Local business owners have a very distinct advantage over online business owners for many reasons. Being classified as a local business allows you to gain excellent exposure to potential customers within your geographic location and it will open up several marketing opportunities online. Local search is more important than ever and has been emphasized with Google’s new Pigeon update. In this article, we will address 10 of the most important factors that influence local search results.
- Major Listings
This is by far one of the most important elements in getting your business out there. you must submit your business information to some of the major directories out there like Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing Places, Yelp, etc. Having an up to date business listing among these major business directories will literally put you on the map!
- Local Listings
There may be several websites that offer a business directory within your local area. By submitting your listing to these websites, it will help you spread relevant links about your business across the web. Consider any industry specific directories, chamber of commerce sites, or local business organizations.
Getting positive reviews about your business or services is so important. Not only do consumers rate your business based on others opinions, but search engines will prefer those with many reviews and gold stars. Reviews can be done through places like Google, Yelp, Angie’s List and more. Consider offering a discount or promotion to customers who are willing to leave a positive review about your business.
Citations are really just links to your business page from other websites. Playing an active role in the local community is just as important as being recognized with the online community. Link building strategies for your business are always a sure way to increase ranking among search engines.
- Social Media
Being social and communicating directly with your customers online is another great way to gain exposure. Creating social media profiles like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are a must. In doing so, you will set yourself apart as an industry leader within your local area and build a large following.
- Contact and About Pages
when it comes to your website content, you should always have your business information listed. Include your location, hours of operation and contact information. This should be consistent with your business listings and should be on a dedicated “Contact” or “About Us” web page.
- Geographic Keywords
A major component to local search is identifying geographic keywords and using them throughout your website. They can be used in the content of articles, headings and even images. If you own a business based in Brooklyn, you should also include keywords like New York City and New York.
- Regular Content
Submitting content regularly will help establish your business presence online and get you ranked higher over time. This is the best way to offer free tips or information to potential customers as well. You can outsource the development of such content if you are not comfortable doing it yourself. Maintain frequent content submissions that are keyword rich and you will generate plenty of local and organic traffic.
Designating the right category for your business can be the difference between success and failure. If someone is looking for your business and you are not in the right business category, your website or location will never show up. Make sure to select the categories that best fit your business.
- Press Releases
Last but not least are press releases and local media coverage. It is important to maintain a good presence offline and get people talking about your business. Many local newspapers and media outlets regularly post content online as well. Having your website mentioned and creating a buzz will boost your local ratings.
These 10 insights are a great place to get started when it comes to local search. Start engaging with local organizations, bloggers and business owners. Sharing your insights and getting to know what works for others in your area will help you strengthen your presence online.