Are your local search rankings helping your customers find your business online? These five simple updates will boost your local SEO so that when customers in your local area search—they find you!
Nearly half of all Google searches come from people looking for local search information. Experts say that 97% of customers these days look online before deciding where to go in your area, and 79% of the people that search end up visiting the stores they find online.
There’s a lot of evidence that suggests local search is a key SEO strategy for small businesses. Knowing what your local business listing landscape looks like, how it performs, and what it says about your company is an easy way to attract more customers and close more sales.
This week, you’re going to sort out your local directory listings and your search engine listings to create a fresh wave of customer interest for your business. Here are five updates to get you there.
#1: Check Your Listing Accuracy and Consistency
When was the last time you looked at your business listings in online directories? According to Nectafy, 88% of customers will search for local businesses using their phones, and they’ll call or visit the company they like best (or find easiest) within 24 hours.
This is why you need to review your local business directory listings. Make sure that your contact information (address, email, and phone number) is 100% accurate. If you find outdated information, you could be losing customers!
Luckily, a local listing tool can help manage an entire portfolio of listings, without having to sit for hours logging in and making amendments to each one. Take 10 minutes, update your contact information, add modern pictures, and make sure your listings represent your company in the best light.
Take action: Check and update your online listings using a convenient tool.
#2: Get Reviews in Front of Customers’ Eyes
Social proof in the form of customer reviews can be extremely beneficial for your online local listings, and they tend to really drive foot traffic. According to BrightLocal, people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from someone they know.
If you want to improve your local search rankings quickly, start asking your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and on other directories like Yelp. When you do, they’ll naturally improve your local SEO and convince more customers to choose you over competitors.
Take action: Create an ongoing system of encouragement to inspire customers to leave you online reviews (Ask them!).
#3: Create Google My Business Posts, Photos, and Promos
Google My Business is the king of local search rankings, so it makes sense to pay a little more attention to your online profile on this listing than on other directories. According to Moz, 40% of businesses using Google My Business have never tapped into the “post” function.
More enlightening was that Google tended to give precedence to companies that regularly posted, especially if the content was location-specific. You’ll find a posts tab on your business listing where you can create 100-300 words posts, along with a video or photo.
Spend time populating your Google local business listing with a range of photos, and take advantage of their “events” and “offers” functions. Use this space to let your local visitors know about currently running events and promotions, all directly from the search engine results pages (SERP) on Google.
Take action: Consider adding occasional posts, photos, events, and promos to your Google My Business listing to improve your local SEO.
#4: Integrate Some Relevant Local Keywords
Adding relevant local keywords to online business listing sites can boost rankings and help more people find you. Think about what your company does and what it sells—and link those keyword terms with local geographical terms (best Italian pizza in Montclair, for example).
Google reports that there’s been a 900% increase recently in “near me” and “tonight/today” or “close by” searches.
As voice search explodes, and more people use it to find local businesses, you’ll want to include these terms in your search engine listings (and website content) too. A “restaurants near me” search will show your customer the best eateries closest to where they live or are at the moment.
Make sure yours shows up!
Take action: Integrate relevant local SEO and VEO keyword terms to maximize your reach.
#5: Manage Your Website and Business Directory Listings
Not everyone uses Google, and many people rely on information from other local directory listings too. That’s why local listing management should be a priority! When you manage your website content correctly and your business directory list well, customers can always find you.
With the right local listing tool to help you manage your listing profile, you can appear in 70+ directories and manage them all from one convenient location. That way, when you update your website promotions or events, you can do the same with your highly visible listings in a few clicks.
Take action: Make sure that you have the support required to regularly maintain your website and your online directory listings to keep foot traffic rolling in.