Local SEO for Business Owners

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 08, 2016

If you are a business owner in 2016, then you must understand just how important your local search engine optimization efforts are for your overall online visibility. Although you may want a global presence immediately, you must begin in your local area, even online. Just because you have access to the entire world does not mean they will pay attention to you unless certain things are in line. Here are some of the best techniques that you can use for your local search engine optimization.

– Understanding Google Pigeon

Google Pigeon was not as publicized of an upgrade as Google Panda or Hummingbird. However, it is one of the most important upgrades to the Google algorithm as it concerns small businesses that are most focused on local audiences. The Pigeon upgrade connects the Google Maps program to the search engine of Google so that listings in either place affect the other. This means that if you have not yet created a Google Maps profile page for your business, you should do so immediately. It will have an immediate effect on your search engine rankings.

When you fully incorporate your business into the Google Pigeon landscape, people in your local area will be able to find your business much more easily. The Google Maps program will provide them with directions. As long as you have contact information on your Google Maps webpage, you can actually implement free click to call applications and other forms of communication that will increase your foot traffic for no money out of your pocket whatsoever.

All of this new engagement will positively affect your search engine ranking. What is most important in local search engine optimization is the engagement of your audience. If you have lots of repeat customers, the major search engines will pick up on this and give you a boost in your rankings, placing you in the global environment that you want to be in.

– The “Local Pack”

The Google search results for any local area set aside a certain amount of space for local results. However, these local results have shrunk from seven listings to only three listings in recent updates. These listings are known colloquially as the “local pack,” and it is very important to be seen in this local pack if you can help it. Because there are less spots open, you have to do more work in order to be included in 2016.

The initial strategy that you should take is to Google your own local pack. Take note of whether your business is included or not. If not, there are certain steps that you can take in order to increase your visibility here.

First of all, make sure that you are listed for your primary keywords. Secondly, make sure that you have your contact information on the listing that you see. Having a listing is no good if people do not know how to contact you once they see it.

Make sure that your structured citations are consistent across all online platforms. This counts for a great deal when it comes to local search engine optimization. When we say consistent, we mean completely and totally identical. Even having an apartment number missing can make a huge difference.

Make sure that your Google Business page is up-to-date. Because most people will find your business from this page rather than from your website, this should be your priority. Make sure to link back to your website and keep all of the information consistent on both of these platforms.