In Local Search, small businesses still have the chance to stand toe to toe with the big boys and create a successful business presence online. There are a few things that a local business can do, to have a substantial impact on your business website visibility in local search results.
Nine Local SEO Business Tips
1. Create a local page.
Google the name of your business, does an unbranded Google Business page appear in Maps?. YES – claim the business. NO – then create your local Google+ Business Listing, now called Google My Business. Add in the correct details of the business, you will need to stick to these details throught the marketing process. Verify the business listing with Google.
This will now also be the businesses Google+ page, keep it upto date, connect with people, business and customers.
More on: Google+ for Business
2. Classify your business.
Sometimes your business will be uncategorized. Other times, it will be in the wrong category. However, these categories will have a major role in what searches your company appears for and which ones it does not, so you have to take the time to ensure it finds its way into the correct category. The first step is choosing a primary category, and after that you can choose nine subcategories to accompany it.
3. Research existing company data.
If your business shows up on any other websites, make sure the citations are correct. This means your physical address, phone number, name, and other information – sometimes referred to as NAP data – needs to be consistent across all entries no matter where they appear on the web. This is even more true for Google entries; if a customer finds your company entry but cannot find the actual location of the store, you’ve lost revenue.
4. Add your business to directories.
The internet is home to many things, including massive information directories of various types of businesses. You need to find these various databases and make sure your company is in the relevant local ones ( Do not submit your business to every business directory you can find online ). Search: Midlands Business Directories, Northamptonshire Business Directories, or take it even more relevant to your town; Corby Business Directory and browse through the results. Make a list of any you find that are relevant to your company and ensure it’s part of them.
5. Get reviews.
One factor that many people don’t consider to be important are reviews; Google takes them very much into account when determining the 7 pack results. The 7 pack is when you see 7 Google Map listings for a search in the search results page. Asking customers to review you online when they stop in to your store, or add it to your follow up email.
Concerend about Bad reviews, yes they do happen, but with your Google+ Business page you can monitor, respond and report malicious reviews.
More on: Optimise your Google+ Business Page
6. Focus on On-Page optimization.
When you fill out the description of your company, make sure it is full of relevant information, if you have a selection of services, list these and link to the relevant page on your website. Use clear, full-colour images to give customers a good idea of what your company provides, and then make sure to fill out allinformation fields, yes including opening times.
7. Try to grow inbound links.
The more websites that link to you, the better. However, the quality of these inbound links also plays a huge role; if you get an inbound link from a news channel, for instance, it carries more credability than one of the business directories that you have created. While you cannot always control what sites link to you, promoting high quality content and serving customers in the best way you can will cause them to occur naturally. If you conduct any charity events, let the local press know, join the local chamber of commerce and trade associations which will provide a listing on their site. Ask suppliers, partner businesses for a refernce on their site.
8. Nail your content.
Target customers in your local area with relevant news and company updates on your blog, where possible include you local area within the title and content; this is called geo-targeted content, and gives a lot more strength to local SEO than almost any other method. List case studies and customer testimonials on your page. Make sure people searching for your industry in your area find your page first.
More on: Search Quality
9. Help out other businesses.
While this may not have an effect on your local search results, it can definitely help goodwill and partnerships. If you have a company that sells one product, talk about those in the area that sell complementary products or services. Not only does this help the local economy, but by helping to market related products, you grow your own reputation and help to create better reviews in the future.
So many business owners underestimate the potential of a well-optimized local page. Taking the time to target your local area, citations, and content can have a massive effect not only on your web traffic, but also in local revenue.