If you aren’t at the top of the local search results for your keywords, you are certainly going to be missing out on potential customers. There’s no question about it – if you want to give your local business the best chance to succeed, you need to dominate local search. But what does that mean, exactly?
Simply put, it means ensuring your business appears at the top of the search results when potential customers in your area are looking for products or services like yours. And there’s a lot that goes into making that happen.
There are many ways to dominate local search, but one of the most important is by creating quality, keyword-rich content. This type of content will help you attract new customers and keep existing customers coming back. Creating quality content is one of the most important factors when it comes to dominating local search.
In this blog, we’ll break down everything you need to know about local search domination, from optimizing your website to building citations and reviews. So stay tuned – your roadmap to local search domination starts here!
3 Reasons Why Local Search is Important
As a small business owner, you may be asking why local search is so important and how it can benefit your business. Here are three reasons:
- People use local search to find businesses near them.
- Local search results are tailored to the user’s location.
- Local search can help you stand out from the competition.
Local search is important because it allows potential customers to find businesses nearby. When people use local search, they’re usually looking for something specific, like a product or service, and they want to find a business that provides that product or service near them.
Local search results are tailored to the user’s location, which means that if someone searches the search term “coffee shop” on their mobile device, they’ll see results for coffee shops near them. This differs from organic search results, which are not tailored to the user’s location.
Finally, local search can help you stand out from the competition because your business will appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages) when people are looking for businesses like yours in their area. If you have a solid local SEO strategy, you can make sure your business is one of the first ones that come up in the results, which means you’re more likely to get clicks and customers.
The Benefits of Ranking in Local Search
Ranking in local search has many benefits for businesses. Perhaps most importantly, it can help to increase visibility and reach among potential customers. Ranking highly in local search results can also lead to increased foot traffic and phone calls and higher customer loyalty and satisfaction levels.
Many factors contribute to success in local search, including having a strong SEO strategy and maintaining accurate and up-to-date listings on popular directories and review sites. Investing in a comprehensive local SEO campaign is often the best way to achieve success for businesses that want to rank higher in local search results.
You’re missing out on a massive opportunity if you’re not optimizing your website for local search. Local search is how people find businesses near them, and it’s become increasingly important as more and more people use the internet to find what they need. You need to do a few things to ensure you’re dominating local search. Let’s take a look.
Dominate Local Search With These 5 Tips
1) Title and meta description tags still matter
Make sure that you use the allotted character counts wisely and that you are clear and concise, and that you provide a compelling reason for someone to click on your “ad” (listing), which is what it is, after all.
Remember, getting listed in the search results is only half the battle … you still need to convince the person searching to click your link. Don’t blow it by wasting characters that won’t help convince a searcher you’re worth looking at.
Of course, title and meta description tags only matter if your content is relevant to your target audience. If you own a restaurant in New York and you’re targeting customers in New York, your content should be about restaurants in New York. This will help you attract customers from your target area and improve your chances of ranking high in local search results.
2) Online directories and citations
Local citations are one of the most important factors in local SEO. A citation is an online mention of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). The more consistent your NAP information is across the web, the more credible your business appears to search engines.
NAP consistency is critical for local SEO
Why? Because Google uses your NAP to verify the accuracy of your business’s name, address, and phone number when determining your local search ranking.
If your NAP isn’t consistent across the web, Google will get confused and won’t be able to verify that your business is legitimate. This will hurt your chances of ranking in local search results.
To ensure NAP consistency, make sure your business’s name, address, and phone number are the same on your website, social media profiles, Google My Business listing, and anywhere else it appears online.
Best practices for NAP consistency:
-Use the exact same business name on all platforms
-Include Suite or Unit #s in your address (if applicable)
-Include “St” or “Rd” in your street name
-Include the area code in your phone number
Citations can come from a variety of sources, but some of the most common include online directories, business listings, and review sites. Moz’s Open Site Explorer is a great way to see where your competitors are being mentioned online so you can get listed there, too.
Keep in mind that not all citations are created equal. A citation from an authoritative site like Yelp or the Better Business Bureau will carry more weight than one from a lesser-known directory. But any citation helps, so aim to get listed in as many relevant places as possible.
3) Google My Business (GMB)
Yes, GMB is considered a directory, but it is so important for local businesses that it deserves its own section here, as it can get you a great deal of exposure if your listing is optimized well enough to show up in Google’s local three-pack.
When you claim your GMB listing, you’ll be able to control the information that potential customers see when they search for your business. This includes your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, website URL, and more. This information must be accurate and up-to-date so potential customers can easily find and contact your business.
4) Online reviews are critical if you want to dominate local search
One of the best ways to improve your chances of showing up in local search results is by getting positive reviews from happy customers. Google uses customer reviews as one of the factors when determining which businesses to show in local search results, so the more positive reviews you have, the better.
Local customers can be some of your best advocates—and your best source of reviews. Luckily, there are a few ways you can encourage them to leave feedback about their experience with your business.
One way is to simply ask them to leave you a review.
You can do this in person or include a review request in an email or receipt. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, you can post signage asking customers to review your business on popular sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Another way to get local customers to leave reviews is to offer incentives.
This could be anything from a discount on their next purchase to entering them into a contest for a chance to win a prize. No matter what you offer, make sure it’s something that will motivate customers to take the time to write a review.
Finally, make it easy for customers to leave reviews by providing links on your website and social media accounts.
You can also include QR codes that customers can scan with their smartphone to be taken directly to the review page of your choice. By making it as simple as possible for local customers to leave reviews, you’ll be more likely to get the feedback you’re looking for.
5) Use local structured data (aka schema) markup
Schema markup code can be added to your website’s code to provide additional information to the search engines about your products, services, reviews, etc. Since less than a third of websites are using this markup, you can make your local business stand out by adding structured data markup to your site where appropriate. Moz is a great resource to learn more about schema and how to implement it.
With these tips, you will be well on your quest to dominate local search in your area. Good luck!