The rapid rise in Internet use across the globe means that having a digital presence for marketing purposes has become essential. One of the core elements of digital marketing is the effective use of SEO. Building a strong local presence through SEO techniques has become as complicated as it is vital in recent years however. Here are several key SEO techniques you should not forget that will help improve your local marketing strategies in 2016.

Make Local Places Pages

The first and perhaps most important step when it comes to using SEO for your marketing needs is to ensure you have a local business page. You should have different listings for all three major search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Essentially, you must set up an account with your business information including such things as location, phone numbers and email address. It's also a good idea to use high quality customer relationship management software to interact with potential customers and enhance your online presence.

Improve, Enhance and Optimize Pages

One of the next steps you should take to improve your SEO effectiveness is to start categorizing your business. Search engines give you a chance to place your company into several categories that will help people see what your business does Categorizing your local business helps the search engine decipher what your business is about and it then starts displaying your website in more relevant search results.

High Quality Photos

An easy yet effective local marketing strategy is posting high quality photos. When people search for local businesses, one of the most important things they want to see after content is quality photos.

Upload photos of your business, the building (both inside and outside) and, most importantly, images of the products or services you provide. For instance, if your business sells smoothies, you'll want to post pictures of the different cup sizes, the beverages, the seating area and even the menu. To add photos, all you have to do is visit the local listing and click on Add Photos.

In The Numbers

Many search engines, including Google, take the number of reviews as an important factor when judging what a site's ranking should be. The greater the number of reviews, the greater your potential ranking in the relevant search results.

Getting more reviews is easy and can be done in a number of different ways. You can write reviews yourself, but that's generally frowned upon. Ideally you'll have made a big enough impression in your market that customers will leave feedback without your help.

Reviews Build Trust

The type of feedback makes all the difference. A recent Nielsen report indicated that 92 percent of people say they trust the company recommendations of their family and friends. The second most reputable source of brand information came in the form of online reviews. That's why it's always important to ask your customers to not only tell their friends and family about your product, but also give your company an online review. I've seen some companies offer a bonus product to customers if they leave a review.

Once again, this is where a customer relationship management software approach can come in most handy. This type of software facilitates conversations with disappointed buyers so they get strong customer service. As a result, you're given an opportunity to work things out with customers before they permanently publish their feelings on the Internet. Needless to say, everyone would love to have a second chance to make a first impression, most especially when the good name of your company is at stake.

One final thought: You can also place a review button on your site for people to leave feedback. You could even delay the publication of the comments pending your review of the statements. Again, this gives you a chance to get in front of any potential negativity surrounding your company. The important thing is to use every opportunity to learn more about your company and how it is being received by the public.

Published on: Jan 20, 2016