Most small businesses provide products and services to their local community, rather than nation-wide. Because of this, it’s vital that your small business is getting its fair share of local search engine traffic and visitors. Is your website showing up on Google for those important searches related to your business? Is your website user-friendly, and more importantly, is it mobile friendly?
According to Google, over 60% of the 3.5 billion daily Google searches are conducted on a mobile device. Furthermore, 88% of all mobile searches are for local businesses! This represents a massive opportunity to draw new customers and prospects to your website – engaged customers that are actively looking for YOUR service.
Here are three simple ways to ensure your business website is showing up for local Google searches.
1. Optimize Your Website Content
In order for local customers to find your website, you must prove to search engines that your website and its content are relevant to what they are searching for. For example, a small business consultant can determine that its customers are looking for help starting a business, so they might focus on ‘forming an LLC’ as a keyword. To show up in searches for that, that keyword should appear naturally in your website’s content.
Homeowners may not type ‘leaking sink’ into Google, rather they search for ‘emergency plumber’ or ‘sink repair.’ To increase your odds of showing up in the search results, include a page on your website that details your services that includes those important keywords that your customers would use to find you. Google provides a helpful tool see what customers are searching for.
As obvious at it may sound, you should be including your business name, address and service areas on your website. This is another item that Google scans when determining which business website it will show in a given area. Websites without this information have a lower chance of showing up in the search results, even if the rest of their content is highly relevant.
2. Get Found Locally, For Free
A great way to list your business locally and for free is to create a Google My Business page. It allows you to build visibility for your business in Google maps and in local community searches. The Google My Business page outlines a few simple steps for you to start managing how your business appears across Google. It also allows you to interact with customers and provides a way for customers to review you. I prefer this over Yelp since Yelp can penalize you for requesting reviews from your customers.
In addition to showing important business information to potential customers, it also allows you to “own” more of the Google results page. Couple that with your organic SEO listing and your paid Adwords ad and you’ve got yourself some prime real estate that customers can’t ignore!
3. Win the Popularity Contest
Search engines like Google prefer websites that other important websites link to. It’s like a popularity contest. The more high-quality inbound links you have to your website, the higher the likelihood is that Google will show your website.
In addition to Google Business that we discussed earlier, there are many other directories that you may consider listing with. Just ensure your name, address and other details are consistent across all directories.
Yelp – Yelp is a popular site for customers to read and write reviews on a business, but it’s also beneficial from a search engine optimization perspective. Again, when Google sees that an influential site like Yelp is linking to you, it directly influences where and when Google will show you in its search results. Go ahead and create a Yelp Business page, or, if someone has already reviewed you on Yelp, you can “claim” the page as owner, and edit the details to confirm accuracy.
Online Yellow Pages and Other Local Directories – while the clunky printed Yellow Pages may be outdated, the online version can still yield benefits with regard to search engine placement. Yellow Pages, Super Pages and the like are free and within minutes of creating your listing, you’ll have added a few more beneficial inbound links to your website, signaling to Google that you are legit.
Other local directories vary from city to city, but most will have a Chamber of Commerce or similar that will post your listing upon submission. In addition, if you have a storefront or serve a particular neighborhood, reach out to a nearby apartment or commercial business complex and try to get a link on their website – these buildings often have a Resource section on their websites for the local community.
The Takeaway: Potential customers are constantly searching for products or services right in their city or community. Your business can benefit greatly from being at the top of the search engines results. Make sure your website content is reflective of what your customers are searching for and make your business easy to find by submitting your website to several free local listing directories.
Let’s continue the conversation. Join us Tuesday July 31 at 11:30 am EST for a FREE WEBINAR dedicated to helping small businesses with their digital marketing.
Dalton Digital is an Arlington-based digital marketing agency that helps businesses by designing stunning, mobile-friendly websites and driving growth through search engine and social media marketing.