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How to Effectively Optimize Your Website for Local Search

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Local SEO Guide: How to Effectively Optimize Your Website for Local Search


Whether your business operates entirely online, entirely through in-store sales, or some combination of the two, getting the word out about your product or service will come down largely to how well you are able to rank in web searches.

In the digital age, ranking highly on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for search terms that are relevant to your business is one of the main ways that new customers will find you. As a result of this, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an essential component of any business’s marketing strategy.

While large brands and businesses with a global presence might compete for the top spot on the web’s most popular SERPs, for smaller, local businesses, a different approach is needed.

If you want to drive local traffic to your website, you don’t just need SEO, you need local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO refers to the process of optimizing content for specifically localized search terms.

What exactly is meant by “local” will of course vary from case to case. At the very least, it will designate a specific country, targeting searches like “what is .ae domain?”—a query that is likely to be made by people with at least some interest in the United Arab Emirates and AE registration, for instance.

But country level SEO can still cover an awful lot of search territory, especially for larger countries. At the city or town level, a local SEO strategy might target queries like “electrician in New York” or “best croissant in Paris”, in order to attract the people who are looking for something in a specific geographic location.

Local SEO is important for any business whose sales depend on proximity to their customers. The obvious example is bricks-and-mortar businesses that sell physical products. Unlike some online businesses, these types of companies need a local SEO strategy because their customers have to be in the vicinity in order to make a purchase.

This article will explore four main ways you can increase your online visibility to people in your immediate area.

1. Citation Building and Local Links

Citation building is all about ensuring that your business information is correctly listed in all the relevant directories for your area.

Local links are links from websites that have a connection to the area you do business in.

Sources of citations and local links include local guides, community groups and forums, travel guides, business directories, and local press websites.

2. Optimizing for Maps

Because so many web searches these days are made from mobile devices, search engines have become adept at using geolocation data to deliver more relevant, local results.

SEO for maps involves optimizing for results in line with the regimes of contemporary search engines’ GPS systems.

3. Localized Search Terms

Localized search terms refer to searches that specify a location. When people make location-specific searches, the traditional factors for SEO—keywords and backlinks—still reign supreme, taking priority over the location of the device from which the search is made.

Targeting localized search terms should be an integral part of any local SEO campaign and is far more effective than many generic, non-local SEO tactics. For example, while the average ecommerce conversion rate sits at around 2–2.5%, this figure is often significantly higher for leads generated through highly specific search terms.

4. Third-Party Mentions

Getting mentions in local guides and media is an often overlooked aspect of local SEO. Sometimes, such guides don’t even link to your website, leaving prospective customers still a search away from your landing page and meaning you might never know where your traffic is actually coming from.

But that doesn’t mean that third-party media mentions don’t fall under the rubric of SEO. You can still optimize for such mentions, but the success of this tactic is harder to measure due to the indirect route by which it generates interest in your business.

Now let’s look at how you can excel in each area.

How to build Citations and Local Links

Citations are great because you can get your company’s information somewhere where people with an interest in the local area are likely to be browsing. You get to place a link to your website for free on authoritative websites and will likely generate some relevant traffic.

The basic idea behind citation building is to get your business’ name out there on as many sources as possible for maximum digital visibility. Citation building is an ongoing process. It requires that you maintain a list of key directories and regularly check them to ensure that your business is listed and your website is linked to.

You should also make sure all of the details are correct and up-to-date. This might not necessarily fall under the banner of SEO, but having things like opening times correctly publicized can help increase footfall to your business.

As well as directory-style websites, there are other hyperlocal sources of links. Links from smaller, community-oriented websites may not be considered a big prize in the global SEO game. For local businesses for whom in-store purchases make up a large part of their revenue, though, these links can be valuable. Even local Facebook groups and community forums can be a good source of local links.

Make sure you prioritize citation and local link building in your business strategy. If you use one, a cloud or on premise ERP can help you to do this in the most cost-effective way.

Optimizing for Maps

A related but distinct process to citation building, optimizing for maps forms another essential component of local SEO for businesses that are tied to a specific location.

Google uses GPS location data combined with its maps platform in order to show people search results that are relevant not just to what they’re searching for, but to where they are too. This is exactly what happens when you search things like “library near me”. Google uses your location at that time to locate the closest libraries.

Making sure you’re visible on digital maps can therefore help your business to appear in local search results, even if geographically specific terms are not included in the search.

To optimize for location-based search results on Google, make sure you claim your Google My Business profile. While Google will automatically create a profile for your business and fill it in with the available information, this is not always comprehensive and accurate.

Considering that Google prioritizes this listing among search results, taking ownership of your own profile is not only important for SEO, but also gives you far greater control over the information people see when they do find you in the SERPs.

3 Steps to Optimize for Local Search Terms

Optimizing for local search terms is the subdiscipline of local SEO that borrows most from classical SEO tactics, with an emphasis on keyword research and placement.

The three steps below outline how to optimize for local search terms by researching, narrowing down, and applying relevant local keywords and phrases.

1. Keyword Research

Modern marketers know that incorporating the right keywords into their content is an essential component of an effective content marketing strategy. In this respect, local SEO starts in much the same way as other forms of SEO—by researching a list of keywords that are relevant to your business.

Follow keyword research best practice by starting with common-sense keywords that describe your main business focus, and then using a keyword explorer tool to extend your list.

2. Keyword Localization

In legacy SEO, after creating your initial keyword list, the next step is to whittle it down to a smaller list of more specific phrases with lower search volumes that you will choose to target.

For local SEO, the process is much the same only in the whittling-down stage, you want to place an emphasis on geographically specific keywords. As well as highlighting these in your initial list, you can also add extra localized phrases by amending search phrases with “in location X” to make them more relevant.

3. Optimization for Search

Once you,ve compiled a list of localized keywords and phrases you wish to optimize for, the final step is to use them in your content. This can include website copy, blogs, social media posts, videos, and articles in local publications.

Earning Media Mentions

Getting mentioned in local media is an important part of local SEO that doesn’t necessarily rely on building links. Although it’s often possible to kill two birds with one stone by earning a media mention that also links to your website, even mentions that aren’t combined with a link can increase your search engine visibility and be a boost to your business.

Cultivating relationships with local press is a great way to get third-party mentions. Remember to target websites that cater to locals and those that are aimed at visitors to the area.

Mentions in top-ten style listicles are a great way to appear at the top of people’s search results that don’t necessarily result in a direct link. For example, the aforementioned search for “best croissant in Paris” returns pages of just such features rather than the website of any particular baker making the claim.

If you’re struggling to get local press coverage, try sending media organizations some pre-made materials. These could include discounts and product recommendations for maximum effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

If enterprise-level SEO can occasionally get away with focusing on traffic volume without much thought for traffic quality, the same is not true for local SEO.

Returning to the domain name search discussed at the beginning of this post, consider that most people searching “what is .ai domain” have little interest in the small Caribbean island of Anguilla, but may well be researching websites that focus on AI.

Avoid confusion and the wrong kind of traffic by focusing on unambiguous, low search volume keywords, and targeted local links and mentions.

With the advice in this guide, you should now know all about local SEO and how to implement it. Now all that’s left is to do it. What’s stopping you?



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ActionIQ rebrands and launches CX Hub

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ActionIQ rebrands and launches CX Hub


Enterprise customer data platform ActionIQ has announced the launch of a new product, CX Hub. The company has also rebranded as AIQ. The CX Hub is designed as a set of modules offering self-service access to customer data, allowing users to build audiences and orchestrate experiences at scale.

After eight years of growth as a CDP serving B2C, media and other sectors, the changes represent a “new approach to our product and brand,” said CEO and co-founder Tasso Argyros in a release. The modular framework will ingest data from any source, integrate with any activation channel, and also allow components to be used with a third-party CDP.

The modules. CX Hub is comprised of four solutions:

  • Customer data platform.
  • Audience center.
  • Journey management.
  • Real-time CX.

The Hub is also designed to be accessible to business users with a friendly UI and extensive automation capabilities.


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Why we care. This is a significant development in the CDP space — a space that has been transforming rapidly, with many of the early established CDPs being acquired and ingested by more extensive suites such as digital experience platforms.

ActionIQ, one of the leading B2C CDPs, is now describing itself as “the leading CX solution.” It seems to be future-proofing itself by extending its capabilities across orchestration and execution channels, not by acquiring or building those solutions, but by seeking to provide modular integration between its (or a third-party’s) customer data management tool and orchestration and execution channels.

Sometimes we wonder how many independent, traditional CDPs will be left standing a year from now.

Read next: Deep changes in the CDP space


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update


Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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Are you still using spreadsheets to manage your work? Take our poll

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Are you still using spreadsheets to manage your work? Take our poll


Earlier this year, revenue orchestration platform LeanData released a report suggesting that lead management remains a “heavily manual” process. Based on a survey of more than 1,700 sales, marketing and operations professionals, the results showed that, despite all the talk of digital transformation, the number two challenge for revenue teams was too many manual processes and not enough automation (the number one challenge was insufficient pipeline).

LeanData, which partnered with Sales Hacker, Outreach and Heinz Marketing in conducting the survey, is interested in that result, of course, because lead management is precisely the process they offer to automate. We were struck by the contrast with Scott Brinker’s recent statement that we are arriving at a post-digital-transformation era: “(C)ompanies are no longer planning to become ‘digital.’ They are digital.”

And then we got the results of our 2022 MarTech Career and Salary Survey. Among the surprising nuggets to be mined from our findings was that 77% of respondents identify spreadsheets as the tool they spend most time (10 or more hours a week) working with. That doesn’t mean that spreadsheets are a marketer’s most important tool, but it does suggest that manual processes remain a key part of daily life for marketing managers and staff.

We wanted to extend the opportunity to all our readers — B2B, B2C, agencies — to give us a reality check on spreadsheet use. MarTech is marketing, we like to say, and certainly today’s marketing is fundamentally data-driven and digital. But is it too soon to say that marketers are working in a digital and largely automated environment?

Download the 2022 MarTech Career and Salary Survey here


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About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.



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