Local Search & Your Business SEO
Local search is a term that relates to customers near you looking online for the type of business you have.
While we may think of local search being important for restaurants and coffee shops, its just as important for any business that relies on the local community for the bulk of its business.
In fact, it is more than important – it’s critical.
Local search is not a mystery and with some focus, anyone can make sure their website and their business is ready to be found when local customers are seeking what you offer.
Here’s some basic tips to get you started.
- Local Business Listings – run don’t walk to Google Business first and then Bing Business. Be sure to pick categories that matter most to your business. Upload photos of your business and provide the critical information, such as days and hours open, phone numbers and any special instructions your customers would find valuable.
- Google Business Link – https://www.google.com/business/
- Bing Places For Business – https://www.bingplaces.com/
- Social Media Listings – be sure to set up and optimize business accounts in places like Facebok, Yelp and Foursquare as these feed into the search engine process of finding, categorizing and prioritizing businesses in local search results.
- Your own site – have your phone number on every page in a visible location as well as your physical address. The phone number will help customers call you while the physical address plays two key functions: Helps folks find your shop and gives Google another piece of information about your geographic location.
Consistency is key
Google sets the rules – they are the code enforcement officer of the search engines. So follow the rules they set to increase your chances of being more visible in search results. The more visible you are – the more opportunity you have for traffic to your website.
Here’s a great overview article on the importance from MOZ Local: https://moz.com/blog/why-listing-accuracy-is-important-whiteboard-friday
Speaking of MOZ
One effective and affordable tool to help increase consistency is using Moz. Moz helps to build your business information profile and then connect with sources Google trusts to update the business information on those sites for you. It doesn’t cover all locations on the web but it does help tremendously and will save you time.
Finally – don’t forget to encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business. Peer reviews are a powerful tool in helping to build confidence in the eyes of potential customers. Getting reviews on Google, Facebook, Tripadvisor, Yelp etc helps to build online credibility for your business.
Read more about ways to make reviews work for your business here: https://moz.com/learn/seo/local-reviews
If your business relies on the local community for the bulk of its business, knowing how to make your site more visible for local searches will help you be seen more in online searches and earn your business more opportunities to win new customers.