Local search engine optimisation for the B2C segment is a matter of course; but for B2B, many enterprises don’t really rely on this measure to win new customers. Why companies are wasting this potential by not leveraging local SEO is explained by Uli Zimmermann. Founder and Managing Director of the online marketing agency eMinded GmbH, based in Munich, Germany, Uli Zimmermann advises B2B customers of all company sizes on the topic of search engine optimisation and other areas of marketing.
Mr Zimmermann, local search engine optimisation is recommended mainly for small retail businesses, as a way to grab the attention of passers-by. But this is hardly the case for the business customer area. Which B2B enterprises can profit from local SEO?
Generally speaking, it pays off for all B2B companies. Whereby service-oriented companies in the B2B segment profit particularly from local SEO, as these can generate new leads, too, through the local search engine optimisation. A good example of this is a solicitor who communicates his services to companies more than to end customers. The geographical location plays a role here. And also for other B2B service providers who want to position themselves in the region.
Moreover, local SEO is relevant for navigation purposes – and not just for service providers. If, for instance, a supplier wants to find the right warehouse in an industrial complex, the address only provides a rough orientation. A maintained local company profile provides much more precise information. And last but not least, local SEO naturally plays a role for recruiting new employees. After all, they should come from the region near the B2B company, find the location and gain a professional impression of the company thanks to a good Google My Business profile.
Uli Zimmermann, Founder and Managing Director of the online marketing agency eMinded GmbH
What role does it play that more and more search requests are taking place on mobile devices? Does this reinforce the relevance of local SEO for B2B too?
Definitely. If people are searching locally via smartphone, they are mostly doing this on Google Maps. And companies who don’t have a clear local profile won’t show up. Say you want to find out the phone number of a company. You will receive this directly in your mobile search from a well-maintained local company profile and won’t have to take the time to click through the company’s website.
What are the most important ranking factors for local SEO?
Enterprises can rank with Google Maps on the one hand, and in the Google results of an organic search on the other. To be visible on Google Maps, companies must have the respective geographical location and, above all, a completely filled-in Google My Business profile. Entries in other business directories, as well as reviews, also play a role.
In the organic SEO area, it is essential to locally align the on-page optimisation, in other words the content on the website and its sub-pages, the title tag as well as the meta description. Off-page optimisation such as well-linked regional pages are naturally also helpful.
Does it make sense to consider local SEO not for the company itself, but rather for events such as conferences or an own trade fair booth, for instance?
In such cases, it makes more sense to place local-oriented Google Ads which match up to the event. With the help of this tool, users can be led to the company’s own website. The relevance of such ads is normally high and the scatter loss low.
How can I as a B2B company get started with local SEO?
First, you must define your goal. Who should be addressed? What do you want to achieve? Depending on this, you either want to design your measures for Google Maps or the organic search. Regardless of which approach you use, you should always set up a Google My Business profile or optimise it. In the next steps, you can then perform on-page and off-page optimisation. Finally, you should animate existing customers to write up a positive online review for your company.
Do you have a real-life example as to how a B2B company profited from local SEO?
We have a B2B cleaning company as a client who came to us with a small customer base, a simple website and a neglected My Business profile. In this industry, a lot takes place in the local search. Thanks to extensive measures, this company appeared in the Top 3 both in organic searches as well as in the My Business profiles. The company gained an onslaught of jobs of all sizes and recorded strong growth numbers.