Surely you have done a Google search and seen the results populate at the top of the page with the map, star ratings, address and phone number. What you’re seeing is essentially local SEO. Depending on the industry, you have the potential to be the very first result on Google and can make a big difference when it comes to bringing new leads into your business.
If you don’t take the right steps to improve your local SEO, it is the equivalent of having a sign on your front door that says, “We’re Closed.” You want to make it known to Google and the world that you are open for business, so here are some steps to improve your local SEO:
It is free to create a Google My Business page and shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to cross this step off your checklist. This will get your business hours, phone number and directions onto Google Search and Maps. Make sure you add pictures of your business and add a great description so people can familiarize themselves with your local brand directly from your Google My Business page. To verify this process, Google will manually send you a postcard with a pin so make sure to check your mail!
There are hundreds of local directories across the internet where your business needs to be submitted to.
Through options like Moz Local, Aabaco or Yext, you can get your business submitted to hundreds of directories. While there is a small fee, this will be one of the most worthwhile investments you can make from a marketing standpoint.
After submitting your business to one of the aforementioned services, you will appear on sites like MapQuest, FourSquare and Yahoo Local (to name a few). This process will take you no time at all and it will help align your local presence.
It’s important to know that just because you have more reviews than someone else doesn’t necessarily mean that this will help you surpass them in rank. What reviews will help you do is increase your click-through rate, an important indicator to Google.
What you will begin to notice is that once you focus on getting reviews from customers, you will start getting more high-quality leads. Reviews help establish credibility for your brand. When people are deciding between competitors, they are likely going to read reviews. Google also likes it when you have a high click-through on the search results because it means you are clearly providing value to the user (otherwise, they wouldn’t click on your site).
You should create a customized email for each brand advocate and tell them how important a review would be to your business. It is also important to train your staff to ask customers for reviews. Starting with reviews on your Google My Business page is a good start. But, don’t forget about Yelp and Facebook.
There is a lot of correlation between the domain authority of your website and the local SEO results. In order to increase domain authority, you need quality backlinks pointing back to your site from external websites.
For a local company, it is imperative that you have local links pointing back to your site. If you are an extermination company, for example, make sure all of your vendors link back to your site on the “partners” section of their sites. If you have a lot of corporate clients, see if they’ll link back to you. Get involved in the local community an and they should link back to you on their “sponsor” page. All of these backlinks are indicators to Google that you are a local business.
Google is not going to know you what you do and where unless you make this clear on your website. Make sure to include your business name, address and phone number on your website. In the title tag of your site, reference your local market. On your contact page, make sure to list out directions to your office and include local landmarks so people can easily find your location.
Your local search results tie back to your website. Your website needs to be a true local indicator.
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