How to Ensure A Successful Local Search
You have what people need, and you want to make it easy for them to get. First things first—new clients have to find you in this messy Where’s Waldo marketplace!
Gone are the days of letting your fingers walk through the local yellow pages and point to one of a few local choices—this is the era of quick and dirty online searches that present the entire world in an endless scroll. You’ve got to shine like a beacon if you want to attract local business! Google can help you step from the shadows and hide in plain sight.
To secure that virtual rendezvous with your new client as they key in a local search, make sure you cover these all-important basics:
#1—Forge Crystal Clear Business Symbols
Every webpage needs a NAP (company name, address and phone number). Include this in the body content of every page on your website. Many companies only include their NAP on the contact page, yet for optimal SEO, tuck it in everywhere. Place your NAP within the titles and meta tags of each page as well. For instance, instead of making your website home page title read merely “Jerry’s Bait Shop,” make it easy for search engines to recognize who, what and where you are by saying “Jerry’s Bait Shop – casual restaurant and bar – Lee’s Summit Missouri.” Put the city and state in all H1 and H2 tags, too, to improve localized organic factors.
Proofread like a hawk and make certain your information is exactly the same every time, everywhere you stamp it. Wrong addresses and incorrect business category classifications list as some of the main negative ranking factors, so pay special attention to accuracy. It’s estimated that 50% of local businesses have inaccurate business information! Consistency and accuracy upon your site and across the Web is key to heighten your visibility in search.
Use the Data Highlighter tool in Google’s Webmaster Tools to help Google understand and represent your site. Select the proper words that help search engines understand local info on your site using a strategic Local Schema Markup.
#2—Maximize Off-Site Links and Optimization
Take advantage of local listings services.
Localeze, Axiom, SinglePlatform, Yext and Universal Business Listing offer places to actively manage your business information across local search platforms. The more inbound links from quality, authoritative sources to your landing page, the better. Maximize your presence on Yelp, Google, YP.com, Yellowbook.com and Dex knows by manually claiming your listings and updating all information to match your on-site titles and categorizations. Create a page for your business on Google Local.
July 24, 2014, Google updated a local search algorithm that made having a physical address in the city of search quite imperative. The proximity of your address to the point of the client’s search determines how high you are on the SERP that comes up when they type in keywords. Be sure your map marker is perfectly placed, create a presence on Google My Business, make sure your phone number has a local area code on the business page…and keep those geographic keywords in your website URL so people can find you quickly and without any frustration.
This is just Part One of Where are You? Being found online isn’t just as simple as having a website. It is a competitive market! Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts! Contact Us to find out how Interact Online Marketing can help your business be found!