When you run a local business, you’re always looking for ways to branch out and reach more potential leads. At the same time, you may struggle with balancing the everyday demands of running your business with focusing on your local advertising, marketing, and growth.
At the end of the day, much of your company’s local success boils down to your digital footprint. How prospective customers and clients see your business online (especially in a local setting) can influence whether they do business with you or a competitor. By having a better understanding of what makes up your brand’s digital footprint and why it matters, you can begin taking steps to improve your digital footprint using some simple local search optimization tips and strategies.
And of course, our team at Surefire Local is here to help every step of the way.
What is Your Digital Footprint?
Generally speaking, your digital footprint refers to your brand’s online presence. This includes your overall branding (such as your business name, logo, reputation, and awards) as well as any online platforms that you may be a part of. Your business website, social media accounts, review pages, local listings, and ads all fall into this category.
Likewise, the content that your business puts out is part of your digital footprint as well. All those blog posts, social media posts, photos, and videos can make up a significant part of your brand’s online presence and overall digital footprint.
Why does your digital footprint matter, anyway? For starters, consider the fact that even as a local brand, your customers are still primarily using the web to find you and learn more about you. With this in mind, you could be missing out on valuable business if you don’t have a strong digital footprint. Meanwhile, many aspects of your digital footprint can also affect your local search engine optimization, which can directly impact how easy it is for your prospective customers to find you.
If you’ve never taken the time to audit your brand’s digital footprint—or if it’s been a while—now is a great time to assess your overall brand, online listings, and content to make sure it’s fully optimized.
5 Small Changes That Make a Big Impact on Your Digital Footprint
Looking for some local search optimization tips to improve your company’s digital footprint? There are a few simple and practical yet effective strategies worth pursuing.
1. Use Google My Business
First and foremost, if you don’t already have a Google My Business account, you need to create one. This is by far one of the easiest steps you can take to boost your digital presence, especially on a local level. In fact, studies have shown that a business with a Google My Business listing is about 70% more likely to be visited by a customer than a business without such a listing.
Specifically, Google My Business essentially acts as a digital “Yellow Pages” directory, making it easier for potential clients/customers to discover your business when they search locally. It doesn’t cost a thing to set up an account on Google My Business, and the only thing you need to get started is a physical address for your place of business.
Once you’ve created your free account, you can begin building your profile and providing potential customers with even more information about your business. In general, you should keep your Google My Business account updated with new offers/promotions as they become available, special events, and general information about your business and the services/products that it has to offer.
2. Add Appointment Links
In addition to adding general information to your Google My Business listing, you should also take advantage of a convenient feature that allows you to add an appointment link directly to your listing. This is a great way to make it as easy as possible for potential customers and clients to get in touch with you without even having to leave your profile.
Adding an “appointment” link also demonstrates that your business likes to keep its communication lines open, which can build your brand’s reputation even further.
3. Incorporate Google Local Service Ads
Refining your local advertising strategy can also go a long way when it comes to improving your digital footprint—and Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) make it easy to optimize your local advertising strategy. Specifically, Google has made LSAs available for service-based companies (including HVAC businesses, real estate agents, roofing companies, and the like); these ads work on a pay-per-lead basis, which means you only pay when people actually click on your ads and reach out to your business.
Overall, Google LSAs are a cost-effective way to get some great local leads while also improving your digital footprint. When you purchase an LSA for your business, it will show up right at the top of the search engine result page. Google also gives you the flexibility to customize your ad even further with specific parameters (such as target ZIP codes, cities, search terms, and the like).
4. Publish a “Services Area” Page
Does your business website currently have a “Services Area” or “Areas Served” page? If not, then you could be missing out on some valuable leads and hurting your local search engine optimization efforts in the process. Specifically, this page should outline and explain the services and/or products that your business has to offer and where you offer them. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to incorporate some local keywords and structured data (including the names of specific cities and neighborhoods) that can boost your search engine results.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to crafting an SEO-friendly services area page? It’s important to keep your writing as organic as possible, incorporating industry-specific terms and local keywords into your content naturally. This will not only improve your brand’s digital footprint, but will also increase your chances of ranking towards the top of the search engine results page for these terms.
Also, keep in mind that if you offer your services and/or products across several major cities, it’s never a bad idea to write separate service pages for each of them. Just try to avoid making the content too generic; you can do this by mentioning some specific and unique details about each city or neighborhood served.
5. Establish a Consistent Brand
Last but not least, make an effort to establish and maintain a strong and consistent brand across all of your online channels. This should include not just your business website and blog, but your social media pages (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter), Google My Business listing, and other online platforms as well.
Establishing a consistent brand/voice can be easier said than done. However, some tips to keep in mind here include:
- using the same high-quality logo on all pages
- creating a dedicated brand style guide
- getting team members on the same page
Why does brand consistency matter? Consider the fact that in one survey, it was estimated that companies with excellent brand consistency were 3-4 times more likely to have increased brand visibility than companies that struggled with consistency. And of course, a more uniform online presence boosts your brand’s digital footprint by making your company’s content more easily recognizable and relatable.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
These are just a few of the most effective local search optimization tips to take your brand’s digital footprint to new heights. If you’re looking for help incorporating any of these tips into your company’s action plan, Surefire Local can help.
At Surefire Local, we specialize in helping businesses just like yours gain an average of a 34% increase in local SEO traffic, as well as up to 82% more online reviews and an enhanced overall digital footprint. No matter how big or small your marketing budget may be, we’re here to help; in fact, our clients see up to a 385% return on their investment with our innovative marketing software that’s specifically tailored for local search optimization.Ready to find out more about Surefire Local and our software offerings? We encourage you to request a free demo of our local marketing software today, which will help you get a better feel for whether this platform is the right fit for your brand. Request your free demo online at your convenience or reach out to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members to find out more about what we can do for you!