We live in a world where nearly 50% of all Google searches are to find local information. For this reason, making sure you show your business to people in your area is imperative. So how do you encourage Google to direct local individuals to your business and not your competitors’?
This article will go into some of the best tactics to leverage what you have to gain those extra clicks and shoot ahead in the race for local SEO dominance.
One of the primary ways Google ranks local business SEO and drives visitors to your site is via Google Maps listings. You can take control of your business page and update it by proving to Google that you are the owner. After this, you can make sure your page is always up-to-date.
It always pays to make sure the details are relevant. This is especially true for unique times like over holiday periods.
A good benchmark is to ensure you update your Google Maps listing once every one-to-three months. This is as Google determines your perceived relevancy by how you keep your information up-to-date.
If you set up a Google My Business page, you are far more likely to rate high on Google's radar. If your data matches with what a user is searching for, your business is very likely to appear higher in the list. So make sure that information exists in Google My Business.
This information is visible in both Google Maps, Google Search, as well as a myriad of other places online. It also lets you perform many of the other tasks related to managing your business’ online presence.
This will include you needing to go through a series of processes, such as verifying your telephone number or business location.
Making sure your address is correct in Google My Business is imperative to engage with any local SEO at all. Many users do searches for “(Business name) near me” or similar terms, and Google lists these results based on their proximity to the user's location. If you do not give Google your address, there is every chance they will not list your services even if it is in the same region.
If your SEO strategy does not include the use of keywords, you are missing a core part of what it means to drive traffic to your site. When you create the description for your service in Google My Business, try to include something about what you provide. Also, word it in a way that people might search for it.
For example, if you are a painter in the Pittsburgh area, you could include the phrase “painter in Pittsburgh” at the start of your description.
A good way to determine what keywords people use is to start typing things relevant to your business into Google. You can then look at some of the autogenerated search results. Many of these searchable terms relate to keywords and you can use them to help build your collection.
Other locations Google checks for keywords includes posts you make on your Google My Business page. It also views your Q&As as well as any testimonials and reviews. These should appear natural, however, as users will be able to work out if a review is fake or not.
You should interact with customers, especially those who respond to you in reviews on Google platforms. To customers, it shows a level of positive business engagement that suggests you care. To Google, it is another way to appear relevant.
Also, replying to negative reviews in a positive light may encourage people to try out your business for a second time. They may even review you better in the future if you have improved.
You can push this to happen by promoting the ability to review your business in your location. A poster, flyer, or QR code that tells people where they can post reviews can encourage it and get the comments flying in.
If you find accurate photos of your business, make sure to put them online on the Google page. Also, ask friends or other visitors to visit and take photos alongside reviews. Make sure they are smiling or having a good time.
Another option is to hire a professional to take some images and put them up. The danger here, however, is that they could end up looking fake and posed, rather than natural pictures of real people.
This is a very common local SEO strategy. These photos will present your business as a positive place to engage with. Not only that, but they may help present what you offer to those who are thinking about visiting.
When you set up your business’ page, you need to make sure that you make the effort. If you put up a generic or bland site, Not only is it not going to impress customers. Also, Google will detect repeated themes with other web pages and de-rank you.
Google has the ability to be able to tell if someone is using the default themes in sites such as WordPress. It will consider your page less relevant if you do not customize it and make it your own. You should also ensure you have good copy, or text, to impress visitors.
If your business is not the sole location for a larger franchise, try to work with your management to get a specific page for your venue. If Google sees that several locations are using the same URL they will not consider it to be a “Local SEO”. A unique site, even if it is only a sub-page in a larger franchise’s web presence, will increase your prominence online.
These are only the first tools you need to increase your local SEO score. The art of earning traffic online can take time and we recommend you do everything you can to stay ahead of the game. To do that, you need a strong guide with information on this world.
To assist with this, we recommend you check out our blog. We post regular articles about SEO for those who are only now entering the field. Our articles are waiting and so jump on in!