Imagine this. You’re in a new city, exploring the unknown streets and mysterious pathways when suddenly, hunger hits! You need food, but have no idea where you are, let alone where to eat. What do you do? Naturally, you whip out your phone and Google ‘restaurants near me’. DING! As if by magic a list of highly rated, funky looking, delicious sounding restaurants appear at the top of your Google results. And they’re all near you! How convenient. You’re in the nearest burger bar in no time, thanking the person who invented ‘local SEO’ for local businesses.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a form of Search Engine Marketing that enables you to market your local business online. It also helps increase your online presence, allowing you capitalize on intent driven searches.
How do people search for what they want?
The way we search in Google has changed. Our searches have gone from long winded and descriptive search terms to short questions, or simple phrases like ‘food near me’. Seems like, searches like this deliver relevant, highly rated, and local stores that have the product or service that a person is looking for.
Do I need to have local SEO for my business?
In short, YES. The reality is that people use their mobile devices and search engines, like Google and YouTube, to find what they need. Period. Make sure your business appears when someone searches for your product or service with local SEO.
Finally, now that you know what local SEO is, here are four ways to improve your local SEO.
Create a Google My Business Listing
The most simple and effective way to increase your local SEO presence is to create a Google My Business listing. Create your Google My Business Account and populate your listing with information about your products and services, your physical location and links to your website. Once this has been done, your listing is eligible to appear in Google as soon as it’s published. Make sure you include keywords that people could be searching for in your profile and that you remind people to review you on Google. Google favors listings that are well populated and have good ratings.
TIP! Publish posts. Like Facebook, Google My Business has a ‘post’ feature where you can make announcements, share deals or specials, or share an event. Publishing posts regularly will boost your local SEO.
Optimize your Facebook page
If you’re not already publishing posts on your Facebook page, start today! Posting on Facebook helps improve your SEO. Finally, make sure you label the images you upload with the keywords/search terms you want to appear for.
For example, as a dog parlor I might use a testimonial from a customer. I upload an image of a groomed pooch and label it ‘best dog parlor in New Orleans’. When someone Googles ‘best dog parlor in New Orleans’ that Facebook post could appear in the search results, connecting the searcher with the business.
Encourage people to ‘check in’ when they visit your business. Facebook registers user check ins and uses that information to make suggestions to other users. Put up a chalkboard reminding people to check in or consider running a competition that encourages people to check in – “Welcome! Check in on Facebook and go into a draw to win 15% off your next treatment.”
Add your business to online directories
Register your business on online directories like White Pages, Yelp or Localeze. It’s totally FREE and helps increase your online visibility.
When Google looks for the best results to share with someone who has searches for something, it looks for two things – relevance and consistency. If there is any conflicting business information in the ether of the internet, Google is less likely to show that result. Google wants to ensure that what they serve up to Googlers is relevant and truthful. Make sure that all your listings are accurate and don’t conflict with each other.
Make your website mobile friendly
Most local searches are carried out on a mobile device, so it’s seriously important that your website is mobile optimized. Having a mobile optimized website not only makes it easier for the visitor to navigate through, but also assists with your Google ranking. Above all, Google favors well built and mobile optimized websites, so make sure yours is not stuck in the dark ages.
It’s time to start capitalizing on those searches! Google receives over 63,000 searches per second. Make sure your business appears when someone is looking for your products or services. Need to up your SEO game but need some help? Get in touch with us! We’re currently offering FREE consulting sessions to help get you started.