If you’re not up on the basics of local search as a small business owner you’re losing out. It’s still amazing to me how so many local businesses don’t even have a website.
But you’re one of the smart ones who’s had a website for a while. Now what’s the next step to actually get customers from your website?
Local search is the easiest and quickest way. It’s better to hire a professional, I’ve got a couple of client spots available, than it is to spend tons of time learning the quirky local search game.
Like anything else it’s an acquired expertise over time and investing your energy studying.
If you have plenty of extra time for study then by all means feel free to dive much deeper into local search optimization.
Basically, at its core we’re talking about when users are searching from mobile devices or searching from their desktops or laptops at work and at home for a search like “plumber Atlanta Georgia”.
You’ll notice how they’re looking for a plumber but obviously they don’t want one in San Diego California. So they typed in the city and state qualifier after the type of business they were looking for.
There’s a specific set of rules to moving your website to the top position for the very best key words that people in your local area are typing in to potentially find you.
One of them is the authority of your website which is based on a number of factors including:
1. relevancy of your content
2. number and quality of links coming into your site
3. your office location
4. whether you’ve got plenty of images and videos on YouTube.
The other big thing is to claim your listing and fill it out as completely as possible. Google likes to see 10 images and 5 YouTube videos.
Basic rule of thumb is “the more complete your listing is the more likely you’ll be positioned higher in the rankings than any of your competitors”.
Your local business search listing is highly optimized for searches done from mobile devices meaning you can win the mobile game without any technical knowledge.
Also as speech to text software, like Apple’s Siri, on smart phones gets more accurate this is driving more local search queries. Apple’s IOS software for their iPhone is increasingly pulling data from local search results as well as from Yelp.
Hint: if your business isn’t listed on Yelp.com get on there immediately. It doesn’t cost any cash it only costs a little bit of time outlay. And you don’t even have to do it yourself, you can assign one of your employees to do it.
Here’s more from Internet Marketing Ninjas:
How do I start?
Start with each of the three major search engines. Using a variety of keywords and phrases, search for your business. Try those you optimize your website for and others you might not yet use. Think of broader category terms rather than your specific business branding (although product & service branding terms are perfectly valid). You want to see where your website falls in the pack. Try this test while logged on and logged off of your search engine accounts in the browser. You’ll likely get different local results, as identifying the exact location of logged off users is harder to do, so you’ll want to see how those users fare when searching for your line of business.
If you find your business listed, look for a link that goes to the local search business profile, not the company website (you might try clicking the map pushpin or a link for directions).
Note: If after trying several search terms and you can’t find your business, go directly to the local search tools – Google Places, Bing Business Portal, and Yahoo! Local – and create a profile pronto!
Examine the existing default profile; surely there is something there that you can update, add to, and optimize. Look for a link in the local search profile with the anchor text “Business owner?”, “Claim this business” or something similar to begin the process of capturing the profile so you can edit it. This will make it an owner-verified listing – and that’s a good thing!
Make sure you copy and paste your business info to all these various places. The format of your address and phone number should be the exact same on Google places, Bing local, Yahoo local, Yelp.com, Citysearch.com and all the other local directories.
Adding the exact same info increases the trust that search engines have in your data being accurate. That’s the biggest thing they want from local businesses is accurate up to date information which gives searchers your correct phone number and office address.
Doing this means you’ll likely be positioned higher than your competitors.
https://plus.google.com/ there will be a link to “create business page” or similar in the lower right side of your screen.
What other questions are stirring in your mind about what you can do to get better rankings?
Ask those in the comments below because I promise to respond.