When a person searches for businesses near their location, like a restaurant or an electrician, they are performing a local search. In order to drive local customers to a business, it’s imperative that businesses serving their local communities appear prominently in local search results.
There are steps businesses can take to improve their positions in local search results by improving their local SEO, or local search engine optimization.
1. Set up a Google My Business listing
One of the first steps to improving local SEO is ensuring the business has claimed a Google My Business listing, which can house all sorts of business information, including services and products, hours of operation, and even images and videos.
Information from the Google My Business listing, like address, business hours, and reviews, will be included in Google’s local search results, and other information from the listing will be used to help Google’s Knowledge Graph database generate additional details about the business and related entities.
Additionally, responding to reviews on the Google My Business listing can be an effective way to show potential customers that your business is actively addressing issues or complaints. According to Yext, 30% of customers say a review response is important when judging a local business.
2. Ensure business info is consistent across entire online presence
Another step to optimizing local SEO is ensuring that the business information is consistent across every online listing, website, and social media account.
The reason that consistent information is so important for local SEO has to do with whether search engines like Google actually ‘trust’ that your business information is correct.
For example, if you asked 10 different friends the same question, “Where is Bob’s Pizza located?” and you got 10 different answers, you would have pretty low confidence in the validity of those answers, and you would not feel comfortable selecting any one of them.
The same is true of local SEO. If Google finds you have 10 listings on the internet for your company (Google My Business Page, Facebook, Yelp, etc.) but those listings have different information, Google will have low ‘trust’ in that business information, and it will bump that business’s positional rankings down in local searches.
However, if your business information is the exact same across every online presence, then search engines will have much higher trust that the information is correct, and will be more likely to serve the business’s search result higher in local searches.
One way to ensure your business information is consistent across every online presence is by contacting all of the websites where your business has a listing, and requesting that your listing be updated or removed. Suffice to say, this is a painstaking, timely and quite often fruitless venture, as most online directories and listing sites require a login or paid account to make any adjustments to listings.
A much easier solution is to utilize advanced listing technology. We built the Listings Scan tool for this very purpose. It scours the web to find all business listings, identify any inconsistencies, and suppress and replace incorrect information.
The Listings Scan tool also provides businesses with a consolidated location where they can monitor reviews from Google, Facebook, Yelp and more; respond to those reviews; and even encourage review generation from current and past customers.
Try out the Listings Scan tool today and begin the process of improving your local SEO.
Now in our 50th year of business, Vladimir Jones is Colorado’s original independent, integrated advertising agency, with offices in Denver and Colorado Springs. We believe in brilliant brands and love making the world love them as much as we do.