What Is Local Mapping?
Local mapping is a the process of establishing a location specific online presence. This is accomplished through a series of techniques including NAP listing citations, local search optimization, and geotargeting. Businesses exclusive to the Dallas – Fort Worth area must approach search engine optimization differently than national and global operations. Effective local mapping requires intuitive marketing strategies with precise attention to detail. At DFW SEO, our local mapping services include the following:
- Citation Sources: Claiming and optimizing NAP listings
- Geotargeting: Tailoring PPC and / or SEO campaigns towards a specific location
- Location Data: Business placement on Google Maps and other mapping services
- Reviews Management: Optimization of review profiles on Google My Business and Facebook
Most internet users in 2018 are browsing the web via mobile device, a tool they have access to 24/7. For local businesses in Dallas – Fort Worth, capturing the attention of mobile users is critical to online success. Through the use of location data found on smartphones, search engines can tailor results based on the location of the user. For this reason, mapping the precise location of your business facilitates accurate matching of target consumers and your services. To get started with local mapping for your DFW business, give us a call at 800.231.4871.
The most important citation source to local companies is Google My Business, which you can claim for free. After claiming your Google My Business page, you should optimize it with the following elements:
- Description: A detailed introduction of your company
- Hours: Listed hours of operation
- Logo and Photos: Company logo, and high quality images of your business
- NAP: Business name, address and phone number, accurate down to the suffix and street name
- Reviews: Generation and response to customer reviews
Each citation source undergoes a similar process. Ensuring NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency is one the most important aspects of local SEO. Aside from Google My Business, some of the most prominent business directories include; Yelp, Better Business Bureau (BBB), HomeAdvisor, among others. Depending on your industry, niche directories may exist for its specific discipline.
Both SEO and PPC campaigns can both target specific locations. With PPC, the process is fairly straightforward. Google AdWords, the world’s most popular pay per click platform, supports location targeted advertisements. The SEO process is more complex and requires knowledge of HTML:
- PPC: AdWords supported location ads
- SEO: Embedded HTML code
Businesses can spend advertising money more efficiently by targeting only users who have the potential to become paying customers. Knowledge of HTML coding allows web developers to embed location qualifiers that tweak content according to the user’s location. The experts at DFW SEO can handle each process on your behalf.
Mobile searchers operate in real-time. A company’s business location must be visible and accurate in order to attract local consumers. Businesses should take the following steps to ensure accessibility through digital location mapping:
- Contact Information: Both accurate and consistent throughout all online listing directories
- Google Maps: Follow these steps from Google to ensure that any location inaccuracies are corrected
Auditing NAP listings assures GPS data is serving its purpose. Location data matches local searchers with nearby businesses based on their distance and proximity. For this reason, inaccuracies can cause major problems for business owners. Failure to display to nearby consumers, costs you valuable conversion opportunities.
Several review platforms influence consumer decisions. Google and Facebook reviews, in particular, are known to impact a user’s decision making process. Pointing customers to the correct platforms is necessary, but encouraging them to take the time to write out a review can be more challenging. You should never offer financial incentive in exchange for reviews. Instead, you should try these methods:
- Ask in Person: After conducting business with customers, ask them if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review of your performance
- Email Signature: Include direct links to your directory listing review pages in your email signature
- Website Links: Include those same links in the footer of your website, with icons that display the online review site logo
Blatant solicitation of reviews can incur a Google penalty. The goal of Google, Facebook, Yelp, and others is to create an ethical and legitimate community review system. This way, consumers can trust that testimonials are genuine in nature, rather than influenced by financial resources and allocation. Having a cordial relationship with your customers is far more valuable than fake reviews.
Internet Marketing for Your Local Business
After your DFW business is “mapped” you can begin to market services through various channels. On-page SEO helps companies generate relevant traffic to their website while structured data markup, and website design encourages that traffic to convert into paying customers. Social media is another outlet on which to connect with local customers. After all, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are social networks. Consider the following components to an effective local website::
- Call to Action: A phone number link in which users can access via mobile devices
- Local Keywords: Location specific terms and phrases
- Local Link Building: Links out to local authority sites, and hopefully earned inbound links
- Structured Data Markup: Make your website easy for search engines to understand with schema.org
Though a website is not the only source of lead generation, it shoiuld be the foundation of your local marketing campaign. The web address can be marketed on other channels including social media, business directories, and even offline materials like business cards. Brand development is another consideration in local search, as it’s easier to establish an identity locally than it is nationally.
Why Local Mapping is Important to Search Optimization
Websites are ranked based on various factors, some of which are unknown. Performance metrics such as click through rate and bounce rate are indicative of website performance, and instruct Google where to place corresponding pages on search engine results pages (SERPs). Google’s mission statement illustrates their allegiance to search engine users, and Dallas – Fort Worth businesses must understand the philosophy. Enhancing user experience through convenience, and presentation encourages greater local search visibility, and consequently, more conversions.
Business owners in Dallas / Fort Worth should consider the implications of a local online presence. Not only can it produce leads in the short-term, but it can also facilitate long-term sustainable lead generation. DFW SEO is an industry leader in local SEO and mapping. We put your business in the best position to succeed. Our company has been working with local businesses for years, and understands the nuances of marketing a small business. Call 800.231.4871 to get started with local mapping services in the DFW Metroplex.