Local SEO: The Basics.
Local SEO isn’t like regular SEO search engine optimization. Local search results change more often that you may imagine and careful planning can make all the difference in the world.
Now, more than ever Local SEO needs to be consciously integrated into a company’s digital marketing plan. As search has moved from the desktop to tablets and smartphones, the importance of being visible in mobile search has skyrocketed. It’s no longer an option. It’s a necessity of business.
“Google” almost any product or service you can imagine and you can see immediately that the focus is virtually entirely local. Not only that, but a majority of the first page search results are dedicated to review and other local “directory” style listings such as Yelp, Google My Places, YellowPages, Foursquare, and the list goes on. While traditional SEO campaigns are as important as ever, careful attention to “Local SEO” in a mobile context is just as important.
Google My Business and Beyond
Step One: Claim your Google My Business page and get it up to date. Not only does it immediately create your business presence in Google search results, but it also helps Google to better understand your website and business. And the more Google knows about you, the better. It also gives users ability to write a review about your business and we all know how important reviews are in the digital economy.
Wondering how to get reviews? Just ask your existing customers. Many of them will be happy to let people know how great you are. Post a sign on your front sales counter. Put a QR code on the table or menu allowing them to scan and review. Have your service personnel ask for reviews at checkout. Place a kiosk in the lobby for them to leave a review. Sometimes, all people need is a little encouragement.
Step Two. Claim your Yelp listing and fill it out completely. Information, business hours, products and services, and above all pictures, pictures, pictures. The internet is a visual medium, after all.
Step Three. If you are heavily involved in B2B commerce, and even if you’re not, don’t forget LinkedIn. LinkedIn can be an amazing place to garner new business and give Google and Bing clues with which to deliver meaningful search results
Someone once said that effective search engine optimization isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. You have to keep watching, creating, engaging with visitors and potential customers (Wash, Rinse, Repeat). But the first step to effective Local SEO is claiming and maintaining your local listings. A famous politician once said, “All politics is local.” So is search engine optimization and visibility.
Related: The Decline of Desktop Search