You’re well on our way to making sense of the great big world of local SEO. Not to knock the technical aspects of SEO, as it can be quite interesting, but I find a handful of useful tips is the best way to make a quick improvement in local search placement. So instead of technical theory, today I’ll line out some practical applications.
In the first post, I gave you an overview of five ways to get found in local search. Now we’ll take a closer look at the first tip, “Maintain Accurate Business Listings Online.”
Setting the Stage
Consumers are looking for brands and business they can trust. Research tells us 92 percent want experiential insights before they move forward into a business relationship. Consider the following:
- 65 percent of online consumers search for more information online now than just a few years ago
- 82 percent of smartphone (mobile) users conduct local searches on a search engine when trying to find a local business
- 63 percent of consumers lose trust in a brand if they get lost trying to find a local business, and 73 percent lose trust in a brand when a business has incorrect listings
- 69 percent of smartphone (mobile) users are more likely to buy from a company which provides relevant answers to their questions easily, on a mobile site or in an app
What does all of that have to do with local search? Everything! Those percentages represent the people in your target audiences. Your businesses, brands and clients have the answers these people are looking for when they turn to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Foursquare, Angie’s List and more. Make sure they find you, and good news about you by adhering to the following tips.
4 Steps to Winning Local with Business Listings
Here at Advice Local, encouraging brands, businesses and their representatives to take control of their online data is one of our core principles. We even have an award-winning video about it from 2015; aside from the shameless self-promotion here, this really is an important element of your local SEO strategy.
Having clean and consistent citations and good location data is only the beginning. Below are the four steps to get started.
1. Google Your Business.
Are you visible locally, online? With your GPS enabled, do a search for your business category, while in the physical location from your mobile (i.e. digital marketing agencies) Hopefully your business showed on the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs); but fear not if not, these steps will help you get there. When you select your company, your website, Google+ listing, additional social media and sites with reviews should be listed. All of these citations need to be reviewed.
2. Claim and Optimize Your Listings.
Scroll through the results from above and make sure you have claimed and optimized your listings across all the sites where you are listed. This includes making sure your NAP data and business hours are consistent and that you have photos, where you can, to ensure consumers receive consistent information as they search. There are also industry-specific listings, called verticals like Realtor.com, Care.com, and FindLaw, which you’ll also want to check for your category. This process can be overwhelming for an SMB or even a digital marketer with multiple clients, to manage. Here’s a free eBook on citations to guide you through finding these listings and optimizing them.
3. Search for the Competition.
Go back to the search results for category or conduct a search for your known competitors. Are they listed in directories or search engines that you are not? Well, get yourself over there and add an optimized listing and work to remove any bad data that may be out there associated with your business. As a side note, each business is different – your listing does not have to look just like your competitor’s, but it does need relevant information for to be found local search results.
4. Monitor and Maintain.
Keep up the good work. You’ve started a process that needs to be continually practiced. Each month your citations need to be reviewed to make sure your business shows up correctly, consistently. Be sure to identify new listings sites where you can add your company and also eliminate sites that are no longer relevant or those which do not generate traffic for you.
Once you have the best citations and made sure that what you say about you is correct, you’ll need to take a deep look at what others have to say about your business. You are on a positive path to implementing a solid local search strategy.
Run a free online visibility report right now and find out how the businesses you represent stack up against the competition!
Be sure to come back next week. The discussion will be about reviews next.