- What is Local SEO?
- What does Local SEO Do?
- Local SEO Strategy: Add Business to Bing
- Local SEO Strategy: Add Business to Google
- Why a business needs a Google My Business Account
- How to Set Up Your Business Account
- 1. Sign in to Google My Business
- 2. Add your Business
- 3. Enter your Location
- 4. Fill in your Contact Information
- 5. Finish and manage your listing
- Verifying your account on Google My Business
- Ways to optimize your account on Google My Business
- 1. Fill out your whole profile
- 2. Standout with photos
- 3. Post updates, news, and special offers
- 4. Add special features and attributes
- 5. Encourage clients to leave reviews
- 6. Build trust by responding to reviews
- 7. Manage everything in one place with Hootsuite
- 8. Refine paid and organic reach with insights
- To Conclude…
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO stands for Local Search Engine Optimization.
We realize that not everyone has the time to work on their own local SEO and if they did, it would be very few that would have an idea what they were doing.
This specialty is important to all businesses that are geographically based, but are not utilizing geo-targeting to draw local customers to them.
The process is one that is designed to draw the local customers doing internet searches for things they want to buy to your site where they can see what goods or services that you have to offer them.
In order to be competitive in the marketplace, you need to be visible and have page views on your website by targeted local customers and that is what a local SEO service is ready to do for your company at this time.
Today more than ever, there’s a need for all businesses to have a presence on authority sites as well as their own website or blog. This is one of the parts to the Local SEO strategy and is key in adding credibility to your company. As well as in some cases social proof which is another key. We focus on setting up the platform for others to provide the social proof in a natural unsolicited manner.
If you want to learn more about why local business are investing in local SEO, check out our introduction to local SEO here.
What does Local SEO Do?
The objective of the Local SEO Firm is to provide businesses that reside in a fixed location and/or cover a certain geographic area the Local Search Engine Optimization that they need to reach their prospects in the local area they serve.
Our desire is to serve customers who see the need for Local SEO We start serving people by doing a free consultation. Then define the needs, create the solution, and submit it for review. Once things are agreed upon we will work hard to assist the business owners in creating more visibility which is produced through local SEO coupled with local search.
This will give the business the opportunity for enrichment resulting from leads generated that convert to sales. Ideally if the new customers generated from the sale are happy they will let people know about your company. They may do this via word of mouth, in person, on the telephone or even online which will naturally generate more leads as you have more satisfied customers.
Two major ways that we optimize for local searches is through Bing Local and Google.
Local SEO Strategy: Add Business to Bing
Bing Local also needs to be utilized as a part of any local search strategy. This will provide you a much needed resource for the public.
You can start setting up your Bing local profile to get your business some more of the needed local presence.
How to Add Your Business to Bing
Go to Bing’s Listing Center
Go to Bing Local https://ssl.bing.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx
Add business information
Add your business name, phone number and address.
Check if your business is already registered or not.
Bing will confirm that your business isn’t already registered and tell you to either edit or create your Bing Local business profile.
Complete your business listing information.
Complete all fields and remember to provide the pertinent information.
Include important keywords and links about your business.
Be sure to include your keywords in the text, website link(s) (if applicable) as well as your images. This helps to validate your business and to potentially improve rankings.
Add relevant media and links, such as services, pricing, and event links.
Utilize Bing’s websites area to add additional relevant links to your listing. Depending on your business it could be brochures, menus, Eventbrite for your planned events, Information on services you provide and pricing, and any other things which are important to promote your business.
Verify your listing.
Verification is required for your listing to become public and viewable.
Verify the code sent to you in the mail.
Take the code in the letter and go to the website as listed and confirm this and you’ll have your Bing Local Listing!
Note about Bing:
Regrettably Bing Local is a US only local product at this time, though you can try to set one up in your respective companies. If it works for you in another country be sure to comment I’d love to know about it!
Local SEO Strategy: Add Business to Google
Optimizing for Google Places will provide local traffic to your website and to your place of business when it’s properly implemented.
Google Places is a must have and should already be in your arsenal.
Did you know that Google Places are Mobile optimized? When a search for a Local Business from a mobile device is carried out, the mobile searcher will be presented with a map with relevant marked Local Business locations near where the Mobile viewer is located. The marked Local Businesses are Google places listings.
Below the map are the usual results except with a slight twist. If your regular (Native) website is mobile optimized it will be shown in preference to a non mobile optimized website. This is because it should be a better experience for the mobile searcher.
Having your regular website mobile optimized can be expensive and still may not be optimized for the majority of the 5000+ different mobile devices, screen sizes and operating systems.
Having an edge over your competition is by way of a free standing mobile website. With the addition of a short bit of html code in your header before the content starts a mobile searcher will be redirected to the mobile website. These mobile websites are constructed to meet all mobile best practices and need to be direct and provide basic information about your business. The searcher will already know what your Local Business is about so they just need a location, phone number and opening hours.
You can also add in a bonus or discount coupon if they show that they used their Mobile device to find you. With a Mobile website you will also get a QR code so you can display it in external advertising that will take the scanning person directly to your Mobile Website.
With the advent of the internet, businesses nowadays utilize the use of Google My Business tool to show up on the search results. People can easily access your online store if you claim your account on Google My Business. It is a free marketing tool that can give an immense benefit to small and big businesses.
This article will serve as your guidelines on utilizing the use of Google My Business to promote your online store. In this article, you will learn how to get your account for free and tips on getting your business on search results.
Why a business needs a Google My Business Account
If you are looking for answers as to why you need to claim your Google My Business Account, here are some reasons why you should consider it.
1. Make your business discoverable
The world today is now living with digital technology, and people search for brands online. Even if you are running an old antique shop, chances are high that your prospects are online. And your brand, services, or products are typically searched by people using the internet.
Google My Business is a great tool to increase your website traffic. Your account on Google My Business allows a customer to look up your brand on Google Search and Google Maps, and if they find it, it will show your store location, making it easy for them to go visit your store, whether you have a web or physical address.
Your Google My Business account can be responsible for improving your local SEO if used correctly. If a customer searches for you on the web, your store will show up on page one.
Your account on Google My Business gradually ensures your business gets to the top results. Your account also provides access to analytics, so you could work for organic advertising strategies.
2. Keep Customers Informed
Keep your customers informed about your whereabouts and other vital details of your store. Don’t just leave them guessing about your business or where they can find your store. It doesn’t make sense if you leave them up to Yelp, TripAdvisor, or other review sites over which you have no control. Make sure that when your potential customer searches for your business, they get legitimate information.
Your account on Google My Business contains your contact information, business hours, address, and other essential details. You can keep your customer informed by posting updates such as the store is temporarily closed or fully reopened.
Wrong information can lead to missed opportunities and a horrible customer experience. Imagine the disappointment of a client that visits your store only to find out that it is closed.
3. Boost Consumer Confidence
If you want to improve your brand or business’s credibility, you must utilize the use of Google My Business account. According to the facts, 70% of customers choose to visit stores with a Google My Business listing. Businesses that have complete listings on Google are twice as likely to earn trust from clients.
Customers will purchase your product, service, or brand only if they trust your business. It is significant for the industry to let your customer feel confident about buying your product. Credibility gained from Google is enough to make 38% of the audience visit your store, and in that 38%, 29% are most likely to purchase something from your products.
Google My Business reviews also bring credibility to your store online, according to the research that 88% of clients trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
How to Set Up Your Business Account
To post your business on Google My Business, simply follow these steps.
1. Sign in to Google My Business
In registering your account on Google My Business, go to www.google.com/business. You can sign in with your pre-existing account or create a new one. Just make sure to sign up with your business email domain.
2. Add your Business
Type your business name, if it does not show on the menu, you can just click Add your business to Google. You can then select a category that is appropriate for your business.
3. Enter your Location
If you have a physical location that customers can visit, then select Yes. Afterwards, add your address. You can also put a position marker for the site on a map. If your business only offers a service, you can list your service area.
4. Fill in your Contact Information
Do not forget to enter the exact details of your phone number and website address so clients can reach you. You can choose to add a Facebook page if you are using that rather than a website link.
5. Finish and manage your listing
You will be asked if you like to receive updates and notifications. You can check yes, and after that, click Finish. After setting up your account, you need to proceed with verifying your business.
Verifying your account on Google My Business
Now to verify your account, you need to follow these simple steps.
1. Sign in to your Google My Business account
2. Click verify now
3. Choose a way to verify your account
- Postcard by mail – default phone or email
Note: Fill in the required details correctly. After a few days to two weeks, you will receive a postcard to verify your location. Enter the five-digit code verification from your postcard, you can then download Google My Business app to manage your account.
Ways to optimize your account on Google My Business
To polish your business on Google, simply consider these tips.
1. Fill out your whole profile
As much as possible, provide Google with all the necessary information about your business. That is for Google to match your services to customer searches. In other words, it improves your brand search rankings.
Google only shows the right business with complete and accurate information to match with the web searches. You must fill out your business contact details, attributes, category, and more. Also, make sure to use the right keywords.
Google determines local rankings based on Relevance, Distance, and Prominence. The right keywords will improve your relevance.
You can also link your social media. Social media impacts your SEO ranking, too.
2. Standout with photos
Add your logo and cover photo so people can see what your business is all about. You can also add additional images showing your products, location, or handiwork. For example, if you own a restaurant business, post a picture of your meals, menus, and dining room.
If you can afford to hire a professional photographer, that is good for you.
3. Post updates, news, and special offers
Updating your profile on Google My Business account is also essential. Your address, hours of duty, and contact info should be accurate and up-to-date. Update your information when it changes.
You can post updates about new products, special offers, sales, or other events. Depending on your goal, posting an update will keep your profile fresh, drive sales, and encourage customers to visit your shop.
4. Add special features and attributes
You can add unique features and attributes to your account, but it depends on your chosen category. For example,
- Hotels can display class ratings and a list of amenities
- A restaurant can upload menus, dishes and add a link for online orders
- Service-oriented business can showcase their service menus and booking button
- Small and medium-sized enterprises can add product catalogs.
5. Encourage clients to leave reviews
The best time to ask for reviews from your clients is after providing them with excellent services and a great experience. Their thoughts are a significant factor in improving your Google ranking.
6. Build trust by responding to reviews
To show that you value the comments and feedback of your customers, respond to their thoughts. According to a survey done by Google and Ipsos Connect, brands that respond to reviews are considered 1.7 times trustworthy than those who did not.
Remember to maintain a positive interaction with your clients to build a relationship and establish loyalty.
7. Manage everything in one place with Hootsuite
Once you receive your Google verification, you can integrate your account with Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to keep track of all business processes, such as promoting company updates, responding to reviews, and others from one central dashboard. It is easy to use and can save you time.
8. Refine paid and organic reach with insights
Google My Business has a tool called Google Analytics. Google Analytics can track how many clients search for you, contact your business, ask for directions, click photos, and more. You can use keywords, images, and actions most popular in searches to adjust your profile.
Google My Business insights come in handy with Google Ads extension. These extensions show advertisements with clickable location details.
Hopefully, you’ve already gone through the process of what to expect, the benefits, and how to utilize the features for your business’s benefit. Local search isn’t a new thing, but there are new things being added all of the time. The important thing is to take the information that is shared with you and apply it.