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In your bid to learning how to maximize your online presence, local SEO might have come up in your research. This digital marketing strategy element is generally included in marketing efforts for businesses that have a physical presence.

For instance, local mom-and-pop shops and eateries, clinics, lawyers, grocers, and service providers such as plumbers, photographers, contractors, and others can use local SEO to influence buying behaviors of localized audiences.

That what conventional local SEO is used for as most of these businesses have some form of a street address. The goal here is to access potential customers on an online platform to promote the business’s brick-and-mortar location.

Google provides a Business listing feature that has an algorithm that is critical in localizing SEO and giving the business more visibility online.

But Google’s location-based SEO opportunities are limited.

Yes, local SEO for businesses without physical locations or a street address for headquarters does exist. The trick is to first identify the business model category your non-brick-and-mortar company falls into. This is because not having a physical doesn’t always mean that the business is completely virtual.

Find your business category

Here are the four main types of categories your online business may fall under:

Service Area Businesses or SABs

Service area businesses include companies that provide their services at the customer’s location or address. Electricians, housekeepers or cleaners, contractors, plumbers, painters, etc. come under the SAB category.

These businesses might not have an official office address, but they do face their customers, unlike virtual or online businesses. Local SEO is based on the location or area they provide their services in.

Home-Based Companies

If you work from home but still meet people face to face either at home or at the client’s location, you fall under this category. For example, a yoga instructor that has classes at his home or a nanny that goes to the client’s home to take care of the children.

Hybrid businesses such as a tutor that teaches high schoolers at her home on the weekends and goes to a few students’ homes during the week will also be considered a home-based business.

The common thread among the three examples is a face-to-face interaction between you and the client. If you work from home but don’t meet clients in-person, you are a

Virtual Business

The Dollar Shave Club and Scopic Software are two examples of thriving businesses that operate remotely. While these are not geographically limited, there are other virtual businesses that provide e-commerce or digital service in a particular region.

These are the types of businesses that we’re talking about today.

Purveyors of digital offerings and e-commerce players without storefronts often struggle when it comes to competing with local brands that do have storefronts as paid SEO works better for the latter.

This is mainly because of the lack of a location, you can’t benefit from Google’s My Business listing. Local businesses that are listed get a bump with location-based SEO with hyper-targeted ads.

Despite that, you can compete on organic rankings. You can build page authority by optimizing the content you share on social media, your website, and listings other than Google My Business.

You have to first optimize your organic content to then localize specifics for the cities or regions your business target.

The way digital markets experts suggest doing that is by building landing pages with localized information and using long-tail keywords with the location as a prefix. For example, emergency plumbing services in Austin, Texas, and emergency plumbing services in San Antonio.

Each landing page will be similar to your website’s homepage or main service page but the title and meta-details will include the location you’re trying to target. Some other tips that may come in handy include the following:

  • In your effort to compete using local SEO, don’t use fake locations or create local listings with understaffed virtual offices – this will be quite against everything that business ethics teach us;
  • Similarly, don’t use family or staff members’ home addresses to create multiple locations;
  • Be realistic about competing with local businesses that do have a brick-and-mortar presence. Google’s algorithm can be a little tricky when it comes to ranking such businesses. Informed expectations will help you build realistic goals when you’re trying to use local SEO in your digital marketing strategy.

Mind you, building visibility and topping rank listing just with landing pages and long-tail keyword optimization is not an easy task. It requires digital marketing prowess and familiarity with how Google’s algorithm works for local businesses.

Business Marketing Solutions Group is a digital marketing agency that has built its expertise and proficiency in all aspects of digital marketing. Our marketers have mastered the art of developing strategies based on unique client requirements.

In addition, their expertise and consult may be pivotal in helping you find an alternative to local SEO. With a wide range of strategies and tools at their disposal, PPC, video marketing, content restructuring, and other tactics may be able to rake in more profitable returns for your businesses than local SEO.

With 2021 already in motion, the dynamics around local marketing for businesses without physical locations are bound to change. The onus will be on search engines to introduce features that reflect incoming changes that put local businesses on a more equal competition field.

Until then, Business Marketing Solutions Group can help you develop a holistic digital marketing strategy that works for you. Contact us today to find solutions that earn you marketing wins.

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