Have you ever searched for a local business or shop online? You probably answered yes, and you are definitely not alone. There are plenty of customers out there looking closer to home for goods and services they want to buy. Making your business appear for these queries requires local search, and local SEO is vitally important to the success of your business.
It does not matter where you’re physically based – you need to be found in the search engines if people are searching for products and services in your area. Even though the global village is getting bigger, people still want to source their goods and services locally.
For most local searches, Google now shows map listings with (usually) three businesses listed. Obviously, placement in this list is highly coveted and the strategies that we use to rank businesses well in local results are the subject of this article.
Many local businesses already have a Google Business Page.
There are a number of advantages to claiming your Google Local listing, including being able to link it to your website, add pictures and videos, update contact information and write a nice detailed description mentioning the products and services you offer.
If your unclaimed listing is already showing up in Google search results, click on the listing and you will notice a “Manage This Page” button towards the bottom. This will take you through the verification process. It usually involves requesting a postcard with a PIN number, or an automated phone call to your business phone line, to make sure that you are the authorized business owner.
If your listing isn’t showing up, or you’re not sure if Google has an automatically-generated listing for your business, you can try creating a new listing. If Google finds duplicate details in their system, they’ll ask if you’d like to manage the existing page rather than creating a new page.
When you are managing your Google page it is best to include as much information as possible. Google tends to favor fully completed listings. So be sure to add pictures, videos, opening times, contact information, and much more!
It should be the goal of every local business to try and get as many reviews from their customers as possible. Getting your customers to leave reviews on your Google business page is a great way to boost your local visibility and attract more clicks to your site.
The main obstacle for most local businesses is actually creating a system for collecting the reviews. Early on they might ask a select few customers for a review on their page. Then every so often they’ll do another spurt of requests, but in most cases they don’t have a fixed repeatable system in place.
Creating a system doesn’t have to be hard work to either build or implement. In fact, with a little creativity, it can even run automatically.
If you’ve dealt with a customer who is particularly happy with your service, or you have gone out of your way to help a customer and want to make the most of the goodwill that you have generated, why not ask, “If you think we have done a good job for you, would you be willing to leave a short review on our Google business page (include your link). It really helps us to grow our business and show potential customers what sort of service we offer.”
When you or your team follows up with customers or clients after the sale is made, ask for a review. If you sell or deliver a physical product, drop a “Will you review us?” postcard in with each purchase.
However you decide to ask for your reviews, focus on making it as easy as possible for your customers to leave them.
For multi-location brands, location pages are a fundamental component of a local SEO strategy. If your business relies in any way on being found locally, make sure you have location pages on your website.
Here are a few location page best practices that you can incorporate into your website:
We understand how important this is for your customers to find your online and we can direct local customers to your website.
Optimizing your site so you are found locally will help boost traffic and conversions significantly.
Think about the number of people searching on the move. Mobile technology and mobile internet have been a game changer. More people are searching when they are out and about, providing you with a great opportunity to attract new customers on the move.
By choosing to use our services you’ll get more from your local search campaigns. Not only are we dedicated, highly experienced and knowledgeable, but we take a personal interest in seeing your campaign succeed.
If you succeed, we succeed; and that’s the way we like it.
Whether you have existing SEO campaigns, or are looking for an agency to help with a new strategy, we can help. We develop local SEO campaigns that will complement, not replace your existing SEO work. Contact our team for more information!