In real estate, there are three rules for success when selling a property: location, location, and location. Marketing on the internet isn’t that different. Location counts. Keep reading, and you’ll learn how your location impacts your internet marketing, how you can take better advantage of your location, and the most effective ways to reach the online visitors who are most likely to become your customers – the people closest to you.

Online consumers conduct more than 100 billion online searches each year, and today, location is a more important aspect of those searches than ever before. Why? Google, Bing, and other search engines assume that when someone is searching online for a business, product, or service, the searcher would prefer to find that business, product, or service locally. How can you help to make sure that the local business or professional practice that a visitor finds is yours?

Approximately 60 percent of the mobile users who search for a local business actually visit one of the businesses they find – the very same day – and a full 80 percent contact a local business at some point after conducting a local search. Over 90 percent of online consumers regularly conduct a search for a local business, so it’s imperative to make your location prominent on your homepage and to make sure all of the information about your location is accurate.

WHY WOULDN’T THE CLOSEST BUSINESS BE RANKED FIRST IN A SEARCH?

Local search engine optimization (local SEO) is online marketing that returns results to consumers based on the actual physical location of the consumer and his or her PC or mobile device at the time of the search. However, there are plenty of searches where the business closest to a consumer is not the first business listed in the search results. How does this happen, and how can local businesses improve their search engine rankings?

Let’s say you type the phrase “Italian restaurant” into a search engine like Google. A business named “Luigi’s Pizza Palace” may sit only a block away from you, but it’s not high in your search results. Why? It’s probably because the actual phrase “Italian restaurant” appears nowhere in the text on Luigi’s website. If you’re “Luigi,” you’ll need to revise that text.

While your physical location is primary, it’s not the only consideration of the search engines. Google also takes into account a company’s reviews, the company website’s popularity and quality, its links and backlinks, and the keywords embedded in the text. Websites should be updated – at least monthly – with some type of new content that includes keywords and details about the location.

WHAT MUST BE CONSIDERED TO IMPROVE A SEARCH ENGINE RANKING?

Even if you’ve peppered your website with plenty of accurate details about your location and plenty of key SEO terms, if you want to land high in the Google rankings, you also need to consider backlinks, review sites, and social media sites. Local reviews by local residents of your business or professional practice, for instance, can have a tremendous positive or negative impact.

An experienced and successful internet marketing company can manage any or all of your internet marketing and help you create a coordinated marketing campaign across the internet. Marketing help from internet marketing experts is something that every business and every professional should consider. The pros can see to it that your business or professional practice is everywhere it needs to be on the internet.

What else can you do to identify your business or professional practice with your location? Seek opportunities to speak locally, publish an op-ed in the local paper, or take part in a local charity event. Become acquainted with local reporters or with a nearby radio or TV station. Be the “expert” that local reporters routinely turn to. An internet marketing company will provide important help and insights, but they cannot know your community like you do.

The way consumers make online searches today is another element that you must consider. Voice searching is increasingly becoming the standard, and when consumers voice-search, instead of typing “Italian restaurant,” they tend to say things like “ask Google to find an Italian restaurant near me.” Any phrases you can use that include any of these words will be helpful.

HOW CAN YOU RETAIN THE COMPETITIVE EDGE?

The value of location is paramount, but several other considerations are equally essential if you’re going to win the local clients who are being targeted by your competition. Your website needs to be mobile-friendly because most searches for local products and services are now conduced on mobile devices. Your pages need to load quickly, almost instantly, and paragraphs need to be short. Use a “read more” or “continued here” link for lengthier pieces of content.

You must have quality backlinks, hyperlinks on other sites that link “back” to your website. Google considers the quality and quantity of your backlinks when it ranks your business or professional practice, so whenever you publish something or speak somewhere locally, or take part in a charity event, try to obtain a link on that organization’s website.

WHAT ARE SOME OTHER TIPS FOR ATTRACTING LOCAL CLIENTS?

Other tips for attracting local customers include adding a chat box to your website so that visitors can chat with a live operator; improving the “linking structure” of your site so that all pages are easily accessible; and engaging directly with clients or customers through social media sites, primarily Facebook and Twitter.

Even if you are located in a crowded urban setting where your competition is formidable, updating and revising your website – and all of your online marketing – to stress your location and local ties will help you appeal to local customers and attract a sizable percentage of the local online search traffic.

HOW CAN AN INTERNET MARKETING COMPANY HELP?

Professional internet marketing experts use advanced keyword research tools to identify the specific keywords and phrases that can put your business or professional practice higher in the search engine rankings. They can also help local businesses and professionals with website creation, social media presence, and reputation management. They can create the text, graphics, videos, and other tools you need to attract local consumers and boost your bottom line.

If you do nothing, your business certainly will not grow. But if you do any marketing on the internet, it pays to learn how to increase your local business and how to attract more local customers and clients. Consult a professional internet marketing company today about improving your search engine ranking, increasing your local visibility, and boosting that always-important bottom line.