Search engines like Google have three main categories for search results. First, paid results or ads. Second is the long list of natural content-based results. The third only shows up for location-based searches including a city name, zip code, or phrase like “near me.” This is local SEO.
Local business SEO collects three relevant results at the very top. Users simply click on a map and select their best option. This powerful marketing service is free to brick-and-mortar businesses. The trick is to make sure search engines recognize your business as a reliable source.
Local Business SEO Gets Results
Smartphone shopping is on the rise. In 2018, 86% of U.S. mobile phone users researched and compared products on their mobile devices. This is up from 75% in 2013.
A business that doesn’t appear in local results misses out on a significant market. Shoppers passing through or new to the area only discover competitors. Local SEO leverages a business’s marketing efforts. It gets you in front of customers in real-time when they are ready to act.
Below are three tips to get your business seen in local results.
Tip 1: Register with the Search Engines
The most important step is claiming your business on Google My Business, Bing Places, and Apple Maps. Each search engine requires a separate registration. Once accepted, your location will show up on the map. Anyone searching for an address near you will also see your business name and address.
After the business is registered, optimize your listing to improve conversion.
- Upload photos
- Highlight services
- Add more categories
- Include other useful details
Tip 2: Consistent and Accurate Contact Details
A search engine works with published information. If a company address changed, some online directories may still show the old address. Consistent contact details published across the web improves local SEO results. You want the same company name, address, phone, and website in every single location online.
Search engines filter out inconsistent data. They want to avoid sending users to empty storefronts. Consistent contact details across the web strengthen credibility. It makes a business more likely to show up in local SEO searches.
Tip 3: Regularly Request Reviews
Positive reports from happy customers bring in new clients. People trust reviews more than a company’s marketing claims. Up to 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
Of course, not every customer has a positive experience. Even a critical review can build consumer trust if effectively managed. Positive and negative reviews are both opportunities to start a dialogue with customers. A company that demonstrates they care about a customer’s experience wins future customers.
Local Results for Online Marketing
A local SEO listing gets a business seen where and when customers are interested and ready to buy. People use smartphones to search for restaurants, service providers, entertainment, products, and more. With effective local SEO, your business can be the one they find.
As with most things in business, success is not instant. Steady and consistent application of these tips will yield results.