How to Optimize Your Business for Local Search
The Internet continues to be incorporated into our lives each and every day. Businesses who don’t prioritize their online efforts and optimize for local search will be left behind. Take a look at our suggestions below to make sure that doesn’t happen to your small business!
Focus on more than just your products and services
When it comes to your website, many small business owners feel like they need to solely concentrate on the products and services they sell. Don’t make this mistake! Especially in smaller communities, there’s likely just a few other businesses that sell similar products or services. If a potential customer is browsing your website, chances are they’re going to stumble onto one of your competitors, too.
Make your business stand out by telling your brand’s story and talking more about things like what makes your business unique, how you give back to the community, or how your business became what it is today. You’ll have a better chance at connecting with your website visitors and turning them into customers if you differentiate yourself.
Optimize for local – both on and off your website
Make sure your website includes essential information related to your business – your phone number, address, communities you serve, etc. Include links to other local entities, too – such as the Dayton, OH Chamber of Commerce or any professional organizations you’re associated with – to establish local credibility.
Once you’ve ensured your website is locally optimized, head over to places that aggregate local business listings (such as Yelp or YellowPages) and double check that the information they have on file is correct.
If anything is incorrect (or they’re missing your business), contact the website and provide the correct information. Many of these locally-focused websites (such as Google My Business) allow you to “claim” your listing so you can update your information by yourself.
It’s important that you remember to update this information if your business moves, changes phone numbers, etc. or you’ll risk losing business when people call the wrong phone number or worse… driving to the wrong address (how frustrating!).
Name, Address, & Phone Number (NAP) accuracy and consistency should be the primary focus of every local company, now like never before. The mis-management of NAP will be detrimental to companies with citation sources being relied on so heavily, and it would only seem logical that new markup will be introduced in order to better represent and organize this data.
– Caleb Donegan
Off-Page Factor Commentary
Local Search Ranking Factors
Don’t forget to blog – and provide helpful content
Blogging will pay off – even though it may seem like a daunting task at first. It’s common for someone to search online to figure out ways to solve a problem. If your website has minimal content, there’s no value to potential customers and search engines will take note – your rankings will suffer or they may not be included at all.
Take the time to create articles relevant to the products or services your company offers that provide value – answer common questions, debunk industry myths, or explain the “basics” of your industry… Search engines will notice and one day someone will be searching for that specific item and you’ll be viewed as an expert when they find the answer on your website.