Shoppers prefer to buy goods and services from local merchants. And If you own a service or retail business, you’ll want to rank high in the area where your business is in.
Local shoppers can easily find your website if it uses local SEO best practices.
Mobile search technology has made local SEO even more important. Particularly because of the local searches in Google for “products / services near me”.
A poor local SEO strategy weakens your business online visibility to potential customers / clients who look for your goods and services.
You want your business to be on the top of the ranks when local customers search for relevant keywords that find you.
It doesn’t happen overnight but these five changes to your local SEO strategy can get you started in the right direction.
Google has a place to create pages specifically for your business using Google My Business.
Why is this important?
If you look at search results for “electrician near me” you’ll see a map at the top of the search results, along with relevant information for local electrician listed below. The listings aren’t websites, they’re are Google My Business profiles.
You need to have a Google My Business profile, or your business will not rank high in Google when prospects search for you.
People are searching for goods and services on their mobile devices, often while out and Google sends back local results.
For example, if you need a nearby electrician, you might search “electrician near 92879.” Or if you are looking for a shoe store, then you may search for “shoe store in Riverside, CA.”
Google’s ranks the most relevant websites high in the results.
If you have multiple locations, create a page for each location. Being more relevant, Google will likely rank them high in the search results.
Google gives higher search ranking to businesses that get reviews. Most prospective customers now want to see reviews before going out to a business. You’re more likely to buy from a business that’s been reviewed.
The best approach to getting reviews is to create a system for requesting feedback and ask every happy customer for an online review. Not all will do it, but as you get more and more reviews, your rankings will improve.
A citation is simply a mention of your name, address and phone number and Google uses citations in their local search engine algorithm.
You’ll need a lot of citations to rank high in Google’s local results. You must create accounts in business directories and list your business information in them. This will help you gain Google’s trust and get you higher rankings.
To see your citations, use the Moz Local tool. It’ll list any important citations you’re missing, as well as highlight duplicates and/or inconsistent information across existing citations. Start by fixing all the problems listed in this tool. Then build more citations to boost your rankings.
Social media is important in your strategy. Even though Google remains the most popular search engine, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube have become a major sources of information for many of your customers.
Research on local SEO ranking factors suggests that Google also uses social media activity to rank businesses.
Whether or not Google uses social media in their algorithm, social media marketing can get your business in front of your target audience.
Social media reaches all age brackets, all income levels and all areas.
It’s not whether or not your customers are using social media. The question is, are you using it to effectively get in front your customers?