If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you depend on local customers. When they search for the products or service you provide, you need to help them find you instead of your competitors. Optimizing your site for local search results is especially important now that most searches on mobile devices are for local businesses. So how can you make it easy for local customers to find you? Here are 6 tips to help you optimize your business for local search results.
Use the Google My Business tool
Google My Business (GMB) is an easy-to-use Google product designed to help local customers find your business. Optimize your GMB listing by filling out your profile completely and keep your information updated. For the best results, enter your physical address (not your mailing address) and choose the correct business and product category.
Use local keywords
If there are local or regional terms that people use when looking for information in your area, optimize your page for these keywords. Use them in your website’s content.
Keep contact information consistent
Contact information – your business name, physical address and phone number – is an important external location signal that helps search engines rank your site. It should match what you list on your GMB page and should be standardized across all online platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram and local directories. This helps search engines understand that the pages on each platform belong to the same business.
A citation is a listing or mention of your site on another site such as a directory, a review site or even a blog. Citations boost your local rankings by enhancing your business’s reputation and driving traffic to your website. There are close to 100 online directories, and you should list your business on as many as possible, and any niche-specific directories that are relevant to your business.
Have separate web pages for each location
If your business has multiple locations, create separate web pages for each one. When customers enter local search terms, they are usually looking for specific information regarding a business at that location such as a phone number, street address or hours of operation. This information is much easier to find when each location has its own page, and it will help optimize each page for its respective location.
Get customer reviews
Google places great emphasis on reviews when it calculates local search results. Always encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business from multiple sources. Reviews from authority sites such as Yelp, Foursquare and Yahoo Local can help boost your reputation.
Local SEO is important if you want your business to rank in the search results. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to improve your ranking in searches for local businesses. Keep your contact information consistent and utilize local keywords to help customers find your business online. Use Google My Business and encourage reviews and citations for your website and you’ll start to rank higher in local search results.