A quick Google search will reveal that Google has placed much more importance on local search results, pushing organic results down the page for maps with local listings. Here are a few quick statistics:
Previously, local businesses could get away relying on foot traffic and more traditional forms of advertising to compete locally. However, as the above statistics show, more people are using search engines to find local businesses around them. With the creation of Google+Local, local SEO has become a necessity to put your business on the map (both figuratively and on map applications on mobile devices).
Even if SEO was already a priority for your business, the ranking factors for local SEO differ from traditional SEO especially when it comes to link building practices. This article will outline the most important aspects of local SEO services to optimize your business and increase foot and online traffic to your establishment.
These SEO local services can help your business even if you don’t have a website. Your Google My Business page along with your listings in various directories, such as Yelp and Yellowpages, acts as a hub for potential customers to learn about and find your business.
While there are multiple factors that lend to ranking in local searches perhaps the most important part of providing local SEO services comes down to three pieces of information known as NAP. This stands for name, address, and phone number. While providing this information may seem like a no-brainer, a Constant Contact survey revealed that over 50 percent of small businesses surveyed knew that they had inaccuracies in their address listings, but 70 percent of these businesses said they simply did not have the time to update their listings across all directories.
This is troubling, especially because according to Moz, the number one negative ranking factor is a false business address, and the third negative ranking factor is inaccuracy in NAP information across directories.
Updating NAP information comes down to accuracy and consistency. Something as simple as a typo in the name or the address of your business in a single directory can negatively affect your business’ ranking. As far as consistency, if your business has ever changed its name (even slightly), moved addresses, or changed/added a phone number it can hurt the consistency within directories if this information isn’t exactly the same on your Google+ page, Yelp, Foursquare, etc.
The question arises: what can a local business owner do to make sure the NAP information for their business is both accurate and consistent across all of these internet directories?
While you can endlessly search the internet to check every listing, making sure your information is accurate and consistent, most small business owners simply don’t have the time to take on this endeavor. At bidpin we provide local SEO services to scour the internet to find and check each and every directory your business is listed in making sure that your information is accurate and consistent.
Name, address, and phone number is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to filling out local directories for your business. Potential customers like to see more information and the more information about your business found in local directories lends to your credibility in the eyes of local search engines. Beyond NAP you should consider including:
As a general rule, the more information that’s included in local directories the better. Not only do customers want to see the most possible information regarding your business, every piece gives a slight advantage to your local SEO efforts compared with other local businesses in the area. Google makes this process very simple with its My Business page giving the business owner a completion bar indicating how complete the page’s information is. Here are some tips to get your local seo services information to 100
Compared with traditional SEO, social media is much more important when it comes to local SEO services because many customers may never see your business’ website but instead find you on one of the social media platforms. In this sense, your business’ Facebook page serves as your website for many potential customers.
Providing local SEO services mean first claiming you Google My Business page, then optimizing all of the information on your social media pages to match the information on your My Business page along with all of the other local directories. This provides customers with all the information they need to find your business.
Social signals, such as “Likes” on Facebook or “Retweets” on Twitter, count as a local search ranking factor according to a recent study by Moz. This means that you will rank higher on local search results if you have more people interacting with your business on social media.
While the above factors to optimize your local SEO efforts are within your control as a business owner, even if they take some work to get your information consistent across local directories, one huge local ranking factor that is out of your control is getting reviews from customers. Luckily, there are ways to incentivize customers to leave those all-important Yelp, Google+, Urbanspoon, etc. reviews.
It is no secret that Google will favor establishments that are highly reviewed over ones that either don’t have enough reviews or even worse are negatively reviewed. Good reviews can be the difference between showing up somewhere in the murky middle of local listings and holding the top spot.
If your establishment is lacking reviews, there are multiple ways to encourage customers to leave a review after visiting. Something as simple as putting up a sign urging customers to leave a review or including a QR code that directs customers to a review page could work. Incentives, such as a discount or even a shout-out on social media could be enough to generate some reviews. Assuming you offer a stellar product or service these positive reviews will immediately bolster your local SEO efforts.
A new development in the local SEO services space is Google announcing that they are currently testing a hyperlocal “neighborhood algorithm.” While it’s hard to group businesses into neighborhoods because of relatively unclear boundaries, Google is constantly trying to make local searching more accurate for the people trying to find businesses in their area.
While the concept is still in its infancy, it’s never too early for businesses to jump on this bandwagon and include neighborhood data in their listings. By including specific neighborhood terminology, a business can not only be ahead of the curve when Google undoubtedly integrates neighborhood data into local SEO but also optimizes their existing local SEO efforts at the same time.
Some ways to take advantage of this new hyperlocal search are:
While hyperlocal SEO is still in development, it doesn’t hurt to be ahead of competing local businesses when it becomes more significant in the near future.
If all of this information is somewhat overwhelming, fear not. At bidpin we offer all of these local SEO services to businesses. We understand how important all of these factors become when put together for customers to find your business because we’re a local business practicing what we preach.
If you are interested in optimizing your local SEO, feel free to reach out to bidpin for a consultation.