Customers have more control today than ever before. If they want or need something, they can simply pull up a search engine on their phone and search for what they want. Instantly, your customer gets business information that closely matches their search within seconds.
Investing in your online business visibility is no longer optional - it’s vital to your businesses survival.
What is Local SEO?
Have you ever logged on to Google and searched for “restaurants near me” or “plumber?” The results you see for searches such as those are the work of Google’s algorithm, which detects that you are looking for something located close by. This is local SEO in action.
Why Does My Business Need It?
Improving your local search presence is vital for your business, especially if your target buyer is locally based. The information that search engines provide quickly helps you find what you need or get to where you need to be.
Here are a few stats that a picture of why local SEO is so important:
- Google reported that 76% of people who perform a local search on their smartphone actually visit a business found in their search within 24 hours. Also, 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
- Google also reported that 30% of all searches are related to location.
- 61% of consumers said they conduct a local search every day.
- 82% of consumers read the reviews for a business before making a decision
- 86% of consumers rely on Google Maps to get them to a business location.
How Does Google Know When To Show My Business?
When you type in a search such as “grocery store,” Google will serve you with results close to your location. To do this, Google’s algorithm looks at three factors of your business: relevance, prominence, and distance. Google scans the web for these three things based on the information you provide on your website, Google Business Profile, business listings and more.
If your information is incomplete or doesn’t exist, your business will not show up (or may not show up on the first page of results).
6 Ways To Improve Your Local Search Presence
There are many ways to start improving and be successful in local SEO, starting today.
1. Claim And Complete Your Google Business Profile
If you don’t have a Google Business Profile or haven’t claimed yours, you miss out on a free opportunity to get your business information in front of your target audience. A Google Business Profile is a highlighted listing that appears to the right of your search results.
This listing includes a link to your website, your business address and phone number, a listing of services and products, and more without the user leaving the Google Search page. It’s essentially your second website!
2. Get Involved
Sponsor, volunteer or donate your time to local charities and organizations. As you are contributing, the organization may add links to your website to their own website and social media to thank you for helping out! Community involvement is also an excellent opportunity for brand awareness in your area.
3. Be Accessible
Make your contact information (name, address and phone number) visible and quickly found. Your contact information should be located on your website footer and your contact page. It should also be the same across the web - so make sure what’s on your site matches your social channels and Google Business Profile. Which leads us to our next point…
4. Audit Local Citations
Any variances in your name, address and phone number across the web will decrease the search engine’s understanding of your location and business. To eliminate the confusion, scan any lingering listings for previous ownership at your location and be sure all listings are consistent in that information.
5. Website Keyword Optimization
Is your website crystal clear on what you do and how you do it? For search engines to bring up your business information, the algorithm needs to have a clear understanding of your business to evaluate relevance to the user’s search.
Incorporating keywords throughout your site’s content helps ensure the search engines understand what your site is all about and how it can match with a searcher’s intent.
6. Ask For and Respond to Reviews
Reviews are powerful. Asking your customers to leave a review on platforms like Google Business Profile, Facebook and various review boards gives potential customers an idea of what it’s like to do business with you. You also boost your local SEO if you respond to your positive and negative reviews quickly and professionally.
Marketing Essentials Can Help With Your Local Search Presence
Need help with your local SEO? Check out our SEO page to hear from our SEO expert on how we can help you.