Understanding and implementing local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are a collection of undeniably valuable tools for those businesses that rely on customers to visit their place of business, as well as for marketing companies that offer SEO services. In order for a customer to find a business online, it must have a discoverable presence, which means that the business must be anchored to its local area while also ranking high for particular keyword searches. To assist you with learning how SEO works and how to increase your business’ online presence for local searches, here is a 3-step guide to local SEO that will get you started:
- Add your business’ name, physical address and phone number in many online places. These places include every page of your business’ website, social media profiles, your business’ local listing on Google Places, and any other directories that have either added your business’ information based on a request received by your company or without your knowledge.
- Verify that your business’ name, physical address and phone number are identical across all sources. To avoid multiple, unattached listings, also known as citations, check that each abbreviation is the same, the company name is presented similarly and the phone number’s area code either has parentheses or dashes. For example, 1000 Center Circle versus 1000 Center Cir. and A Corporation versus A Corp. can generate two distinct listings.
- Ask customers to leave reviews of your business online. Two very important factors that affect your business’ ranking on search results when a prospective customer searches for your type of industry for the local area is the number of reviews and positive reviews. If you have a dental office in San Jose and a person searches for dentists in San Jose, the businesses that will attract customers are those with a large number of reviews and/or positive reviews. Google and other search engines understand the browsing behavior of individuals. Therefore, Google will take into account the number of reviews for a business and the overall positive slant of said reviews. To rank higher, your company must ask its current clients to leave reviews based on their experiences as customers.
Local and nationwide SEO can be confusing to those first entering the world of digital presence creation. If you are eager to increase your business’ local search rankings, it pays to hire an expert marketing team well-versed in the application of the many SEO tools available versus an intern that can cause damage that will take months to reverse.