To execute an effective local SEO strategy, you’ll need these five things:
A Mobile Optimized Website
Search engines continue to be the primary way prospective customers find your business online. On an average day there are over three billion searches through Google. However, there’s a great disconnect on the customers’ end once they visit a company’s website, as 75% of them never go past the first page.
Your website is your way of introducing yourself to your prospective clients. As such, your initial impression better be a good one, or you’ll end up generating fewer conversions. Therefore, it’s important to design a website that’s pleasing aesthetically and is easy for the customer to use. Moreover, by making the content on your website relevant it develops credibility in the eyes of those reading your pages.
This brings us to the second point: local content. Content can be the key driver of generating a larger customer base and enhancing your brand’s recognition online. Did you know that 70 percent of consumers prefer to learn about a company through articles than advertisements? This means crafting content to your clients’ needs becomes a high priority. Here are some questions you need to ask before developing a content strategy:
- Who are you?
- What services or products do you provide?
- How do you do it?
- What’s your location, hours of operation and phone number?
- What makes you different?
You’ll notice a key theme with these questions: they come from the customer perspective. This is vital to keep in mind considering that people share over 27 million pieces of content every day. They want a valuable resource and access to quick information; by providing it to them you become someone they will trust.
Google My Business Listing
This service allows your organization to manage multiple points of contact through Google Maps, Google+ and search results. This is an excellent platform that allows you to control everything from claiming the physical location of your business to the pictures you provide. As noted in previous sections, the information you provide has to be consistent throughout all parts of the platform.
Business Listings on Major Directories
Citations are one of the most important influencers of where Google will place your business in the local search results. Simply, citations are where others make mention of your company’s NAP information online. This could be something as simple as a local magazine reviewing your restaurant. The goal here is that citations are consistent in the information they provide with the Google My Business listing.
Positive Customer Reviews
The lifeblood of any business is repeat customers. Therefore, customer reviews are going to be a huge factor shaping your search engine ranking as well as how other perceive your business. 88 percent of customers noted they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Further, 78 percent of them said customer reviews influenced their purchasing decisions.
As you can see, customer reviews can play a profound effect on your business. Not only does amount and quality of reviews play a role, but also the rate in which you acquire new reviews factors in too. With this in mind, it’s important to find ways to entice customers to write reviews for you.