Local search SEO is the way that all major search engines calculate and organize the most related results to present to users based on the keywords used and their location. After all, when you’re looking for a flower shop, then you’ll want to locate one close by, right?
It also is a superb tool for all small businesses, as there is less competition. You’re only competing for positions with other existing businesses in same location rather than nationwide. The better visibility you have on SERPs (search engines results pages), the more likely it is that somebody will click on your website and eventually convert into a paying customer.
Local searches results are shown in one of two ways on Google: the new Google carousels, or in listing format. Carousel format has paid and organic listings and also comprises of a map plotted with local destinations related to the search term. In addition, an indented list sometimes is used which makes it easier to see imperative information straight away — reviews, phone numbers and addresses.
Here are the tried and tested SEO keys for Small Businesses and tips to help enhance your business’s local search position immediately:
1. Claim your business.
Creating local pages is as simple as visiting various business directory websites committed to small businesses, and signing in to a business owner’s account. Your business already may exist in the local search in these directories — even though you weren’t the person who added this. What you’ll be required to do, then, is claim it. All you will need to do is sign in, claim it, and verify ownership of your business either by phone call, mailed postcard, or SMS text message. This varies by directory, so follow the steps on screen, and you should have no problem.
2. Categorize your claimed page(s).
Pay particular attention on how you categorize your business. During the procedure of claiming or creating your page, you’ll be asked to choose a main category, which is the most important category you’ll use.
Search engines are known to not show a business which isn’t categorized, and if your own business is categorized improperly, you’re in same boat. Once you choose your main category, you’ll be allowed to select several subcategories categories for your business, as well to cover all of your bases.
3. Be consistent. Ensure that the business is listed across the web consistently. This means that your business name, phone number, address and all other pertinent information needs to be the same across all platforms. Varying this information from one platform to another will not only confuse customers, it will also pull your search engine page results down too. Inconsistency, in Google’s eyes, is the sign of a sloppy, unorganized business owner. You want to show the world that your business is worth doing business with!
4. Quality and Quantity. I suggest using a combination of the Moz Local tool and Yext search to ensure that you have a listing of your Small Business in a handful of the main directories on the internet. In order to enhance your quantity, do a search in several different search engines for both geographic and category terms to see in case there is somewhere that you should be listed but are not. Doing searches like this will give you a better idea of how local customers can (or can not) find you in the search engines.
Make sure to check back often to read and respond to reviews (both positive and negative). While doing this, even though it may become frustrating, keep your cool, and remain professional. If someone leaves you a nasty review, apologize for their bad experience and ask them if there is a way you could rectify the situation with them. Offering a discount on a future purchase, or a partial refund will often times be enough to make an upset customer happy again, and perhaps gain a life long fan in the process!
If you have any questions or need help with anything we mentioned above, please feel free to contact us anytime!