There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google every day, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. However, the majority of consumer engagement with brands (85-95%) happens through local listings, local web pages or other local search results. The Local Search Association (LSA) released a report in 2017 that looked at how consumers in cities of varying populations look for local business information. Search engines dominated local search at 80% usage. To put it bluntly, local businesses must be visible in a local online search – customers expect it!
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Being listed online locally plays a key role in whether or not a business is going to be chosen by local consumers, and a strong local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is key to driving more people to the business, whether there’s one location or ten.
Get started with local SEO with these five tips:
Have a location page on the website. If there are multiple locations, have one page for each and every location. On this page include lots of locally relevant information. Provide a map on each page as well as the business address. Also describe where the location is including a well-known landmark (e.g. 900 Richard Street, in the downtown core, next to the bus station).
Get listed in lots of local and industry-relevant directory listing sites such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Trip Advisor, as well as on locally specific sites. Directory listings are one of the best ways to rank more highly on a Google search as it links back to the website telling Google it’s a reputable, legitimate business. Note: The business name, address and phone number should be exactly the same across every directory that the site is listed on.
Get listed on Google My Business – it’s free! This is a no-brainer as it ensures the business is visible in local listings when people conduct a Google search. Did you know, the Google 3-pack appears at the top of 93% of searches when there is a local intent? Make sure your business appears ahead of the competition – Google My Business influences this.
Write a blog that people actually read. Drive more traffic to your website by writing a blog that provides value to new and existing customers. Many of the low-cost website building tools have built in blogging platforms. It couldn’t be easier! While blogs don’t directly drive revenue, and it can take some time to see results. However, it is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote a business online. In some industries, a valuable blog can position a company and the employees as experts in that field.
Be active on social media. This doesn’t directly influence your website’s online search rankings, but it provides another web property that can be ranked by Google. Some people want to visit a business’ Facebook page over the website so will conduct a search for “[business name] Facebook”.
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