Whether you’re just starting with a small business, or developing a franchise, it is important to have an effective local search engine optimization strategy. If you’re just hearing about local SEO, and have no idea how to execute your efforts, don’t panic. The process is actually quite simple and painless. To start, you’ll need to know the basics of good local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Simply put, local SEO is just another way to market your business online. If you have a good local SEO strategy, it can assist in developing new business for your company. It can also provide information about your products and/or services. Having your physical location listed on search engines gives you an opportunity to gain more business, based on location.
How Can Good Local SEO Help My Business?
If we’re being honest, local optimization comes with plenty of benefits. Large benefits, at that.
- Good Local SEO gives you the opportunity to come up in ‘near me’ searches, which are becoming more and more popular by the day. In fact, according to Google, ‘near me’ searches are around 34 times more popular than they’ve been in recent years.
- Having your business listed locally is a good way to receive and manage, reviews for your company. It is important to remember, that those reviews, or ratings, can help your business rank higher for local searches.
- Making yourself visible on local search engines gives you better opportunities for good backlinks. This includes local news websites, local bloggers, etc. Additionally, if you are listed locally you open up a window to partnerships with other local companies. You help them out, they’ll help you out. It’s a win for both businesses.
- You want to be perceived as relevant and up-to-date. Listing your business locally means you have the ability to get more involved with local events. Once you are noticed locally on search engines, you are given an opportunity to spread the name of your business for those local events. This can be done through sponsorships, donations, etc. As long as your name is being put out there, you will gain more in-person recognition. Which leads to better online recognition.
A lot goes into local search, and how it helps your business. You may not see results right off the bat. When results do start to come though, they’ll be big.
Do I Need to Register with Google My Business?
Because of Google’s authority and popularity, it’s beneficial to list your business locally on Google. Google My Business is the perfect way to do so. As a bonus, it’s extremely simple. Registering on Google My Business can give your customers the best chance of reaching you. Google users may search for ‘Chinese food near me’. Given that you are the owner of a Chinese restaurant, you’ve given yourself business, if you come up locally on that search.
Do you need to? Technically, no. However, it is strongly advised. Registering your site locally is huge. This doesn’t end with just Google though. Remember, there are other search engines you can use to list locally.
Again, don’t assume because Google is more well-known than other search engines, you only have to register with them. Bing also has a very easy business registration portal for you to increase your chances of being noticed. This tool is called Bing Places For Business. Bing Places For Business, much like Google My Business, assists in your opportunity to be noticed by users looking for what you are offering.
With Bing Places For Business, you claim your listing, create and complete your profile, and verify your listing. Again, this can be done whether you are a first time business owner, or own several buildings or centers.
Growing Your Business Locally in the Future
If I’m going to give you any other advice for good local SEO, its this. Stay on top of your reviews and customer satisfaction. If you receive bad reviews, address the issue and make the situation better. If you are receiving good reviews, good for you! Keep it up.
Additionally, keep your social media profiles up-to-date with new community developments and information. Representing your community and being knowledgeable about new developments around can give you better authority.
Getting started is a simple task, and each search engine is extremely user-friendly. You may also benefit from enrolling in some SEO training courses! For even more information, here’s a great article listing 25 Important Questions you Should Ask a Local SEO Company before you hire them.
Do you have any tips or tricks for local listings? If something works well for you, we would love to hear you brag about your success by leaving your feedback through comments and shares.
Steve Scott is the CEO & Director of Training at the Tampa SEO Training Academy. He has taught SEO skills to people from around the world and currently offers his hands-on search engine optimization training workshops in Tampa to individuals and businesses of all sizes. Corporate SEO training classes and consulting are also available.