To get your local business found online, you need to follow a certain process. Many of your competitors are probably doing SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, and pay-per-click advertising to not only improve their site’s ranking but also to be visible in the crowded local market. As a local business, it’s important to show up when people search for local services and products.
Being on the 1st page of search engines results is critical. If your website falls off of the first page you’re going to miss out on long-term benefits such as traffic, leads, and brand awareness. Follow these 3 tips to get your business to show up online when your target audience surfs the internet in search of a solution that you can provide.
1. Claim Your Free Google and Bing Local Listings
Services like Google My Business and Bing Places help companies create free business profiles. When setup, local businesses can reach and engage with customers across maps and local search. When you search for key phrases like “gyms near me” or “dentists in my area,” you will see map listings in the top results. That’s how search engines work nowadays. Search engines provide the most relevant information to users and often prioritize map listings over the other organic local search results. Did you know that in the last year, 27% online searches were for local businesses?
When writing descriptions for listings, include keywords that describe your business, products or services. It will not only help your business appear in the local results, but your listings will also get a significant increase in click-through rate. However, Google and Bing aren’t the only places for business listings, make sure to check out other major aggregator sites for added exposure.
2. Promote Positive Customer Reviews
Once your business starts showing up in search results, the next thing you need to focus on is business reviews. Positive reviews are valuable. They impact purchasing decisions for more than 90% of customers. Reviews on your business listings, social media profiles or website can determine the success and failure of your business, particularly when you are in the product and service business.
Here’s how your business reviews help your click-through rate. When you search for a restaurant or a hotel online, you will notice that apart from the map listings, Google and Bing’s organic results suggest checking review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. These aggregators already have a huge amount of traffic, and if you want your business to stand out on these platforms, reviews are the way to go.
Review quality and quantity are some key local ranking factors. By looking at your review score, customers make their decisions, so first try to get reviews from your existing customer base. If you’ve just started a business, create a user-friendly feedback system. You can put a feedback form on the website, release emails or you can request your customers to write reviews on spot.
3. Improve Your Organic Reach with Local SEO
After you have run your business for a while you probably know your business inside and out. There are, however, situations in which you can’t take the risk of handling highly technical matters. Local search engine optimization is one of them and it is usually best handled by SEO experts.
No digital marketing strategy can work effectively if your website is not optimized properly. If you don’t have a website, get it designed soon and start paying attention to local SEO. It includes all the necessary optimization and growth methods including, but not limited to: on-page optimization, reviews, backlinks, title tag and meta tag optimization, content creation and distribution, listings, and technical SEO like website performance and speed optimization.
There is no better ROI than securing the top spot in relevant search results for your local business. Targeted, high quality traffic from search engines means better conversion and more business opportunities. Know that customers always want to buy from businesses they find authentic. So, look for opportunities to build credibility. Whether it’s online with your blog, listings, and social media or in digital interactions, get to know your audience, help them find you, and get them to know you well.