Proper search engine optimization is certainly important for any business wishing to benefit from an online presence. However, with people now having access to the internet at all times thanks to smart phones, SEO has also become crucially important for regular brick and mortar businesses as well. The internet is now what a good deal of consumers use to find brick and mortar locations before they show up at in person.
With this in mind, being able to create effective local SEO is absolutely required for directing customers to your business. Without it, you may be losing business to a competitor that has effectively created a localized search engine presence. To help, below are six keys to creating effective local SEO.
1. Creating a Google My Business Page
Google provides a service for businesses that allows them to create a profile and add information like business name, contact information, store hours, photographs and more. Having a page on Google My Business is crucial for local SEO. The Google search engine algorithm certainly draws information from this service to produce localized search engine results.
2. Keeping Your Website Mobile Optimized
One of the keys to strong local search engine optimization these days is insuring that the website for your business is mobile optimized as well. It’s easy to understand why. Most research done to find retail locations is now done on smart phones as opposed to traditional PCs and laptops. After Google’s recent algorithm update, websites now must have good mobile optimization to appear near the top of Google searches performed on mobile devices. If you don’t want to alter your website too much, at least build an alternate mobile version that people can access on their phones.
3. Implementing Schema
Schema is a kind of markup that can be included within the code used to create a website. What you include in your website’s schema can help determine whether or not search engines can easily associate your company with a specific physical address. Thankfully, Schema.com has created a local business page that can teach you how to add this code to your website.
4. Keeping Your Business’s Information Current Across the Web
One common local SEO problem that businesses unwittingly fall victim to is having inconsistent address and contact information on the web. This can be a serious problem. If the physical address isn’t changed after a move, customers will never be able to find your new location. If your company changes its phone number, people may assume you went out of business after they try to make a call to a disconnected phone number. Overall, having incorrect contact information anywhere on the web can lead to losing business. Solve this problem by creating a list of each place you entered your business’s name, physical address, website address and phone number. This way you can update those entries if your information changes.
5. Producing Positive Reviews
Another tool most consumers now use to choose between businesses is customer reviews available on websites like Trip Advisor and Urban Spoon. Having a high score compiled from positive customer reviews on these websites can be a boon to business. Having poor ratings, however, can do just the opposite. First, get your business listed on these websites and others consumers use to choose places to eat or shop. Next, try to produce positive reviews by providing excellent service. You should see tangible results quickly.
6. Leverage Social Media
Another key to producing strong local SEO is integrating social media into your online presence. Most companies these days at least have a Facebook page. You may also want to consider other choices like Twitter and Instagram. Social media allows you to network directly with your customer base. Getting your social media accounts indexed by search engines can allow you to add customers as followers and keep them informed on sales, promotions and more.