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Local Search Engine Marketing Services

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Posted 12th January 2015 at 05:55 PM by imarkedy

Finding local search engine marketing services which fit your organizational need requires first understanding proposition development. Many companies start their online business presence by buying a domain name (a name for their website, often one close to their business name) and building a webpage that is really little more than a brochure. Only later do they turn their mind to optimizing their site for both audience and the way those in their audience find products and services that interest them.

Very few take a long, hard look at what their online competitors are doing first or think about what part of their business works best online.

And hardly any revisit their entire business model to consider how it might change to take advantage of what the Internet offers. Take it from me - the best way to succeed in search engine optimization is to build it into your business development strategy from the very outset. More importantly, SEO campaigns must be a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is vital to view SEO in its broader business context: what sorts of visitors will convert well for your online business goals?

Is the ideal visitor budget conscious or seeking luxury items? After all, there is no point in chasing highs search volumes only to find that visitors look at one page and then leave the site. And don't let SEO take over your life - you still have to be out there doing business and making connections in other ways as well. It's easy to become hypnotized by the challenge and forget that SEO is only, at the end of the day, one part of your marketing effort; which is, in itself, only one part of the total business effort required.

For these reasons and more, we turn to search phrases and optimization techniques. This article considers those fundamental questions of what, who, and where.

What are you selling?
The first and most obvious question is whether you are selling a product or service and the degree to which you can fulfill this online. Some service businesses are, by their very nature, intensely off-line, local, and personal. For example, a hairdressing business will struggle to cut hair over the Internet! The best place to start is with what I call ‘goal definition.’ Our goal, in this context, defines a successful outcome from someone visiting your website and is expressed using a verb and a noun.

Examples of possible goals include:
1. Download a brochure
2. Sign up for newsletter
3. Subscribe to a mailing list
4. Request a product sample
5. Book a sales consultation
6. Purchase a product
7. Book a service

Users can be grouped into four areas of the marketing and sales funnel process familiar to traditional marketers: a suspect, a prospect, a lead, and the sale. Suspects are those who may have a passive need for your product and service. A suspect becomes a prospect once they have expressed an active interest in what you are offering. A lead is a prospect who meets the criteria of someone who is ready to buy. A sale is closed when the lead becomes a customer and buys from you.

The goals in the list above really mark the progress of the user from one area of the funnel to another. Any searcher who finds and visits your site is a suspect. When they download a brochure they become a prospect. When they book a sales consultation they become a lead. When they purchase a product they become a sale. Simple enough?

As such, while a hairdressing business is unlikely to have ‘receive a haircut’ as an online goal, ‘book a haircut’ or ‘download example hairstyles’ might well be part of its overall proposition. The most successful online businesses design a series of customer journeys through their site, which take a user from interest to information to goal completion. Each journey begins with a landing page and ends with a so-called money page, where the user completes the goal. Each site may have several, often intersecting journeys.

Next, effective local search marketing requires understanding who your customers are and what they want. Segmenting your audience is a key part of any marketing or public relations strategy and make no mistake, search engine optimization is essentially a marketing and public relations activity.

Here are key questions to answer;
1. Are your customers local, national, or international? How might this change in the future? Is language a barrier to them doing business with you?
2. Are customers business-to-business (B2B), business to customer (B2C), or both? Do you need very different treatments for each segment? The answer to this is probably yes!
3. Do your customers vary by demographic? Are they mainly of one sex or age bracket? Do they sit in any particular socio-economic class?
4. Do your customers buy predominantly on price or on quality? Do you want to target upmarket users or appeal to the value end of the market?
5. Is time a factor for your customers? Do they need to buy quickly? Do they only tend to buy at a particular time of the day/week/year or at particular points in their life?

More questions could be added to this list but these require answering before ever partnering with a local search marketing agency.

Brian D. Dale
Local SEO Marketing Course HERE!
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