When conducting online research, consumers use local search terms to find everything from seafood restaurants in their area, to nearby gyms, to child care providers that are close to where they work on local Google search results pages. To attract local customers or clients, businesses must take action to ensure they’re found in local search results.
Beyond simply having a website, there are several actions businesses can take to boost their search engine rankings. Here are four tips to help you optimize your online presence for local search and connect with people who are looking for the products or services that you offer.
1. Claim your online directory listings
In the digital age, you can drive more foot traffic to your business if it shows up in online searches. In fact, 72 percent of consumers who did a local search online visited a store within five miles. To establish your local presence, you should claim your online directory listings and fill out all your profiles on social networks.
2. Be consistent
It’s critical that your business’s name, address and phone number are consistent across all directory listings. Inconsistent listings can confuse search engines and searchers, and decrease your overall rankings. Conversely, consistent listings will improve your online visibility by demonstrating your directory information is reliable.
3. Consider the way people search
In addition to getting your online listings in order, you should be optimizing your website’s content for local search. As you’re writing copy for your website, put yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer. Which search terms would they be using to find the kinds of products or services that you offer?
Content on your website needs to match the keywords customers type into search engines. For example, when someone is looking for an auto repair shop, they might look up ‘oil change near me.’ But if your shop’s website doesn’t mention that you do oil changes, you’re not going to show up in search results or be able to attract a customer who’s looking for that service.
This being said, you can’t simply stuff your website full of keywords and expect results. Repeating a bunch of common search terms over and over again or using them out of context just to boost your search ranking won’t work. Not only will this irritate your website’s visitors, but it can also harm your ranking on Google.
To ensure that the keywords flow organically and are contextually relevant, you may want to add a product page or a services page to your website. This extra page will give you a place to list everything that you do or give more information about the merchandise you sell in a way that makes sense for your website’s visitors and improves your search ranking.
4. Start today
Great news: You can start putting these tips into action right now. New businesses should begin by filling out their profiles on Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp — the top three places to list a business. Older businesses can run a scan of their listings, using the free Safeguard scan tool to find out if any information needs to be updated, removed or cleaned up.
To make this process run smoother and ensure that all the information is accurate, create a spreadsheet with all your company information on it — including your legal business name, physical address, phone number, a short description of your business, a long description of your business and the categories of the services you provided. You’ll be able to refer to this as you fill out all your listings.
Developing and maintaining your business’s local search presence takes time. But it’s well worth the investment. Implementing local search techniques into your digital marketing strategy can grow your customer base and ultimately grow your business.
Need help listing and monitoring your company across the top online directories to show up on local Google search results? Your Safeguard consultant can help. Call 800.616.9492 for details or visit GoSafeguard.com.