No pressure, but approximately 80% of your customers continue to rely on local search to find the information they need and determine what services and goods they’re going to purchase.
Who will they find first – you, or one of your competitors?
Search engines like Google turn to a number of different sources to gather data for local search. (Local search is any online search aimed at finding businesses or services within a specific geographic area.) These sources include content, citations, links, profile pages, and more – which are aggregated and filtered for relevancy for potential customers searching for companies like yours.
If your company is not yet local SEO-savvy, here are three things you can (and should) do:
Get the Hang of Google My Business
You want to make a good impression with Google. It’s just that simple. If Google can support and verify your business, it is significantly more likely to give you a prime first page position. You might even land a slot in the highly sought-after sidebar.
Google My Business is the site’s proprietary tool that separates the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. To make good on that front, first create and verify your Google My Business page. Then dig in and make sure everything is up-to-date, accurate, and optimized.
Encourage your customers to submit reviews. Respond to all reviews in a professional, polite, and geographically specific manner. For example, when you thank a customer for their feedback, make sure to reference the exact service that was offered and the city and state in which it was fulfilled.
You should also share your Google My Business page on social media platforms, and create posts on Google, as well.
Update Your Website
Making updates to your website does not have to be a colossal chore. Consider these easy-to-make improvements to boost your SEO ranking.
- Incorporate internal links: Linking to another page or resource on your site not only boosts your SEO ranking, but it also helps users to navigate your website; establishes information hierarchy for your website; and distributes ranking power among your pages.
- Optimize content for search engines: Each time you write a new piece of content for your site – be it page content or a blog – optimize it for search engines. Be sure to use keywords with high search volume and include them in the fields for URL, title, header, meta description, and more. Post case studies to be more geo-targeted.
- Use location pages: Businesses with more than one real-world location should include pages for each on their website. This provides users access to your name, address, and phone number (NAP), as well as store hours, directions, testimonials, and more.
- Include local content: Zero in on your geographic area, and provide users with information that is attractive to a local audience. News, educational content, helpful resources, and more can help your business provide added value.
- Be mobile-friendly: Mobile devices are the preferred means of search for the majority of the population, with a whopping 90% of smartphone users relying on their devices to find what they need. Your website should cater to them, and make navigation as easy as possible.
Some Other Things to Consider
- Make it easy for search engines to find your site by including your NAP as crawlable HTML text in the header or the footer. Avoid posting this information as a static image.
- Ensure that your citation listings are consistent across all platforms. Misspellings, incorrect phone numbers, abbreviations, and more, can sink your business in search results.
- Increase your domain authority with inbound links. Sponsorships, scholarship outreach, and guest blogs are a great way to obtain them, or reach out to partners and associates and ask if they can list you on their directory.
Refining local search is an ongoing process that grows and changes with your business and your customers’ needs. The intricacies of top-notch SEO can be tricky to master. Don’t go it alone if you don’t have to. Consider outsourcing these tasks. IMPACT Marketing & PR specializes in SEO best practices and can help your business claim those top slots on the Search Engine Results Page. Call us today to discuss your needs.