Running a local business, you must have realized by now how important and necessary is Local SEO to attract local customers. Most probably while searching on how to drive traffic to your business, you have been told that your business needs Local SEO. However, for many business owners, the term “Local SEO” may seem a little confusing. What do you need to do? Why do you need it?
As a small business owner, you need to let Google know where you are located and what you have to offer so you’re not only showing up on Google search results pages but you’re showing up on Google places or Google map listing as well.
To help small business owners understand the Local SEO, I’m-On-R-u team have created this blog post, which will highlight significant insights about Local SEO and why it is useful to your business.
- What types of businesses need Local SEO?
If you run a business where a majority of your customers are located in the vicinity of 15 Km or maybe less from your business location, you need local SEO. That could be a massage therapy, local restaurant, cafe, retail outlet, dentist, physiotherapist or a lawyer. Also, if you have a physical address and if you need your customers to find your business who could be located 50 Km away, you would still need a Local SEO for that location.
- How is Local SEO different from an average SEO campaign?
Local SEO is a lot different from your average SEO campaign, and the local search results are changing more rapidly than any other. Google places/maps operate on a different algorithm to traditional organic results.
Local SEO-triggered places listings can appear higher and larger than organic SEO results.
Listing represents physical businesses and thus puts customers closer to a purchase and more readily engage.
Now you know that what is Local SEO and how it works, it is a time to create a strategy.
Below are some of the most popular and most important pointers to create your Local SEO strategy.
- Create Local Google Places Pages.
In doing the Local SEO, the first step is making sure that you have a local business page. Google Places is the information that a search engine receives and uses when listing your business. A search engine will probably already have your business listed in results, but your Google Places page allows you to control what information Google has and presents to searchers about your business.
Here are important links from where you will be able to create your local business listings.
- Google my business
- Bing places for business
Before creating a local listing you must make sure that doesn’t have any existing listing on Google or Bing. If you find one, you must claim your listing and update your information from your dashboard.
- Choose Proper Business Categories
Google business places listings are categorized to help customers find the sort of service or product they are looking for.
Categorising your business correctly is actually one of the most crucial steps to optimizing for local search. Several local search engines offer you the ability to place your business into 2-5 categories to help them understand what your business does.
There are strong indications that Google uses the category information you provide, in part, to decide when or how prominently to display your listing.
With this in mind, it is very important to select categories that accurately describe your business and that will resonate with your potential customers.
- Online Reviews.
Reviews are a major factor for ranking — not only your potential customers are looking for it, even Google does. If you’re in an industry that doesn’t get a lot of reviews, even one or two bad ones can have a dramatic impact on your business. Reviews are quick and easy ways for consumers to decide which link they want to click.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to improve your number of reviews. You don’t want to have any fake reviews or offer any gifts for those giving you reviews (you want them to be natural), but you can put a button on your webpage so it’s easy to get started for visitors, prompt visitors to leave a review after purchasing something or visiting a particular landing page, or actually talk with people in your store or company about leaving a review.
- Quality Photos.
Most local accounts including Google+ Local allow you to upload at least 10 pictures. Your goal should try to be to have that many photos uploaded. Below are different ways to use images for local SEO.
- Provide a photo of your business facility location/building on your site. If there’s a particularly beautiful or interesting view looking out for your business, you might consider adding that as well.
- For businesses such as restaurants, it may be beneficial to add photos of celebrities who have visited your restaurant.
- Provide photos of the staffs as a team
- Provide photos of all your products or services.
- Optimize Your Website.
Your actual website is a part of Local SEO. It is important to make sure that you have your contact information and a phone number on your website where it can easily be seen. It’s also important to try and include city or regional keywords wherever possible and write content that is specific to your local area.
It’s very common to add in a sitemap on a local business’s website. It is beneficial for SEO to have the map image stored on the same domain name as the site, though it’s preferable for users to pull in a map dynamically through one of the major providers so that all the zooming and panning controls can be available.
If your local business has its own blog, add a blog map onto it. This will add a local signal to the blog, and also bring it to the attention of other bloggers in your local area.
Share Your Thoughts
What do you think? Are you having troubles with your Local SEO? We’d love to hear your thoughts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.