You have a business in your local area, and you need to bring in customers. The strategy used to do this is different from a business owner who is marketing a location independent business on the web. You need to draw your customers from your local base in order for the traffic earned to make and “business sense” to your company and brand. How you do that depends on your local landing page and how it is set up for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
The First Local Page Hurdle
Let’s face it, local services page are boring. We’ve all seen them and they all look the same:
- Intro to company
- Services bullets or blurbs
- Benefits bullets or blurbs
- Contact us / CTA (call to action)
Sure, these pages have the essentials, and they might even rank…but will they convert? Will they keep anyone on the page long enough to grab their attention and soft-sell them on why you’re the best? Likely not.
Your first challenge is to create an engaging page that will draw customers to your business. Once someone visits your website, they should not want to click anywhere else. But with bounce rates higher than the Empire State Building, and attention spans shorter than a kid with ADD hyped up on Mountain Dew, keeping visitors engaged is harder than ever.
This guide is too short to provide you with a full-blown sales copy course, but here’s a quick down and dirty checklist to get your wheels spinning…
- Title - Distinctive “hooks” are critical. Make them unique, hyper-specific, urgent, and beneficial.
- Introduction – Everyone loves a good story right? Pain the picture of the problem or situation your product or service addresses. Craft the narrative from the perspective of a buyer persona and transition into why you’re the best.
- Services Offered – This is where things can really get dull. But they don’t have to. Feel free to interject the “tone” and “voice” of your brand, and don’t be afraid to have a little fun here.
- Benefits – Save the features for last. Benefits are what your visitors care about. Clearly, address WHY your product/service helps and what it can do for THEM. Make the value clear, concise and specific. Feel free to use strong dominating language and include visuals when possible.
Hook, line and sinker….not time to reel them in with a call to action and irresistible offer. Try to think outside the box here. Unique and creative often wins the prize when it comes to getting someone to take actual action (like picking up the phone and calling your company).
Value and Deliverables
Your website is about your business and the services that you offer to your customers. The value that you can deliver to your customers should be the focal point of your page. You will want to create a page that is both interesting for a customer to look at, as well as describe what you are able to deliver to them.
- Be brief: When we search the web, we are looking for as much information as we can digest in the shortest amount of time. Your customers do not want to read through a long-winded description of your business.
- Make it Digestible: Again, brevity is your friend. Customers visiting your local page generally have a short attention span. Limiting your paragraphs to a few sentences, leaving white space, and using bullet points will make your information more palatable for your visitors.
- Highlight Your Priorities: Focus on the most important messages you would like your customer to walk away with.
- Most important benefits of your services
- Immediate questions you are most often asked
- Any characteristics that set you apart from your competition
If you keep your descriptions short and to the point, but also provide an adequate explanation of the value that you present to your customer, you will be on your way to success!
You’ve explained your services and highlighted the benefits. Now you need to direct them towards closing the sale. This is called a sales funnel. A sales funnel is used by businesses to drive the sales process forward and can involve multiple steps.
- Show your customer the value of their purchase
- Discount Coupons
- Financing Options or Payment Plans
- Explain the benefits that you can offer over your competitors
- Give your potential customers a chance to move the sales process forward themselves
- Provide your phone number or e-mail address
- Offer a survey or questionnaire to get a better understanding of what they are looking for
- Allow them to schedule a free consultation
How you drive your customer from “just browsing” to a sale will depend on the type of business you own. In many business sectors, it is common practice to set up a free initial consultation, in others, this would not be appropriate.
This is the phase of your page that you can be a little more creative with graphics, videos, and other attractive media.
Search Engine Optimization - Overview
Ok, so you’ve crafted the perfect local landing page. Now you need to get traffic. But not just any traffic…localized traffic.
This is commonly referred to as Local Search Engine Optimization or Local SEO. There are a number of tactics used by businesses to ensure their website shows at the top of a Google Search for a given location.
When your customers search for a business in your area, Google and other search engines look at an absolute treasure trove of data points in order to best determine which results meet the following:
- Are the most relevant to the search query and user
- Best address the intent behind the query
- Are the most useful to users
- Have established authority
- Are geographically relevant (actual proximity to the user)
In a nutshell, Google is all about making sure they match the right site with the right search phrase for the right users to create the best experience possible for their users. They want to make sure the user gets the right information in as efficient a way as possible.
Here are Some Basic Local SEO Tips to Help Get You Started:
- Use keywords that are relevant to your business
When inputting keywords into the header of your website, choose words and phrases that are not only used in a direct search but also related terms.
For example, if you offer Accounting services, consider using some of these related terms:
- Balance Sheet
- Ensure you use the name of your locality in your page’s header information
Proximity and geographic relevancy is measured and calculated by Google using a number of markers and other factors, but using your local information in the header is a big waving flag to Google that you are located where you say you are and are intending to provide content relevant to that specific local market.Include Location Based Markers
3. Include Location Based Markers
The more relevant the content of your page is to a given local area, the more likely Google is to rank you for that specific city or state.
We suggest including the following where appropriate:
- Location name
- Location information (weather, population, attractions, etc.)
- Local Map embed
- Links to relevant local resources and sites
4. Page Speed
Page speed is one of the most overlooked traits for local landing pages. If your web page takes more than 2 seconds to load 75% of visitors will move on to the next result. That is a big number of consumers since 80% of local businesses are found online. Page speed also can affect rankings and conversions.
SEO is one of the most important aspects of building any website. Over 93% of all online experiences and 78% of all purchase decisions (both online and off) begin with a search query. And with Google being the dominant player in the market, if you’re not ranking well on their search engine, your brand is virtually invisible to prospective customers.
Ranking well for local markets should combine a blend of usability and engagement, as well as factors integrated to please the Google gods. This strategic blend of engaging and helpful content with optimization standards can be achieved by incorporating the aforementioned principles into each piece of content you curate.
Ultimately this two-pronged approach will result in increased rankings, improved brand visibility, and increased traffic, phone calls, sales, and growth.
Crafting content that entertains, engages and ultimately converts traffic into paying customers whilst simultaneously ranking on Google is no easy feat. If you’re a busy business owner with no time for slaving over a keyboard, give us a call or drop us a line.
Our expert local content team can audit your existing content, identifying opportunities for improvement and craft a new content distribution plan that will put your business on the (LOCAL) map.