Local Search Optimization for Your Business: Six Important Steps
Curtis Smitley advises that any business, small or medium, will benefit from local searches. Local search engine optimization is a part of SEO that targets your business location, letting people know where you operate and how to access your services. Google Places is the service of the search giant that takes into account the Maps listing of your business. In this article, find some of the important tips to ensure your business is found by all relevant local customers.
You can list your business in Google Maps easily. You need to have a Google+ account and log into Google Places with it. Afterwards, you can simply search within Google Places with your business phone number to see if Google already has a listing for your business. If your business is not listed, Google will let you create one. Enter the basic information, service area, hours of operation, payment options, photos, videos, etc., and submit them. You will get to a page asking you to verify the business. You can either verify the business by an automated phone call or by snail mail.
After the verification process, you can add your business to Google Maps directly from the Places dashboard. Once your business has been added to Google Places, along with its physical locations, the business can show up on Google local searches.
As part of improving your search ranking in local search, you should have your business listed on major directories including Yelp, Yahoo, YP, Dexknows, Foursquare, Manta, and Yellowbook. For specific types of businesses, there are specialized directories as well, for instance Just-Eat and Hungryhouse for restaurants. Since these directories are highly valued by search engines, listing your business in them can give it a boost in local search ranking. In addition, most of these directories offer quality reviews and ratings, which can positively affect your ranking.
Rework Your Website
For better local search visibility, your website should have content that search engines find relevant for local searches. This process should involve detailing your products, services, and hours of operation; providing images relevant to your business; and categorizing your business with relevant tags and keywords. In short, anybody visiting your website should know that you offer products and services predominantly at a specific location. This can be helpful for global businesses too. You should include more photos, videos, and other key content that distinguish your business in the location.
You may know how important links are for your website’s ranking. Your local business should have a good link-building strategy to boost authority. You may be able to get in touch with some of the local bodies or directories and have them link to your business website. For instance, a local sports team may be interested in linking out to the website of a local sports apparel store. You can identify such opportunities to strengthen your link profile. Also, ensure that the links are relevant and not spammy.
Social Media Presence
Your business should have a strategy for social media marketing. Local businesses tend to have low competition in social media space. As the first step, create Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts for your local business. Also, if there are specific social networks that you can market on, create accounts on them too. Try to gather as many followers as possible to your social media profiles by putting up banners right inside your office. Try to incorporate the social media profiles on your business cards as well. In addition, maybe you can provide support services through social media interactions; this strategy can help you strengthen your social media presence further.
Media Coverage Options
You may be able to develop relationships with the local media. Newspapers, TV channels, blogs, and radio stations operating locally may be interested to know about and review your business. Use any such opportunity to drive more people into your website and social media profiles.
It may seem like a daunting task to get your company listed and ranking on local search results. But in actuality, Curtis Smitley says it’s far simpler than general SEO. In general SEO, you will have to face stronger global competition, which makes getting high ranking in SERPs harder.