Local search optimization is hot. Where once web users wanted global information, today they demand more personal results. Our BCI Media Services content fulfillment agents recommend optimizing your business locally. This means taking the necessary steps to get your website listed on the Google results page for local searches. For example, when a customer types in “hairdresser Durango, CO,” or hairdresser near me.” Having your company show up depends on your website’s presence in local search directories. These local directories are generally made up of high-quality websites. That is, sites Google sees as authoritative. Posting, or claiming as well as updating local directory listings is, therefore, an important step in local search marketing.
Identify Your Keywords
It may seem like a small, maybe even arbitrary detail, but the local search ecosystem is more important than you think. If you’re going to optimize your site, you have to know what people are looking for. To find this out: Use the Google AdWords keyword tool or something similar to find what local keywords in your niche are attracting search traffic. You can also check out your web analytics to see what local terms visitors have used to find your business.
Optimize Existing Pages
If you have a business website, you more than likely already have pages that describe the services you offer. The next step is to make it clear that you target a particular local market. You can do this by including your town or city in page titles and descriptions. Don’t forget to add local contact details (business name, address and phone number) on appropriate pages.
You should also consider adding a map to your site. You can also optimize page and post content by including local terms.
After optimizing and localizing your existing content, the next step is to get yourself listed in local directories like Yelp and YP. Most of these sites now allow for reviews and more. And, they are great for getting your business noticed by potential local customers. In addition to the obvious information (business name, address, phone number and other contact details), make sure you write a dynamic description that includes your key local search terms. Once you’ve claimed and edited your listings on the directory sites, you should see already begin to see some improvements in your web presence via local search.
Get With Google
Once you have the local listings covered, the next category to turn to is the search engines. Google is, of course, the best place to start. You may already have a Google My Business listing. Make sure to claim it if a listing is already created. Otherwise, to set one up, go here, then follow the steps listed. It’s a pretty simple process, but it’s important that all of the information is correct and that your business is only listed once per location.
Every business needs a Facebook Page. Google uses Facebook Pages to verify and rank businesses in local search results so make sure you have a social presence. Encourage your clients and customers to check-in and leave reviews inside of Facebook.
Ask Your Customers
The last piece of the local search ranking puzzle is recommendations, reviews and general feedback from your customers. It doesn’t much matter if there are a few negative or neutral reviews, as long as your customers are talking about you. If you do see negative results check here for our tips on handling reviews. Once you have great reviews, be sure to use them on local search pages as well as on your site to make both search engines and users even happier.
If the DIY route seems overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. Contact BCI Media Services today to find out how we can help your business become a local search superstar with SEO packages, Google My Business management, Social Media management and more!