These days, more and more people (particularly those searching on mobile devices) are looking for local businesses. Why would you purchase something from a business that’s hours away if there’s someone selling exactly the same thing closer to home? If you have a business that you would like to rank locally, you’re in desperate need of local search engine optimisation (SEO); this will help to ensure that searchers close to you know where you are.
But how on earth do you go about getting your business to rank locally? There are actually a number of ways that you can work to achieve this:
- Online Reviews
This is actually incredibly important, as 88% of people (according to a survey conducted by BrightLocal in 2014) read reviews to determine the quality of a local business. This means that reviews hold weight when it comes time to determine whether or not to make a purchase. But how on earth do you get your customers to leave reviews? The answer is simple – ask for them. Let them know that feedback is welcomed and encouraged from the beginning, and remind them at the end of the transaction.
Whilst a lot of people don’t really like Google+ as a social network, it is important for obtaining local rankings (particularly in the Google search engine). This means that, not only should you sign up for a Google+ account you should ensure that it has been completely filled out. This includes ensuring that you have provided a brief description of your business, images (profile and cover images are essential) and have filled out contact information (including your address and opening hours).
- Local Listings
It’s also highly important that your business appears on local listings, such as Google Maps and True Local. It’s also important to ensure that information about your business is consistent across all of these listings, as this is something else that contributes to your local ranking. Don’t write St in some places and Street in others, it should be the same across the board. Whilst most listings require you to simply login to make changes, keep in mind that some will require you to email.
- Brand Awareness
One of the final points that we wished to discuss is brand awareness, as this is something that many people looking into local SEO neglect. At the end of the day, if people aren’t aware of your brand they’re not going to search for you. You also enjoy the added bonus of being able to enjoy increased exposure by raising awareness in all the right ways. Some of these include: leaving relevant blog comments, writing your own blog (which will also place you as an authority) and press releases.
If you’re interested in getting your business to rank locally, we hope that you find the information shared above useful in getting you started. We also recommend that you consider employing an agency to help you out, as they will have the know-how and the time to work on your local SEO campaign. This is particularly important if you have a physical premises that you expect people to come and see you at – how else will they know where you are?