As a business owner or even as someone who makes a living designing commercial websites that are optimized for search engines, knowing how to handle the difference between marketing to a national audience and a local audience can be quite vital to your success. Even people who are knowledgeable in search marketing often tend to get their techniques for local search marketing mixed up with what they usually do for national search marketing. Local search marketing usually only succeeds with businesses that have physical storefronts in a specific area or two. It isn’t like regular search marketing that spreads itself really thin addressing the national (or an even wider) audience. It might clear things up to take a closer look at how a local search marketing campaign might be conducted on each major search engine.
On Bing, your first step to marketing yourself on the search engine would be to sign up for an account and put your name down on the Local Listings Center. You probably want to put in as much information into your account as possible – photographs, copies of your advertising and videos would not be a bad idea. As Bing tries to verify the location and the existence of your business you can go to the AdCenter to sign up. AdCenter is Bing’s version of the popular AdWords program on Google. Getting yourself on AdCenter makes sure that you have advertising served in the local area when anyone searches for you in the local area of the city your business is invested in.
Things work somewhat similarly on Google too. Your first step to promoting yourself through local search marketing on Google would be to make sure that your business has a presence on Google Maps. The way to get on Google Maps is pretty simple, and you don’t even need a website for it. All you need to do is to sign up for a free Google account, go on Google Maps and search for your business by name. If it’s already listed, you just need to “claim” it, as it’s called. That makes your business a part of your account, and you can put in all the information you need about your business there. The more information you have about your business on your Google account, the more Google considers your presence to be relevant. Make sure you add on videos and pictures and the like to help promote your business. Once you sign up for Google AdWords, you need to design an ad that accurately describes the product your business sells. You will be asked to specify the geographic area that you would like your ads to specifically target. Your ads and will only come up for searches to do with the area you’re interested in.
Getting ahead through local search marketing is about as fundamental a part of promoting your business today as putting out a Yellow Pages listing used to be. If you haven’t seen what search marketing can do for your business, it’s time you tried.