What is Local SEO?
Many business owners are aware of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This type of SEO is typically associated with marketing content and isn’t necessarily tied to a specific location. Local SEO, on the other hand, takes location of the business into consideration. It adds a few specific strategies for your business to be found locally.
Here are some stats on the benefits of ranking in local search results*
- Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within a day.
- More than 60% of consumers have used local information in ads.
- 50% mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results.
*source: SEO Nick
3 Simple Tips to Improve Your Local SEO
Below I discuss 3 Tips to increase your local SEO standing without having to be an SEO expert. But before we start, I want tell you about the FREE download I have for you that goes along with this post. While the post outlines the WHYS; the cheat sheet shows the HOW TO’s. Get the cheat sheet here.
Tip 1: Set Up a Google Business Profile (and other directory listings)
“Google My Business” is THE place to start getting your local business found in searches. In fact, listing your business on Google My Business should be a top priority. And it is FREE!
According to eBizMBA, which ranks Google as their most popular search engine, there are 1.6 Billion unique monthly visitors. Compare this to their second ranked search engine, Bing, which gets 400 million estimated unique monthly visitors. It is clear your business NEEDS to be on Google.
The search results are probably already very familiar to you. Imagine you are on vacation and the family decides they want to go to a seafood restaurant for dinner. Someone pulls out their smart phone and “googles” Seafood Restaurants Near Me. A list similar to the one below would appear in your search and many people would use these results to make their decision.
In addition to Google My Business, you should also add your business to other directory listings such as Bing, Yelp and Yahoo. There are also many industry specific directories that you may want to list your business like Angie’s List or Zagat. Some may be free or charge a fee for the listing.
Tip 2: Encourage Clients to Leave Reviews
Okay – so now you have your business listed in various directories. You may say “Whew – glad I can check that off my to do list!” Well, not quite. While a listing is very important to find and learn about your business, potential clients want to see some social proof.
Here are some interesting stats*:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with “excellent” reviews
So excellent reviews are great for business. No surprise there. But what happens when someone leaves a not so stellar review. The simplest action to take is to address the complaint immediately either by responding directly to the review online or contacting the unhappy client off-line. Taking these actions hopefully will result in the customer either removing their negative review or modifying it. Another option would be to contact the directory (i.e. Google, yelp, bing) and submit the review for removal if it is inappropriate or not relevant.
*Source: business 2 community
Tip 3: Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
In recent years, there has been much discussion on assuring your website is mobile friendly. This means that your site will adjust depending on what size screen a viewer is using. Consider that by 2017, over a third of the world’s population is projected to own a smartphone which is an estimated total of almost 2.6 billion users*.
There are so many reasons to make sure your website is mobile friendly only one of which is Local SEO.
Other reasons to consider:
- Google gives priority to mobile-friendly websites in their search results.
- It builds credibility as visitors to your site will have a pleasant experience as opposed to becoming frustrated with trying to “scroll” through a website on a smartphone.
- Being mobile friendly also makes you more competitive in the marketplace. With so many options a consumer has on the Internet now, not having a mobile friendly site is a huge disadvantage.
If you website was developed before 2012, there is a good possibility that your website is not mobile friendly.
How about your business? Have you taken any steps to improve your Local SEO? Have you added your business to “Google My Business”?
Leave any thoughts or comments below. Would love to hear from you!