When a potential customer wants to see what restaurants, chiropractors, veterinarians, dentists, or doctors are near them, where do they go? Today, most people will ask Google, Bing, or Facebook for recommendations. The ability to see a list of stores, restaurants, and locations within seconds is one of the more magical things about modern technology. In this blog, learn six ways to boost your local SEO (search engine optimization) and increase your online revenue.
Why ranking in local searches is essential
If your business has a physical location, you rely heavily on proximity and distance. You may have even paid extra to get that perfect storefront where your customers are going to be. When potential customers use a tablet, phone, or other device to look up a specific brand, location, business, or keyword, Google knows the customer’s location.
Therefore, Google will provide the user with results that are in or nearby a particular location or city.
Ranking high in local Google searches is great for small businesses trying to get people in the door, but it's a must for businesses that have a website or online pay portal.
If you can drive more people in your area to your website, you will increase your revenue considerably.
So how do you rank higher in your local searches? The technique businesses use to rank higher in local searches is called local SEO.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a combination of methods you can utilize to get your website or location to show up higher in your local rankings.
If you're in Albuquerque doing a search for the best chiropractor, you don't want a result from Brooklyn, and search engines know it. So, they will only show you results near your location.
Having great local SEO is how you show up when people in your area search for keywords related to your businesses. Regardless of what you may read or hear, or how many people use Facebook or social media, local SEO is more important today than ever for small and local businesses.
Although many experts expected Facebook to beat Google in local search, the social media giant is still no match for Google and Bing. In fact, search engines still dominate 80 percent of local searches.
Additionally, it has been proven that 85 to 95 percent of brand engagement is local.
Small and local businesses can’t afford to ignore this, especially if they have an online storefront.
Boost your local SEO now
So, how do small businesses embrace local SEO today?
- Business Category: It is incredibly important for businesses to align the Google My Business category with their services, products, and offerings. This will ensure that Google picks up the brand or business name when a user searches a particular keyword that is affiliated with particular goods or services.
Google My Business allows businesses to list up to four different categories. It’s worth mentioning that the importance of categories goes in ascending order. This means that the first category is listed with the most relevant and crucial information. This is important for businesses to show up in a correct search category.
- Consistency of Local Citations: Having your local citations up to date is how consumers find businesses. Local citations include the business’ NAP (Name, Address, and Phone). It is incredibly important for this information to be correct and up to date on all platforms. This will give potential customers the details they need to find your business.
- Mobile Website: With mobile search quickly overpowering desktop internet searches, businesses need to have a mobile-friendly and responsive website. Mobile websites should be easily accessible, load quickly and efficiently, and it should have click-to-call enabled. This means that mobile users can click on your phone number and automatically call your business.
Additionally, if you make design or content updates to the desktop view of your website, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will look great on mobile. Be sure to have your mobile website design in mind.
- Structured Data on Website: Structured data refers to the snippets of data related to your business that are embedded in your website. It tells Google who you are and what you do. Once the data is compiled and submitted to Google, then Google will know better what your business does, which makes them more likely to show your website to people who are looking for your services.
- Reviews: Reviews are a must-have for every small and local business today. More and more customers perform a Google search or refer to social media to look up recommendations for where to eat or where to buy a new pair of shoes. They also look up previous customer reviews before making a purchase decision. As a result, online reviews have the biggest impact on local business rankings.
Reviews and local SEO
Before you try to get customers to submit as many reviews as possible, know that Google has rules. Because many businesses “purchase” reviews or submit fake reviews, Google has certain things they're looking for when it comes to reviews.
- First, they're going to look at quantity; how many total reviews you have.
- Second, they'll look at velocity, or how often they're coming in.
- Third is diversity. The occasional bad review is not the worst thing in the world, because it makes your reviews look more authentic.
Google's algorithm is constantly being reworked to get the best results to the user. So if you want to rank high, you need to show your business is thriving. You can do that through activity signals.
Some examples of activity signals would be:
- New online reviews
- Quick response time through Google My Business messages
- Fresh content updates (such as new photos, videos or blog posts)
- Updated website content
Optimize local SEO and see increased traffic
If you can optimize your local SEO, you'll see a significant increase in site traffic. Ranking higher on local searches means more clicks to your website.
More clicks to your website means more people familiar with your business. More people familiar with your business means more customers.
If your business needs help with local SEO, then GoSite’s Placement Tool can help ensure that the business location, categories, and citations are correct and consistent. Our platforms are designed to help small and local businesses increase their local search rankings and enhance their online presence.