In a previous post, we discussed why a mobile friendly website is no longer a nice-to-have and that without it, your business may not show up in mobile search results. Now, assuming that you do have a mobile friendly site, then optimizing for local search is extremely important so you can be found. In fact, local search optimization is a ranking factor used by Google. That is to say, when a business optimizes their website and overall digital presence for local search, they are more likely to be rewarded with a Page One Google result than a non-optimized site.
What is local search? Local search refers to the use of a search engine like Google to search for a local service or product. A study conducted last year by Google revealed the following:
1. Consumers search with proximity in mind – 4 out of 5 users search for local information using a search engine.
2. 50% of consumers who conducted a local search visited a store within a day.
3. Local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches.
With these findings in mind then, how does a company optimize its web presence for local search?
1. Register on Google My Business.
2. Optimize your Google+ page.
3. People search using their town, city, or municipality’s name in the search term. Make sure to develop content that includes these keywords. Use the keywords in your title, description, and within the body of the webpage.
4. Create separate landing pages for the various towns or cities you may serve. Be careful not to duplicate content.
5. Get listed in local directories. Make sure your company’s name, address, and phone number are consistent.
6. Sign up for the major social media platforms and ensure that your information is correct.
7. Get reviews from the major platforms or ones that matter in your industry. For example: Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp.
There’s more to do, but this will go a long way to ensuring your business ranks for local search.
Photo courtesy: Pleuntje