4 BUILDING BLOCKS OF LOCAL SEARCH
It is more important than ever that your business rank at the top of local search results, as more and more consumers buy products or search for services online. There are four key components to achieving great search results. We will examine each in turn below:
Google My Business
Claim Your GOOGLE MY BUSINESS (GMB) listing. GMB is an online tool where you can list aspects of your business with Google – the kind of business you have, where you’re located, the hours you’re open, and more. Having a Google My Business listing is critical when there are particular service areas or for businesses with physical sites. Claim and complete all the fields including description, categories, open business hours, profile cover images, and other photos. Just remember that Google is not the only game in town, however, so be sure to also claim and optimize your business listing on Bing Places for Business.
Surveys show that 85% of consumers use the internet to find local business and 63% of total web traffic comes from mobile devices. And these number are only growing! Upgrade your website and optimize all your landing pages with local keyword data, making sure your phone number and hours are prominently displayed. And make sure your website is mobile friendly including a map of your location!
Social media & Reviews
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Social media profiles are key to this, and it is critical to maintain a consistent business name across all platforms. This helps Google (and customers) associate these profiles with you. Select the social media platforms that are the best fit for your business - Facebook.Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc... And remember that the existence of a page—even if it’s a simple one-- is better than not having one at all.
Directory Listings submissions
Citations – are online mentioning of Name, Phone #, Address & Website of your business. This is your digital thumbprint, and how Google knows that a website is mentioning your business as opposed to someone else’s. Search engines look for consistency on your website and on all third-party platforms where your business is listed or mentioned. This means creating and verifying Yelp listings, Yellow Pages, MerchantCircle, Mapquest, SuperPages,etc... Make sure your name, local phone number, address, and website are consistent everywhere!