partnerships. And don’t forget to pay close attention to how the agency responds to these reviews—especially the less than stellar ones.
Why You Should Work With Us
Why should you work with Timmermann Group for local search engine optimization? Because we’re the best. But don’t just take our word for it. In 2019, we had the honor of being named Best Marketing Firm by St. Louis Small Business Monthly. We were also nominated for Best in Web Design and Best in Customer Service. These are honors we don’t take lightly.
St. Louis Business Journal
St. Louis’ Largest Advertising, Marketing, and PR Firms
St. Louis Small Business Monthly
Best Marketing Firm
St. Louis Small Business Monthly
Best in Web Design
St. Louis Small Business Monthly
Best in Customer Service
We Take a Custom and Strategic Approach
to every marketing strategy, and every step of the process is meticulously planned out by our in-house team of developers, designers, strategists, and branding experts. Nothing is outsourced and nothing is overlooked. And, if we’re being honest, we love doing it. It’s more than a job; it’s our passion. Staying at the forefront of web design trends and tactics, our team aims to create a website that exceeds every one of your expectations and serves as an exemplary marketing and communications tool for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I do my own LSO?
LSO is a lot to take on and that even the slightest misstep or oversight can do lasting damage to your organic search rankings. And a poor ranking can be the difference between attracting new, local clients or driving them into the arms of your competition. For these reasons, we HIGHLY recommend partnering with a reputable LSO agency.
What factors can affect my LSO?
In short? A lot. LSO, just like SEO in general, takes countless variables into consideration when it comes to ranking businesses in the area and it’s up to you to make sure each one of these variables works in your favor and not against it. Your on-page optimization, backlinks, reviews, social media, Google My Business page, and trends in the actions of your site’s visitors can all help—or hurt—your chances at ranking.
Learn More About Local Search Optimization
Local search optimization (LSO) is the effort to claim, control, and optimize your company’s online citations. Sometimes thought of simply as a subset of search engine optimization (SEO), local search can be a powerful digital marketing tactic and deserves to be part of your company’s digital marketing mix, and to be considered on its own merits.
Claim & Control Citations
A successful local search marketing campaign begins by focusing on the dozens, if not hundreds of places online where your business information is listed. These listings, or “citations”, include online directories, your social media accounts, industry and trade organizations, chambers of commerce, online review sites and many others. Anywhere your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are listed, the information needs to be consistent and correct. Search engines scour the internet for your company’s information, and if there are inconsistencies, your rankings could suffer as a result. Your company name, address, phone number and other information should appear exactly the same no matter where it’s accessed. Unfortunately many online directories pull and regularly update their records from other databases, which may themselves contain inaccurate data. This makes ongoing local search marketing a necessary part of your marketing plans. Working with a marketing agency partner that specializes in LSO can help keep all of your information up-to-date. You can visit our Local Search Listings Scanner and enter your business information to conduct a quick audit of your LSO situation and identify areas for improvement.
Optimize Citations for Ranking
Once you have claimed and controlled all of your online citations, the next important step is to optimize them. This includes not just ensuring that your business information is correct and consistent on all citations, but also making sure to include as much relevant information as possible. For example, including your business hours, directions to your location, and links to your social media profiles all provide useful information to the searcher, and they also help improve your ranking results. Another crucial aspect of local search optimization is generating and responding to customer reviews. People are leaving reviews about your business, both good and bad, across the internet. It is important that you are aware of them, and that you respond to them accordingly. Thank customers for their positive reviews. Respond promptly to any negative reviews to address their concerns. Also be sure to have your sales and customer service teams proactively ask your customers for reviews and testimonials. Customers will also sometimes ask questions online. This is a great opportunity to engage with a motivated buyer to build a meaningful connection that ultimately leads to a new customer. Search engines take into account both the quality and quantity of online user reviews, so this is an area of your local search efforts that should not be neglected. Remember, users increasingly want the search results to include only those businesses that can both address their need and are located nearby. A dedicated LSO campaign ensures that your business appears in the exact right place at the exact right time.
Local Search Results
Search engines continually strive to provide users with the best, most relevant search results. Because of the increased use of location-based searches, search engines have instituted some changes that directly reflect their goal of giving users the best answers to their questions. The first is that they now use a separate search algorithm for location-based searches. This means that just because your company’s website ranks well for broader searches it won’t necessarily rank well for a similar search that adds a location. The second important factor to consider is that search engines now dedicate a large amount of their results pages real estate to its maps pack. The maps pack is where the results for location-based searches live. You’ve probably noticed that the maps pack always appears above the traditional search results. As such, the maps pack is now among the highest-converting real estate on a search results page. Combined with the paid ad placements at the top of the page, a website that ranks #1 for traditional SEO might still be below the fold on page one. This loss of real estate makes implementing a dedicated local search marketing campaign imperative.
The first reason to make sure your business has a dedicated local search optimization plan in place is because, as mentioned earlier, users are making more location-based searches than ever before, and search engines are satisfying that user demand by giving prime page one real estate to its maps pack results. Your business risks missing out on quality website traffic and new customers if you’re not making local search part of your marketing plans.
To drive this point home even further, consider that the vast majority of location-based searches are made by consumers who are at or near the bottom of the sales decision funnel. They have made the decision to purchase–the only question is from whom? So many marketing tactics, both online and offline, are geared toward brand awareness and consideration, laying the foundation for your brand so that when the consumer is finally ready to take action, they think of you. But with LSO, they are ready to buy right now! If your company’s online citations provide incorrect contact information or if your maps pack listing isn’t showing up, you will almost certainly miss out on that opportunity to gain a new customer.
Another important consideration is the ever-growing use of mobile devices to conduct searches. A majority of location-based searches take place on smartphones, which makes sense. People are on the go, searching for solutions to their problems and wanting to find a local business they can turn to for help. Including things like click-to-call functionality, a listing of your hours, and customer reviews are all simple yet highly effective ways to gain new customers and sales. A robust LSO presence gives your business credibility and stature and increases the odds that consumers will choose you over your competitors. Remember, these consumers are ready to make a buying decision now, so your information needs to precise, concise, and correct.