Online marketing campaign is not just about creating a business website. It also involves competing with millions of other sites for the top spot in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Given that, how can you develop an edge and stand out from your competitors?
Well, you need SEO.
Then again, several other Web experts say that you can increase the likelihood of ranking first by using social media.
So, which of these two is ideal?
Now, if you wish to obtain the best possible results, you need both. You can actually combine them to come up with social media optimisation (SMO) strategies. And since you are catering to a specific market, here are eight techniques for your local SMO.
1. Create various social media accounts
You can boost the possibility of appearing in local search results by having multiple channels online. So other than establishing a website, you need to sign up on leading networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Do not forget to claim a business listing on Google Places too. This way, your target consumers can find you on Maps, Google+ Local, and search results.
After knowing that, take note of the next tip.
2. Present a consistent brand
There are several ways to do this.
First, always put the same location and company name for all your social pages. Other than avoiding confusion among your possible customers (due to different addresses or trade name), it helps the spiders index your site easily.
Second, use a similar logo, colour scheme, and design. Remember that familiarity is one way to earn your customers trust and keep their loyalty.
Third, convey the same sales pitch using a unique voice or approach. The more you communicate with them through this, the more they will identify with your company and interact on your pages.
3. Join trending debates in your local community
There will always be hot and increasingly popular topics online. You do not necessarily have to initiate them, but it can be helpful to participate in discussions that bring up such matters or to mention these in your updates.
Why should you?
Simple, doing these things will get you noticed. As your brand appears consistently in top online communities, you will gain a reputation for being timely or up to date with the trends. Plus, if you provide insightful opinions and ideas on the subject, your followers will see you as a reliable entity in your field.
4. Blog about local issues
If you do not have a blog yet, now is the best time to set up one. And while you are thinking over a suitable design, ensure that the theme and layout relate to your business. Otherwise, the readers will consider it irrelevant, which in turn makes your blogging efforts fruitless.
When it comes to your articles, try to write about important topics within the community. Doing this lets you use targeted keywords, which increases the chances of ranking for location-based queries.
Lastly, make sure that blog domain is the same with your company name and fan page username.
5. Create a list of local search terms
Whenever you post an update on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, or share your latest success on Google+, never forget to incorporate related keywords.
But before that, you need to find out the phrases your customers will likely use in their searches. To do this, you can use Google tools like Insights for Search or Trends. You can also employ Local Keyword Research Tool, WordTracker, and 5Minutes.
Once you already have a considerable amount of terms, you can integrate these with geo-tags, which are generally location modifiers. Most of all, you can use geo-tagging on your social pages, especially when you are planning an event or stating your address.
This is an example.
6. Participate in Q&A forums
Websites like Yahoo Answers, Answers.com, Quora are trusted sites, where you can join in on the conversations of people with the common interests.
However, do not just participate in any topic. Choose a subject that is relevant to your niche or you have knowledge on. This way, you can present yourself as an authority in your industry and entice the other users to find out more about your company.
Additionally, you can take part in forums within your geographic location, so you can appear in local searches.
7. Post as a guest author on other blogs
Doing this helps boost your reputation as a credible entrepreneur and blogger. What is more, it can provide you with backlinks.
Again, make sure you choose those sites within your geo-target or niche.
8. Stay updated
It is important that you do not forget what social media is—conversation. It is the perfect medium for you to access the people in your industry, learn from them, and disseminate information about your enterprise.
Therefore, always take time to log in to your accounts and let your customer base know that you are interested in communicating with them.
Social media is about interaction and not just about pushing sales and traffic for your business website. By using it to promote your content and marketing strategies, you can benefit greatly. To top it off, you can achieve your SEO goals.
About the Author:
Jonny Lis is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Smart Traffic, a private company based in Bristol offering SEO services in Australia, UK, and other countries. Jonny oversees SEO strategies for Smart Traffic’s 300+ campaigns.