Local search optimization is crucial to the success of any business that is trying to use their website as a tool to gain more customers. If you are planning on competing, it is vital to have your website ranked high enough in the search engine results for customers to find you. Getting ranked in the organic listings is important, but with how people are using search engines these days the real gold is to be listed in one of the top three places for Google Maps results. You are probably asking yourself, “How do I get my business found on Google Maps?” As you can probably expect it is a competition, but there are things you can do to help your business stand out and perform well in your local region.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS VERIFICATION
This is step one, but sometimes people either don’t know or forget to validate your business with Google. When creating your listing on Google My Business make sure that your business name, address, and phone number are all accurate as this will allow Google to find your business and pin it on Google maps. It is important that you fill out all information as detailed as possible including pictures, store information, hours, categories and descriptions of your services.
EMBED GOOGLE MAPS INTO YOUR WEBSITE
Once you have your business verified you are going to want to embed your Google Maps listing on your homepage and contact page at the very least. Doing this will validate with Google that they are displaying your correct name, address, and phone number, as well as confirming the accurate placement of your business pin in their maps result. Follow the link to learn more about embedding your business map.
CREATE LISTINGS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
One of the largest aspects of performing well in local search has to do with having your NAP information spanning across the web. The big ones come to mind like Facebook or Yelp, but the key is to have your business listed in as many, SEO friendly directories as possible. Doing this will help your backlinking profile, and more importantly, give search engines validation that your listing information is correct. After all, they don’t want to post a phone number that is no longer is service, or send people to the wrong address.
MANAGE REVIEWS AND REPLIES
A lot of businesses will get reviews from their clients, the key is to actually respond to those reviews. We recommend reaching out to past customers to write the business a review on Google so that you rank higher on Google Maps, be aware that you want the perfect balance of quantity and quality. You also want to make sure that you are not spamming your online reviews. It might look weird to search engines that you got 50 reviews in a week after going months without a review, the key is consistency and balance, we shoot for 2-3 reviews a week every week.
OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE
There are literally hundreds of different things that go into having your website properly optimized for the search engines. Some of the larger focus points should be your titles, meta-descriptions, site load times, mobile-friendliness, and alt-image text. The more your website is optimized the easier time Google and Bing will have to know what your website is about so they can get you in front of the right people.
LOCAL SEARCH CONCLUSION
At the end of the day, local search performance is a competitive goal to achieve. This article is designed to help get you started, but if you are in a large city or competitive industry it is in your best interest to speak with a professional. We invite you to use our local search analysis tool to see how your business is currently performing.