When it comes to running a local business, it’s no longer enough just to have a great physical store and expect the customers to come running. Whether you’re a family run shop or store, an accountant, or a large company with multiple locations, local SEO is the only way that you will get the right customer who needs your products to your store, exactly when they need them.
Online search is now consumers’ top choice for finding local businesses, and local SEO is as important as ever. Your Google My Business listing is the first step in optimising your Local visibility (so make sure all of the information there is up to date and relevant), but there are a lot of other things that you can do, to make sure that your business is at the top of its game:
As good as Google My Business is for providing insights into local searches like clicks for directions, website clicks, phone calls and local pack impressions, the rest of the SERP can also be used to direct users to your page. For example, traditional organic search optimisation efforts that are made with a local angle can help to improve your business’s search presence in relevant local markets by inferring that a user is interested in shopping in the local area, showing local-based SERPs instead of generic results.
It’s just a fact that Google rewards websites that are easy to crawl, and using structured data will ensure that your website is easy for Google to both understand and evaluate your product inventory when someone searches online for a product that you may have; this, in turn, improves your store’s chance of showing up in relevant searches.
In simpler local SEO terms, there is nothing more off-putting than looking up a business online only to find that its website, Facebook, Twitter and Google Business listing all show different results, so make sure that your opening hours, services, location and any other information is all up to date across the board. Inconsistencies will give your business a bad reputation and will affect how your business appears online.
As with all SEO, links to and from your website are an extremely important factor in establishing the credibility of your business. Try to consistently share links to and from all of your social media profiles, and boost your local presence by sponsoring local events or helping the local community and sharing the information about it with links to other local businesses involved online. You can also try and be kind to other businesses in your community and share their deals, events and blog posts to build a sense of loyalty and use your website or social media channels like a local hub.
User reviews are a great way to help and build your business’s online presence and credibility, so make sure that you are treating reviews correctly. Whether you receive positive or negative reviews from your customers, you should be responding to them and showing your best side. It also bodes well to encourage your existing customers to leave reviews and ratings across a variety of different platforms to boost your local reach.