Posted by Sanket Patel
March 11, 2017
Local results appear for the people who’re searching for places and businesses near their location. They get displayed at a number of places across the Search and Maps. For example, if you search for a ‘Chinese Restaurant’ from your mobile device, you’ll see the local results. Google tries to display the similar nearby restaurants which you’d like to visit. In the image below, Google suggests some options using the local results.
Running a business smoothly can be hard work. You might have a steady flow of loyal existing customers, but business owners always want to have a stream of new people getting in.
Are you looking to get more customers for your brick-and-mortar store?
Today, online visibility is crucial for any business regardless of whether it has several physical locations or it is purely virtual. However, the physical stores that are not very widespread, mainly rely on local search rankings to stay on the map.
There are various local search ranking factors which, if you adhere to them, can do wonders for your local search visibility. If you aren’t ranked high in your local SERPs for the relevant keywords in your location, then you need to focus on improving your current strategy and SEO efforts.
Google is constantly evaluating and altering the algorithmic factors they consider most important to show the local search results, and they’re not exactly upfront about what those entail.
You can boost your local business’s ranking by using Google My Business. Let’s walk through a few of the top local search ranking factors.
The best way to see your business visibility is by conducting a search yourself. If you feel it’s a hard time to find the basic information of your business such as contact information or physical address, there are chances your potential customers will also feel the same.
To be on the top of the search rankings, you have to be at your best. This can be done by building niche directory links, a ton of citations, increasing your business reviews on the Google My Business page and optimizing your GMB profile.
Your local Google+ pages are an excellent way to communicate with your customers and get more exposure. They add customer engagement through interaction on your page’s listing and help you create a perfect communication with your customers by creating post updates and responding to reviews of your customers.
To start off, research the keywords that the customers use to find you. There are various free tools to help you narrow in on the right keywords which will help you target your local audience. To help your business increase local visibility, your primary focus should be understanding your customer’s language and what they tend to use when they’re searching for a business like yours.
Needless to say, Content is critical for both, search engines and visitors. The most important thing you can do to boost the visibility of your local business is producing high quality content.
You should naturally include your state and city to let the search engines and visitors know where are you located. Ensure that you include the name of your company, the physically address where you’re located, your primary phone number and embed a geo sitemap so that the search engines can access your business more easily.
The more content you add to your website, the more chances to get better rankings — provided that all of it offers valuable information, or advice to the web audience.
Now that you have the on-page optimization and the right keywords in place, it’s time, you start looking at factors that are not directly related to your website.
However, remember to create the important pages like testimonials and FAQs.
The websites having genuine reviews from its customers and visitors are typically considered better than the ones with the spammed positive reviews. You can kindly ask your customers to leave an honest review on your Google+ local page or wherever they prefer.
Provide various options for your customers to voice their opinions. For example, if they don’t wish to use their Facebook profile for Yelp or they don’t have a Google account to leave a Google+ review, they may abandon the whole idea. But if you give them several options, you’ll get more results.
Then regularly monitor your reviews on all the platforms, so that you’re able to respond to any negative reviews in a positive way. This is a very basic practice for brand management.
Today, more than one million mobile devices are active on the web every day, so mobile is the future now. This is more true for the local businesses, where customers are often looking for you on their mobile devices. If you don’t have a mobile presence yet, it’s time you speed up and start looking to get a mobile responsive website.
There are many social platforms other than Google+ where you can take advantages of getting more exposure for your website. Make sure that your social pages are listed as a local business, and every social profile of your business includes your physical address including state and city; and this should be consistent across all the platforms.
So, make sure you grab valuable credits for all those likes and shares by claiming those places.
Once your business is established, and your customers can find you, all you need is giving them reasons to look for you.
Blogging is a great way to effectively communicate with your local community as the reliable voice of the business.
Creating a blog will help you get a platform which creates a lasting impression and bond with your customer base. This is where a lot of local businesses fail. On the other side, there are businesses which have an SEO company blogging for them creating shallow content which won’t rank for visibility.
Google likes very detailed, informative, and insightful content. That is what the search engine wants to rank at the top, especially when indexing millions of websites that have similar content.
Pro Tip: Audit your local visibility by examining your business online regularly, and be certain that your business information is consistent across the web. Fix up the incorrect or misleading information to augment the chances of appearing in the local search results for your products and services.
If you’re not well-versed enough at the technical points, getting more online visibility can be an overwhelming task. Many local businesses don’t have time to make efforts to get better visibility online and end up with a small customer base.
But, through these important local SEO ranking strategies, you can ensure that your local business stays on the top of the search rankings.
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