Companies that want to get new customers need to pay attention to the Google search results. Your customers do their research using Google. Also, statistically speaking, customers that look for a particular product in a certain location (for example, “best dentist near me”), will make a purchase in the next 24 hours. Years ago, Google had a big problem. While it was a great search engine and it had information about all sorts of things all over the world, they weren’t serving their customers locally. That was a problem because most of their customers were local customers who were searching for local results. That’s when they made the big change to become the “biggest local company in the world.”
They decided that they would make a slightly different version of the Google search engine – that they would make a local version. So today, we have a search engine that is very effective at leading customers to local businesses, with local reviews and local information. They were going to start gathering details on businesses in their customers’ backyard.
SEARCH TODAY – BUY TODAY
This change to “local” gives small businesses an excellent opportunity to connect with customers that live near them. When these customers search for a local business, they always have some urgency to buy their product or service. Google’s studies show that people who search for a product or service near to them end up making a purchase within 24 hours following their search. Meaning when someone searches for something like your product or service, they want to buy it immediately. Your job is to make sure that you are at the top of the search page results. Getting to the top is accomplished through LOCAL SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are some free and simple things you can do to optimize your website, which will put you up at the top of Google Search results.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
The first and most important task. Google my business sounds like a command, but it’s not. GOOGLE MY BUSINESS is the listing service that Google has created for local companies inside of Google’s database. This is the easiest thing you can do to get on Google’s good side. And it’s free and easy to do. Go to GOOGLE MY BUSINESS and register your business. If you have more than one location, register each location. Complete all the information, and then Google will know you exist when people search about your product or service.
Not only will this allow Google to list your website when people are searching for your product or service, but it will also allow you to be placed in the listings that are called “Google’s local SEO 3-pack” at the top of the search results page. Companies in Google’s SEO 3-pack will display relevant info such as your address, your website, telephone, and your hours. It will even show posts that you can change weekly
Once you have a GOOGLE MY BUSINESS account, there are some easy ways to optimize it and get more benefits. You can post “Google Posts” in your account, and Google will display them when your site shows up as the result of a search. In this post, you can put information about sales and specials, and you can welcome a particular group of visitors, or even capitalize on the current holiday. Google posts are a great way to get free exposure and attention to your business. And the good thing about Google Posts is that Google removes them after seven days. So, you can be putting fresh content up every week. You can go here (https://posts.withgoogle.com) to get verified and start posting right away.
In GOOGLE MY BUSINESS, there are some other exciting ways you can interact with your potential customers. There are appointment bookings, where customers can click on a button and make an appointment automatically with your company. And there’s the Q&A feature. You can have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section as part of your search results – all because of your listing in GOOGLE MY BUSINESS. It also will allow you to have a messaging service where you can chat with your customers when they search Google and discover your company.
Registering in GOOGLE MY BUSINESS is not only free and easy to do, but it will make a huge difference in your local SEO. But surprisingly enough, only about half of the local businesses have taken the time to register their business there. When you do register your business, make sure that your Name, Address, and Phone number are consistent throughout the different places you appear on the web.
LOCAL BACKLINKS – CITATIONS
One of the ways that Google makes sure that your site is worthy of being on the first page is to determine how popular it is. A very effective method to establish your popularity is through the use of local backlinks, also called citations. A local backlink/citation is where your website URL is included on someone else’s website. And this is something you can promote. Start by making sure that different listing services and industry directories have your website address. If you belong to a trade group or some type of affiliate group, see if they have a members list. Another good way to find other listing sites is to do a backlink search on your competitors. You can easily discover their backlinks by entering the URL of a competitor into a backlink checker. Once you find out who they have their backlinks with, you can contact many of those sites and register your website as well.
Probably the most powerful way to get backlinks is to ask your customers to leave reviews that include your website URL. Reviews are the “new currency” of the internet and go a long way to bringing in new customers. Good reviews will help you in so many ways, and having backlinks is one of them. When people search for your product or service in their local area, you will be listed alongside your competitors. The next thing they will do is search the review sites to see what other people have to say about you. So be prepared for them. Institute a system in your company that will systematically prompt your employees to ask your customers for reviews. Tell your employees that the reviews need to be personal and about them. This is a very effective way of having a second-hand conversation with your prospects as well as providing powerful citations to Google for your local SEO.
KEYWORDS ARE KING
Keywords are those words and phrases that people are likely to use when searching for your product or service. Huge companies spend millions of dollars promoting keywords for their industries. However, for you to promote local keywords is much simpler and can cost you nothing. The kind of keywords that you need to promote for local SEO are called “long-tail keywords.” With regular keywords, you would see terms such as “retirement investments” or “life insurance.” When it comes to local, long-tail keywords, the request is much more specific and has more words. Those keywords look something like “best insurance broker in Springfield” or “most qualified Raleigh chiropractor.” To promote these keywords on your site, you should include them in your site body copy, META descriptions, and page titles. The reason that these are so effective is that when people search for local services, they tend to use more words in their search.
OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE
There have been significant changes in Google’s search algorithm in the last year or two. Google made a big announcement some time ago that they were going to be paying more attention to sites that are optimized for mobile devices. And they will begin to ignore desktop sites in favor of mobile sites. This is because there is a trend of more and more people using mobile devices when searching Google. Surprisingly, almost two-thirds of online searches are done on cell phones. And it’s even a higher percentage when it comes to local searches. So, if you want to rank high in the local search results, optimize your website for mobile devices.
Use our free mobile friendly analysis tool to check if your website is mobile friendly.
THE CLICK DEPOT
All this may sound complicated or a little intimidating, but this is where we come in. Here at The Click Depot, we have been helping local business owners optimize their websites for years. We understand the benefits of local SEO, and we also know how to get you ranked on Google’s local search pages. Call today and talk to one of our SEO Consultants about your website.