Local Search Engine Optimization Tips
With four out of five consumers use search engines to find local business information, if your business is difficult to find, you’re missing out on 80% of your potential customers. SEO, or search engine optimization, can help you move your business to the forefront of searches, generating new leads. The world of search engine optimization can be complicated, but there are things you can do to up your local SEO.
Get a Google My Business Page
With Google My Business, your brick and mortar store’s details will be listed and easily accessible for anyone to find. All your pertinent information like address, working hours, days open, phone number, and website are listed. To use this properly, ensure that your business is in the proper category or categories that reflect what your company does. Make sure your information is up-to-date and is consistently updated to reflect any changes. Shane Barker, founder of Shane Barker digital marketing services says, “The whole point of ‘being useful in the moment,’ is having current opening times, latest promotional offerings, accessibility, and all current contact details. Think about how big ‘near me’ searches are and why the freshness of data is critical when people need help ‘right now.’”
If you combine this with posting within Google My Business, it will boost your searchability. Also, have customers post reviews there, especially with a specified city or area, and it will increase your organic reach.
Create Outside Opportunities to Get Customers In
It’s time to NAP. Sadly, not actually going to sleep, but making sure your business Name, Address, and Phone number are consistent in all places on the web. Search engines use the number of times these items show up as an indicator of importance. Make sure that information is correct and consistent. However, if “John’s Business” is listed as “Johns Biz,” “John’s Busyness” and “Johnny’s Cool Business” on different directories across the internet; Google and other search engines read them all as separate companies. The same goes for your website address.
To create other inbound links, don’t be afraid to get creative. If you have partnerships or sponsorships, make sure they link to your website. Guest blogging on sites will make readers aware of you and your business and also have a link back to your website.
Another simple and cost-effective way to increase traffic is to engage in social media. Aside from helping with branding and customer service of your business, it also boosts your ranking in search engines.
Optimize Your Website
Your website plays a crucial role in local searches. Website loading speed is taken into account when Google is running a search, so make sure there is nothing that is lagging your site. Another factor that plays into ranking is whether your website is mobile ready. Over 51% of users have discovered a new business or product while searching on their phone, so it helps your ranking and your business. Other things that will help Google find your website easier and put you higher on search pages is embedding Google maps on your site. Customers will more easily find your brick and mortar building, and internet searches will rank you higher.
Also, when creating titles for pages on your site, use unique ones for each page that include the keyword(s). Keep it less than 60 characters so that Google will display it correctly.
Optimize Your Content
The content you create on your website can be a considerable asset in search engines finding you. Like with the page titles, keywords play an important role in content those pages. Make sure each page has unique information and follows the theme of that page. Use hyperlocal keywords and references, but keep in mind you are writing for people, not algorithms.
Blogging is also a great way to keep fresh content on your website and local searches finding your business. Volunteer locally and blog about it, talk about attractions in your area, discuss neighborhoods, or write about local news. It will engage your customers and land you higher in the search ranks.
Encourage your customers to review you on Google, social media, and any other popular sites your customers may use. If you are having trouble getting reviews, create contests, or offer specials to those who review you.
Because people are visiting and talking about your business online, more genuine reviews mean search engines see more customer engagement, which leads to higher search engine ranking. A.J. Ghergich, Founder of Ghergich & Co., says, “What I love about focusing on review platforms is that even if your website rankings tanked, you could still dominate your market by owning the narrative on review platforms.”
Your rankings on search engines will not increase immediately. These things take time. However, by using these tips, you will notice a gradual increase in customer traffic and potential sales.