Do you remember the saying, “Think globally; act locally?” It was popular back in the early 2000s, although it was originally suggested by a Scottish planner named Patrick Geddes back in 1915. The original intention was to, “urge people to consider the health of the entire planet and to take action in their own communities and cities.”

I’d argue that each of us spent a lot of time doing exactly this during the majority of 2020, as the health effects of the global pandemic encouraged us to take action in our businesses and with our customers to protect their health and well-being.

As we (hopefully) move to the other side of this thing, there will be some long-lasting effects of our thought process on how we determine the best ways to make our employees and customers feel comfortable in a post-COVID-19 world.

Also, as we plan our early spring marketing efforts, we need a much broader local focus as well.

As I mentioned in my last article, effective digital marketing will be the key to the overall success of your marketing efforts for 2021, and it begins with a focus on local search.

SEM Rush, a large provider in this space, defines Local SEO as the, “process of optimizing a business, product, or service for a search query that is location-specific. Google (and other search engines) uses a user’s location based on IP address (for desktop) and geolocation (for mobile) to determine what results to show the user.”

Long story short, when someone performs a search for what products and services you, or your competitors, offer, search engines will first display local businesses relevant to their location. While as late as 2018 over 80% of shoppers began their product or service research online, you can bet that number has now moved much closer to 100%.

Understand—this is about people that don’t know about you or your business but are in the market for your products and services.

There are three main opportunities for businesses to optimize for local search success:

Paid search (pay per click ads);

Organic search (website and/or landing pages); and

Local Pack (Google My Business).

Over the course of my next few articles, we’ll take a deeper dive into each of these ideas, including things that you can do on your own and things you may want to consider using an outside source to accomplish.

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