Local search results have become prime real estate on the search engine results page, which is why companies need to invest in local SEO services. These results are displayed under the sponsored advertisements, pushing the organic search results down. To most business owners, ranking in the local results, such as Google Maps, is imperative to their company’s online success.
Why Should Local SEO be a Part of Your Online Marketing Strategy?
Not only does Google prominently showcase local businesses at the top of their search results page, but provides customer reviews about an organization’s products and services. Searchers can read customer opinions about their experience with the organization. As I’m sure you are already aware, customer reviews can hurt your company’s reputation or create customer evangelists producing a viral marketing effect. Check out some of our recommendations for how to optimize your business around local search.
Recommendations for Local Search
- Get listed in Google My Business. Be sure to completely fill out all the information as much as possible including descriptions of products, service offerings, hours and photos. Go through the same process with Bing Places.
- Verify your listing. Once you have submitted your business to Google My Business, you’ll need to verify your listing. Google does this by mail or phone. By verifying the listing, you are establishing a sense of trust with Google about your site.
- Ensure that your exact name, address and phone (NAP) information is included on your website. This information is typically in the footer, but is also commonly found on a contact page.
- Localized linking strategies provide prominence of geographical location. Build links from local organizations or directories in your area. For example, chambers of commerce are good links to obtain.
- Search engines pull results from local resources such as Localeze, Acxion, Yellow Pages, Super Pages, Dex Knows, Yelp, etc. It may be confusing to the search engines if the business title, phone number or address are different across any of these resources. Therefore, make sure all have the same information. Otherwise, you are decreasing the validity of your business’ location with the search engines.
- Customer reviews assist in popularity. When you receive 5+ reviews, the stars will be displayed in Google, which can help improve click-thru-rate.
No one knows, except for the Google magicians, what makes up their algorithm. Optimizing for organic search results and local search results are two separate animals. Local search is driven by business location, website theme, phone number, local resources, customer reviews and more. If you are interested in learning how Webolutions can help you with your local presence, contact us today at 303-300-2640.