Over the years, there has been an increase both in the number of mobile users and their dependency on mobile technology generally. As a result, people searching on the go for food, things to buy, or things to do locally is becoming more and more prevalent. Want to have your business featured where all of these people are looking? Here are 5 steps to kick-starting your local search campaign.
Step 1: Build Local Citations
In local SEO, “citations” are mentions of your business name, address or phone number (NAP). Where can you start building citations? Start by pitching for any well-known industry directories that you are aware of. After that, get listed on common directories like Yellow Pages, True Local, Yelp or main social media sites (eg. Facebook).
Step 2: Schema Markup & Accurate NAP
Consult your developer on how to add a Schema Markup – it’s a relatively simple process of adding a code and telling Google your company name, address and phone number (NAP). You can see how important this is – imagine ordering a pizza and sending someone the wrong address for delivery – you’d probably miss out on your pizza. Having the wrong address or phone number for your business would have worse consequences than missing out on a pizza order. It may seem simple, but it’s highly important to check for misspellings, outdated contact details and any other incorrect information on your site.
Step 3: Google My Business
After you get your NAP on your website right, make sure it’s consistent on your Google My Business account. Google My Business allows you to manage Google Search, Maps and Google+. Start off by filling out your Google My Business Page as much as possible. Fill in the categories, business hours and business descriptions.
Having a blank Google My Business Page is equivalent to having a blank website. This might seem like a common sense recommendation, but you would be surprised at how many businesses’ Google profiles look like a ghost town.
Step 4: Google Reviews
Reviews are important for customers who are deciding which listing to click on. As an example, users will be more inclined to click on a business with 32 five-star reviews than a business with 1 five-star review (or 32 one-star reviews…). If you don’t have any reviews, encourage your happy clients to review you on Google. Build a process and system to encourage ongoing reviews. Start a conversation with them, and respond to their feedback. You can do this effectively through your Google My Business account.
Step 5: Be Relevant – On Page Optimisation
The final step involves targeting keywords with location qualifiers, for instance “Melbourne flowers”, or “Sydney plumbers”. Standard search engine optimisation (SEO) principles apply: focus on optimising meta-titles and meta-descriptions, as these are the snippets of text that appear on the search page and explain what the contents of the web pages contain. For instance, if you’re selling flowers in a local area, ensure the titles and description are relevant to their searches. Write a short statement on your gorgeous bouquets, delivery service, or your experience in the industry!
While local search traffic generally is lower, remember they are highly targeted due to their proximity and their more immediate intent to act. Follow the 5 steps above to leverage the power of local search. In a nutshell: optimise your business to show up for local searches, engage your visitors through Google My Business, and you will be on the way to dominating local search!