A successful and stable business always has an ample amount of people engaged precisely at the places where they are needed the most. For a local business, the ‘people factor’ becomes even more important as their expansion wholly depends upon its popularity and goodwill in the specific region.
A strategically designed local SEO campaign for business attracts more customers and therefore, it enhances its credibility and ultimately its revenue. Local SEO, also known as local SEO marketing, aims towards ranking a business among the top search results in popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Safari, etc.
Talking about SERP, it is known that there is a high probability for the visitors to choose among the top three search findings which are commonly also known as Google 3-pack or Snack-Pack. The remaining search results fall under the organic results segment. It is important to appear in both kinds of results because 33% of the clicks pertain to Snack-Pack results and 40% pertain to the organic results.
Starting Local SEO for Your Business:
The basic way to manage the online visibility of your business is by using local SEO services provided by Google. Optimize your website for a mobile-friendly view using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Adding basic contact information such as correct Name-Address-Phone number (NAP) at a noticeable location plays a critical role in optimizing your website.
A well-optimized, responsive website should be able to automatically navigate the given contact number through the device as it gets quite frustrating for a viewer to browse between the apps or dialling the number manually. Geo-tagging the location of the business is also important as it assists users in contacting the business office offline. In addition, listing the business on Google My Business (GMB) is crucial for determining the rank on SERP.
Follow these steps to list your local business on Google:
Step 1 - Enter the Business Name:
At the outset, you are required to enter the correct business name. Two options are provided in this section. In the first option, Google automatically recognizes your business and the second option pertains to creating a new business name.
Step 2 - Adding the Address:
The address details are automatically filled if Google recognizes your business. If not, you have to enter the details manually. You can edit the details if needed.
Follow these tips to get the job done:
In the case of multiple addresses of business, select the one which is closest to the primary area of service
In the case of a virtual office, do not use this address as it is against the guidelines of GMB. In such a situation it is advisable to use the home address.
Step 3 - Adding the Exact Location:
You have to pinpoint the location of your business in this section. Although Google’s geo-tagging services are usually quite precise in finding your business’s location, editing is always possible in case of any issues.
Step 4 - Selecting Business Category:
Google offers only one category option for any business. As you start typing, Google starts suggesting the relevant names. Choose the one that best suits your business. In case Google does not provide you with a specific category, try and look for the most relevant category used by your competitors through Google Maps and use the same.
Step 5 - Enter your correct phone number and website URL
Provide the correct contact information for your business. This will come in handy in verifying numerous aspects of your business.
Step 6 - Verify the Listing:
This is the final but most important step as any unverified information is a waste for Google. Making a mistake in this section will hinder your marketing campaign. This is to verify your listing through a phone call or a postcard.
You can further optimized the listing by adding details such as opening and closing business hours, alternative phone numbers, photos of the premise or products, etc.
Local SEO Tips and Tricks:
You should also maintain consistency in your approach while entering various types of information. Any inconsistency creates confusion and misleads Google, thereby adversely impacting the local SEO. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are also used for listing the business. It ensures better coverage among the users.
- Imbibing local content through blog writing for the business domain is another way for accomplishing local SEO. The blog should be a part of the main business domain.
For instance, mentioning www.website.com/blog is better than blog.website.com or websiteblog.com. Users who can access blogs can simultaneously access the business website with this approach.
- Including names of local places, nearby towns, local news, etc. in the blogs also helps in local SEO optimization. Users might not search for a specific location at which the business is located. In fact, they might search for the above-mentioned attributes and eventually come across the business website.
- Building links, knowing the target audience and welcoming positive criticism are the three important components of a sustainable blog. Reading other business blogs and commenting and sharing links are also effective in establishing a website and attract audiences. Zip Code Lookup is one of the local SEO services that help in analyzing the demographic characteristics of the population and consequently assist in selecting the target audience.
- Linking up with famous local blogs and industry-focused directories are a few other ways to boost up your local SEO. Both these metrics are well-indexed by the search engines and also have geographical significance. Building connections with them through link sharing and comments highlight the business as a trusted entity among the search engines.
- Review ratings play an important role in determining the rank of a business in SERPs. Any rating lower than 4-5 stars does not portray a good picture of the business. Therefore, aim at providing good quality services or products to increase good review rating on the website.
- Listing the business at eminent review platforms like Google ratings helps in improving its rank (provided the reviews are positive). Tackling the negative reviews without passing any offensive comments is also important while deciding the rank of the business.
A local business cannot grow without having a strong online presence. It is crucial for the local business to create its position in the digital platform and this is effectively carried out through a systematically planned local SEO strategy. Ultimately, the success of a brand depends upon its customer satisfaction which in turn can be achieved by handling the criticism positively.