Prospects turn to search engines these days when looking to find products, services, and businesses that can meet their needs.
The category of local search engine optimization (SEO) has picked up steam during the last few years, as search behavior combined with the rapid growth of smart phone use created a truly mobile search consumer. Services like Yext have cropped up just to help tackle this very specific form of SEO.
Below are five local search tactics that demand your attention today if you are a local-oriented business.
Get the NAP right
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone and the search engines obviously want to make sure that when someone is looking for a local business there’s no ambiguity around what and where the business is.
Google depends upon list and data compilers to make sure this information is accurate and up to date. If you’ve been in business more than a few months, there’s a good chance your business is in one or more of these directories, but it’s important to make sure that information is correct and up to date. MOZLocal is a great free tool for analyzing the current state and gaps in your directory listings.
Build Local Profiles
Profiles in social, local, and review sites such as Yelp, can be a great place to add lots of local information.
While many people are familiar with the more popular networks such as Google+ and Facebook, there are other important directories that might help in giving your local business an edge. MOZLocal is one of the best tools for automating this process.
Localize your content
Many people forget to consider their Web content and make sure that they are adding localized content where it makes sense. Obvious things like blog posts with suburb names and maps with directions are a must, but you might also consider adding a community calendar and blogging about events that happen in your town. The Yoast Local SEO Plugin is an invaluable tool for optimizing content on WordPress sites.
Reviews drive local trust
Reviews are one of the many ranking factors Google throws into what businesses show up for a local search. Businesses with more reviews and higher review scores typically show up at the top of a search. Get serious about collecting reviews! Tools like Grade.us and GetFiveStars can help make this process more streamlined.
Don’t forget to add to your overall local approach by localizing much of your social media activity. As mentioned above, your profiles are a great place to start, but you can go beyond that as you post new content and updates.
Think about ways to curate local content to share in social media. GeoTarget your social media advertising with local personalization. Find and use popular localized hashtags and follow local users.
When you work consistently on the local search tactics outlined above, you can expect to gradually start raising your local search profile to the point where Google may become your greatest source of leads.