If you are looking for some ingenious ways to drive more customers to your brick-and-mortar business, you should optimize your local search engine presence. Yes, you heard absolutely right. Whatever business you are running, having an online presence of your business over the web is essential to reach local customers faster. Long gone are the days when people used to check yellow pages to find a local business in their region, area or locality. Nowadays, approximately 14 billion searches are done locally and out of that 50% of consumers who conducted a local search visit the store or location within a day. As per the Google, phrases such as “nearby”, “closest”, “near me” are appearing more and more among the billions of searches done locally. This clearly indicates that it’s high time for small and medium sized businesses to optimize their local presence for local audience. In this blog post, we are going to tell you some best ways to improve your local search engine presence.
#1 Claim Your Business Listings Today
Claiming your business listing is as easy as counting 1, 2 and 3. If you are one of those who haven’t claimed business listings, claim it today. This is the very first step in the process of optimizing local search presence. Every business irrespective of their size should claim their local business listing through the elite business centers of local search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Depending on your industry vertical, you can also claim your business listing on the popular business listing websites such as Yelp, Angellist, Hotfrog, Citysearch and many more.
Once you successfully claim your business listing, potential local audience could easily find your business in the local search results. While claiming your business listing, make sure your business information is not only accurate but also compelling enough, because misleading or incorrect information may leave a negative experience on the customers and you’ll end up losing potential sales.
#2 Optimize Your Business Profile Completely
7 out of 10 businesses only check their business name, address and phone number in the NAP citation. But, to improve your business presence on local search engine results, you need to fully optimizing your profile and make it stand out from your competitors by creating customized fields and informative business descriptions. You might not know that you can create up to 5 categories in Google places – go for those one that are most relevant to your business and provide maximum search volume. Write keyword rich business description, integrate Google maps and add details of your business physical location. You can also add high quality brand-approved photos and videos as well. The most important thing that you need to keep in your mind is that always keep the information up to date.
A Quick Glimpse of Activities You Need To Do To Optimize Your Business Profile
- Describe your company with an engaging description and don’t forget to use targeted keywords
- Pick the right category for your business
- Use high-resolution images and videos of your business space
- Add opening time and closing time of your business
- Get positive reviews and ratings from your customers
- Use the uniform address of your business across all the local business directories
- Add a local contact number for the local audience
#3 Be consistent
You might not know that Google, Yahoo and Bing hate inconsistent business listings of online businesses, and inconsistency across several local business directories can dwindle your business prestige and presence. That is why it is strongly recommended to be consistent across all local directory websites while listing your business details – such as business name, physical address, phone number and other related information. So, the key takeaway from here is that use the same details of your business across all the online platforms be it local directories or review sites, social media profiles or your own website.
#4 Improve Your Business Local Outreach
Wondering how to improve local outreach of your business to drive more customers? If so, you don’t have to worry about that, because we’ve got you covered. The best possible way to improve your business local outreach is to get other people talk about your business. And, this can be done by reaching out to them or discover the best way to make them talk about your business. You can also take the help of Open Site Explorer or Google Webmaster Tools to see who is connected to your business now. This may give you the insight to find those places, which can offer your business great exposure. Moreover, with the help of Open Site Explorer, you can keep an eye on your competitors as well and find out who’s connected to them. Then, you can figure out whether or not, you can also get a link from the same websites.
#5 Encourage Your Local Customers To Leave Reviews
Your business reputation is not what people think about your business, but it’s what they say about your business by leaving reviews and ratings. Nowadays, people check online reviews and ratings before purchasing any product or service. You will be surprised to know that reviews and ratings impact the buying decision for 67% of consumers, study recently conducted by moz during a survey. Furthermore, reviews and ratings help the search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to know that you’re actively serving clients and leveraging your ability to encourage the local customers to talk about you. You might not know that more than 90% of consumers would leave a review if asked only. Thus, it is recommended to ask for the reviews from your customers not only on Google business listing, but also on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Yellow Pages sites and other business directory websites. Also, don’t try to overlook bad or negative reviews, because they do matter as much as positive reviews. So, if you have negative reviews, try to resolve the issues of the consumers or you can also go for ORM to diminish the negative reviews.
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