When you have a brick-and-mortar business, it’s important to reach a local audience. When you have a strong online presence, you can bring more people to your website and market that business. But for people to go to your website, they have to be able to it on Google. When people are looking for a business like yours, make sure they find yours and not just your competitors. There are several ways that you can work with five local SEO strategies to ensure that you are easy to find locally.
Fill Out Google My Business
The Google My Business listing for your enterprise is extremely important for getting found online. If you aren’t using it, you’re missing a lot of free advertising that could make customers aware of you. It’s important to fill out the listing with all of the information possible. This includes hours, pictures, a list of menu items for restaurants, etc. The more that people can find out about your business, the more they will consider it.
Also, consider doing this for different business categories. Many businesses can be put into more than one category, and this expands your reach through these business listings. And over time, you will need to update your information as it changes such as a change in your hours, or you are temporarily closed. When you have this information in the listing, it will display some of it in Google Maps when people look for your business. Also make sure that your listing is optimized for search. Using this listing goes hand in hand with your paid search efforts such as Google Ads, Bing ads, and Facebook and Instagram ads.
Take Control of Your Reviews
If you want to rank well on the local map, you need to have plenty of positive reviews. Make sure to give your customers a good experience so that they will leave a review, and ask people to review your business. However, getting those reviews is just the first step. You also need to manage them. It is inevitable that businesses get a few negative reviews, and how you handle that is important for your company’s reputation. Make sure that you answer every negative review so that potential customers can see that you are dedicated to making your customers happy.
When you get bad reviews, this can be more important to customers than your good reviews. Be sure that you address the problem in a bad review and make an apology if necessary. Never attack a reviewer in your response. Taking responsibility for problems and promising to make it better is helpful for building trust in your brand. It’s also a good idea to reply to some of your positive reviews. Doing so calls attention to them, and it shows that you do monitor the reviews that are coming in. This is an important part of your CRM.
Conduct Listing Audits
It’s important to keep your information up to date, and the easiest way to do that is to conduct periodic audits of your listings. You may need to mark that the business is temporarily closed or that it has reopened. You might need to change the hours or the address of the business. The platform may have suggested changes to some of your details, and it’s a good idea to pay attention to those. You also need to make sure that the listing hasn’t been disabled. It’s a good idea to have a business listing for each of the major search engines, and you need to audit all of them to make sure that customers have your current data.
It’s also a good idea to update with new pictures over time. Updated pictures show that your business is still there for customers to patronize. These audits also give you some time to respond to reviews on a regular basis.
When you use SEO on your website, make sure that you make it hyper-local. Your website is of no use to someone three states away. And, you want to make sure that people in your area are able to find you. You likely use basic SEO strategies in your content, but make sure that it is local SEO. Add in plenty of local areas that are near to your business. Use titles and headings that incorporate your location. Add in local metadata as well as local alt text for pictures. And if you haven’t optimized your content for search engines, it’s time to do so.
It’s also a good idea to have some information about COVID on your page. People will wonder about the procedures you are using as well as whether they will need a mask or not. Many people are nervous about going somewhere in person, and your content can help to mitigate that fear. When you let them know that you are taking it seriously and taking precautions, more people will want to visit your location, and this means making more sales. It can also help you to earn more positive reviews that will also put people at ease.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile and Voice Searches
Think about all of the times that you’ve searched out businesses on your phone. This has become a common practice when people are looking for what they need, and your site needs to be optimized for mobile users. If your site doesn’t come across well for mobile users, it will be hard for people to get the information they need from the site. This can prompt them to look at another company’s site instead. Your mobile optimization can have an enormous effect on the experience that users have, so make sure your design is well-optimized.
Today, it’s also common to conduct a voice search on a mobile device. To optimize for this, you need to anticipate the questions that people will ask when they’re searching. Then, answer those questions. Answer all of the common questions that people will ask about your business or what you sell. If you aren’t sure about the questions they will have, look through your analytics and find the questions that people are using to get to your site.
Local SEO Strategies Will Keep You Top-of-Mind
By using local SEO strategies, you can make your company’s website much easier to find. Alternatively, seeking affordable SEO services for small business through a digital advertising agency like L7 Advertising proves beneficial. Contact us today to start communicating with search engines and let them know what your site is about and where it is.