46% of all Google searches are local. So if your local business isn’t on Google, you could be missing out on many opportunities every time someone local searches for something related to your business or your products online.
And many people are searching locally. In fact, 89% of people search for a local business on their phone at least once a week. 76% of people visit a business within twenty-four hours, and 28% of local searches result in a purchase.
Thus, it's integral to improve your local SEO if you want to stay ahead of the competition and ensure that your business is visible to potential local customers. Here's how you can do it.
Create a contact page
People want more information about you and your business. So, create a dedicated contact page! Ensure you explicitly show your NAP:
Other things to include on your contact page are:
- An email address
- Your business hours
- A contact form
A contact page is important because it helps build trust with your audience. By showing your NAP, you're telling your audience that you're a legitimate business. It can help increase conversions and sales.
If you have multiple departments that customers can reach by email or phone, list all. Add the details and a clear heading of how that customer can reach you. Additionally, if you have more than one location, list all address details for each.
This way, customers will have no trouble finding the right person to contact, and you'll appear more organized and professional.
Another thing to include is why and when your customers should contact you. By explaining this, you can help to set customer expectations. For example, if they need to contact you for support, list the hours when support is available.
Most importantly, don't forget to add an awesome call-to-action to your contact page. It could be a button that says "Contact us now!" or "Send us an email." Whatever it is, make sure it's attention-grabbing and encourages your audience to reach out.
Add a local business map to your site
Embedding a Google Map of your business into your site will make it easy for your site visitors to find you. You can embed specific directions for a route, a street view image, or a map view image.
So instead of having your visitors search for directions to your business on Google Maps, they can view the map right from your site. Aside from helping users find your business locations, adding a map on your site can:
- send out trust signals to your site visitors
- provide potential customers with an easy way to contact you
- make your site interactive, resulting in an improved user experience
More importantly, it helps your local SEO efforts. When you add a map to your site, you’re providing Google with valuable data that it can use to index your business locations in its system.
Use schema on your website
Schema refers to a type of structured data or code that helps search engines understand the content on your website. Essentially, it provides valuable information to search engines to include your listing that may not be found in the on-page content alone.
Thus, improving your visibility online and click-through rates. You can use schema markup to include essential information in your listing on search engines like Yahoo and Google.
And this will make it easier for your website to appear in search results' featured snippets. Depending on your product or service, you can add a variety of microdata. For instance, you can include:
- store hours
- payment options
- price range
- star ratings
Essentially, the options are endless. Regardless of what you sell, you can use schema to boost your search engine listings. You're telling Google that you are a local business and not some random website. As a result, this can help raise your local search ranking and get your listing in front of potential customers.
Take note that Google considers customer testimonials as a trust signal. Basically, testimonials help people feel confident and secure about doing business with you. In fact, about 79% of shoppers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
That's why it's integral to showcase them on your website. It could be in the form of a video testimonial or a written one with photos. Whichever you choose, make sure it's visible on your site and that it addresses common objections prospects might have.
For example, at Progeektech, a Local SEO company, you can see the testimonials on the home page. They're written in a way that's relatable and trustworthy.
So, where to get customer testimonials? There are many places you can find customer testimonials, but the best way to get them is to ask your current customers for a testimonial. You can also reach out to past customers and ask them to provide a testimonial.
You can also find customer testimonials online on review sites and social media platforms. Once you have testimonials, make sure to showcase them prominently on your website to build trust with potential customers. It will undoubtedly boost your local SEO efforts and help you rank higher on SERPs (search engine results pages).
Claim your online profiles
Keep in mind that your website is not the only place you need to be active. If you want to be found by potential employers, clients, or customers, you need to take control of your online presence—which includes your online profiles.
You need to ensure your business is correctly listed on the major review sites such as Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google My Business, as well as local review sites that are specific to your industry. Why?
It's because, in regard to local searches, Google's three-pack is usually followed by these review platforms.
Google My Business
Claiming your Google My Business profile is a good place to start. This online profile lets you manage your presence on Google's search and map platforms. When you search for your business on Google, your GMB profile is usually one of the first things to show up.
So, if you haven't claimed your GMB profile yet, now is the time to do so. Once you've claimed your listing, take some time to fill out as much information as possible, including photos, business hours, products and services, etc.
Be sure to also stay active on your GMB profile by responding to reviews—both positive and negative.
You can find listings that are relevant to your location and business by doing a quick Google search. For example, if you're a restaurant in Los Angeles, try searching "Los Angeles restaurant directories."
Some of the top directories that you should be listed on include:
- Angie's List
Social Media Profiles
You also need to create profiles on various social media channels relevant to your business and target demographic. For example, if you're targeting young adults, you need to be active on Snapchat and Instagram. Be sure to follow the best practices for each social media platform.
- Filling out your profile completely
- Posting quality content regularly
- Engaging with your followers
- Building a following
When setting up these online profiles, it's integral to ensure your information is consistent and accurate across all platforms. This includes your business name, address, phone number, website URL, etc.
If there are any inconsistencies with your NAP (name, address, phone number), it can hurt your chances of ranking high on the SERPs. Google does not want to show its users incorrect information, so it's important to make sure everything is up-to-date and accurate.
Create content for local search engines and users
Content is essential to SEO or search engine optimization. It's something that businesses often overlook, but it's crucial to rank well in local search results. Creating local content can be as simple as writing a blog post about your city or town.
As your website blog gets bigger, you'll start to attract more readers from your city or town. These readers will be interested in local events, local businesses, and local news. Additionally, you acquire links from other local websites.
These links will help improve your website's authority and, ultimately, your site's ranking in online search results. When writing local content, including local neighborhood and city names wherever you can is essential.
Also, it's a good idea to include local happenings and news in your content. It will keep people coming back to your site for the latest information. Essentially, write posts that benefit and help your reader in some way.
Your goal should be to become an authoritative and trusted source of information in your industry. This way, your customers will feel that you care about them and their needs.
Citations are mentions of your business on other websites. They’re critical in local search engine optimization because they make up 11% of local pack ranking factors. You can build citations for every location you have.
However, ensure that the name, address, phone number, and site URL are identical and correct on each citation. Any discrepancies could hurt your ranking.
Citations can be in the form of a directory listing, social profile, or even just a mention of your business on another site. The key is to make sure the information on each citation is accurate and consistent.
Google crawls the web for citations to update or validate the information in their database. So if the information on your citations doesn’t match what Google has in their database, it could hurt your ranking.
So, dedicate some time to ensure your business is listed in as many quality, relevant local directories as possible.
To sum up, making sure your website is correctly configured for local SEO and that you have claimed and verified your business listing are the two most important things to improve your local SEO rank. Additionally, make sure your website content is relevant to your target local audience and includes keywords related to your business. Finally, be active on social media and regularly share links to your website content. Follow the local SEO tips or local SEO best practices outlined in this post to get started.