Why Local Search Matters for Small Businesses?
Before we look into the best practices let’s talk about why Google map SEO is important for small businesses or local businesses. Let’s talk on facts:
- “56% of “on the go” searches have local intent” – Means people having mobile devices with active internet searching for local businesses on internet.
- “78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases” – are you getting all of this “buyer-ready” traffic or are your competitors?
So let’s break this down—there are a ton of people searching for local small businesses over the internet (like yours) and almost80% of the time those people are ready to buy your products or services…like right now! But for that your business must be listed and properly SEO must be done on it.
6 Local Tips for Small Business SEO Success
We all know that a key component of any small business’ marketing strategy is to effectively position its brand in top three search engine results (Google only shows top 3 map results best matching to the search).
There are effective ways which are simple to boost visibility for your business in search results,while simultaneously improving related marketing efforts in social media,ratings and reviews, and media outreach.
Take a look at six tips for local SEO success, along with action items in order to successfully implement them.
1. Properly Optimize Information on Your Business’ Website
Your website is the most vital and valuable online asset for you, so ensuring that it is properly optimized to appear high within search results is the key.
• Create a domain name that reflects your business type and its location, it should not be lengthy. For example, Manan’s Digital Marketing Agency uses the domain “mannarshidigitalsolutions.com” which includes it all.
• Add appropriate keywords on page titles that identify with your business, its services and its location. It should be clear, bold and easy to find on website.
• Put your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) information (It should be identical everywhere on the internet) in not only the homepage or contact page, but each individual page of your website.
• In addition to highlighting your offerings, ensure your website copy includes as much about your local area as possible to further link your business with the nearby locality. For example,note what section of town you’re in, what sports team plays across the street,or what park is around the corner. Not only will this added info help improve your website copy for customers; it will also boost your search visibility as a local business.
2. Update Your Business Listings on Local Directories
Perhaps one of the most effective ways to boost local SEO is to ensure the availability and consistency of your business’ listing information across local directories like JustDial, Yelp, hotfrog, Sulekha etc. Google and other search engines constantly scan these sites to develop a stronger understanding of the local web.
When your business isn’t listed — or the information listed about it is incomplete or inaccurate — there is a risk of dropping down your rank in search results.
• Look for leading local listings directories ranging from Dexknows, Facebook, and Google to Yelp, YP and Yellowbook to ensure that your business is listed, that you have “claimed” your listing, and that the business name, phone and address posted are consistent and accurate. Make changes to your profile as necessary and delete duplicate pages to increase the trust of Google on your business.
• Upload your listings with photos,videos, website URL and other key information to make your listings more informative and attractive to potential customers. Keep the listing updated with latest and original content.
• Ensure that your business is listed in the appropriate categories so it can be properly optimized. Relevant keywords in the business name help too.
• To further your efforts, work with atop listings provider such as Neustar Localeze or Acxiom to automate the process of securing and updating your listings across the broad ecosystem of local sites.
• If your business has multiple locations, create separate listings for each location on your website to boost the visibility and awareness of both your brand and each of your stores. The search results for Geetanjali Hospital highlight the business’ two different locations individually.
3. Ensure An Appropriate Link Strategy
Links(Backlinks majorly) from your website to other related websites, and vice versa, play a role in your business’ SEO visibility, because they help to establish the authenticity (DA) and credibility of your business. But trying blackhat SEO by leveraging unrelated links will damage visibility over time.
• Always share links to your website via your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media channels, and encourage others to pass along the information as well to increase reach ability.
• Include links to your website in email newsletters and other updates to customers. This will help in remarketing and bring your web link in front of customer’s eyes again and again.
• Host or sponsor local events, or provide discounts for neighborhood students, and then encourage neighborhood businesses to link to your website when talking about those activities.
• Create a local directory of community resources including your favorite nearby restaurants, stores and cultural attractions, to provide an opportunity for you to link out to others (and for them to return the favor). Even consider starting a blog where you can talk about your business’ neighborhood and link to businesses and places of interest.
• However, be sure that your link strategy is authentic and legal in that you know who you are linking to and that they have relevance to your business otherwise wrong linking may lead to misunderstanding about your business and may increase bounce rate. Also, do not create link schemes like spamming your business’ domain name on websites,forums or blog comments.
4. Respond To Online User Reviews and Encourage to give Feedback
Importance of reviews is that it helps to build your business’ popularity in local search results, and so does your engagement in responding to them — whether they are positive or negative.However, small businesses need to ensure the reviews themselves always come from the outside. Genuine reviews are always countable and authentic, helps your business to build trust.
• Encourage your customers to leave ratings and reviews of your business if they are satisfied with your work. There are many ways to promote customers whether it’s a simple email after a service is rendered, a flyer at checkout, or a call out on your website – the more positive, authentic reviews your business receives, the better your business will appear in search (both via the search engines and the local review sites themselves).
• As part of your encouragement, provide customers with a variety of sites to post reviews so the spread is diverse across multiple key local sites. This will encourage and reminds customers to give the valuable feedback.
• Be proactive about responding to al ltypes of user reviews. If the post is positive, thank the customer for their feedback by mentioning customer’s name and encourage them to use your services again. If the post is negative, explain that you appreciate the feedback and ask the customer to get in contact with you about their concerns so you can address their problems. Earning customer is more important always.
• Whatever you do, never post false reviews! When discovered – and they usually are, because they’re transparent – you will either lose your visibility in search, or your visibility will not be the kind you want. Google is clever enough to identify by location matching.
5. Engage Regularly Via Social Media
Social media pages play a notable role in local business’ visibility in search results,though it has less percentage in SEO ranking. The more proactive your social media strategy, the higher likelihood your pages will attract followers — and in turn, appear within search. Social media can also be useful in generating good traffic on your website.
• Develop a strong social media strategy that engages customers via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other popular networks on a regular basis. You can run good campaigns to reach good crowd in less time. The more followers and engagement you receive, the higher your pages will appear in search.
• Some ideas for engagement include updates on new products, promotions and giveaways, and highlighting stories of relevance to your customers. Be sure to respond to those reaching out via social media with questions or feedback on their orders.
6. Drive Media Coverage
Media coverage of your local business — especially from highly credible news websites — can result in a long-term positive impact on your business’ search results.Coverage like this can drive even more business to your brand, especially because it’s coming from a reliable, third-party source which is authentic and trust worthy for Google.
Action items:• Develop relationships with local media and bloggers by encouraging them to take advantage of your products or services. If you’re a restaurant, send over your popular pizza to your city’s local foodie blogger.Or email a reporter about a charity event that you’re sponsoring that will benefit the local community. Your PR efforts can result in positive articles,videos or other types of coverage that will remain highly visible in search over the long-term and boost your brand’s reputation.