Expert Secrets For Local SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | May 08, 2018

Back almost two full years ago, the world’s largest search engine, Google, handled a whopping two-plus trillion searches from May 2015 to May 2016. Though the search engine giant doesn’t like to release statistics regarding the volume of searches it processes per day, month, or year, it’s clear that Google will keep getting more popular, and more popular, ad nauseam.

But why do we use search engines?

Both people enrolled in and outside of school use Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other engines for conducting research. They’re also used for entertainment – not to find entertaining things to do, but as a means of linking bored Internet users with countless sites, images, videos, and other pieces of media to satisfy themselves.

Lastly, people use search engines to shop, likely the most common modern use of Google and company. Did you know that a whopping 82 percent of modern smartphone owners use at least one search engine when searching for nearby, local businesses to visit?

If you’re not a believer in the power of local SEO, just look around online. Statistics are found in abundance on the Internet that proves the importance of local search engine optimization.

Believer or not, one thing’s for certain – businesses simply don’t stumble upon a front-page ranking for local businesses, and surely don’t rank in the Google 3-pack. As such, here are a handful of expert secrets for local search engine optimization success.

Have you been listed on other ” phone book” sites?

Phone books do, in fact, still exist in 2018. The purpose of phone books is to provide readers with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of – let’s just assume businesses, not households or individuals listed in bulky, hard-copy phone books – businesses.

Today, ” phone books” – a more appropriate term is directories – exist all over the Internet. In order to have a solid chance at favorable results in local search inquiries, businesses must update their NAPs – names, addresses, and phone numbers – on all popular indexes.

So, where can you find these digital ” phone books”? Enter any local search into Google, such as “restaurant in Hohenwald, Tennessee.” Contact all the sites that show up akin to Yellow Pages, Yelp, and so on, and provide accurate name, address, and phone number – and all other relevant information; the more, the merrier certainly holds true in the world of local search engine optimization – to all of them.

Don’t be afraid to venture to the second and third pages, reaching out to all digital phone books worth their salt.

Create a system to spur more customer reviews

Reviews go a looooooong way in both the eyes of Google and the eyes of consumers that ultimately read those reviews. Google ranks sites – among countless other factors – based on the quality and quantity of reviews.

While you should never post fake reviews, consider offering customers a free product or service, a discount, or something else that encourages them to author reviews.

Be publicly responsive to those reviews, too

Customers like knowing that businesses are receptive to their customers’ thoughts, opinions, and experiences, especially when businesses respond to bad, negative reviews.

Businesses shouldn’t freely hand out compensation in exchange for customers’ sharing of bad experiences, though they – doing so could actually encourage bad reviews, resulting in an unsatisfactory presence in local search engine registries – shouldn’t be scared to provide them something to attract them back.