Smartphones have enabled prospective customers to search for businesses from wherever they are. Whether they find you is a function of your command of local SEO.
Search engine optimization has long been at the heart of digital marketing. The importance of local SEO has grown with the ubiquity of smartphones. Today, people are searching for local services from the sidewalk, while riding in a car on their way to their destination, from homes and hotel rooms - wherever they happen to be.
Do search engines know where your business is located, when it is open, how it can be contacted, and what it does? Here’s how to make sure they do.
The more consistent information about your business a search engine can find, the more it will view your business as a reliable result option to present to searchers.
There are a handful of prominent listing services on which every business should maintain a profile to increase local SEO. A Google My Business listing is essential for optimization of Google search results. Yelp, Foursquare, Bing, and Yellowpages are other prominent listing opportunities.
These citations allow you to showcase store hours, photos, a description, contact information, a mapped location, and a web address.
The information you add to your listings tells search engines unmistakably where you are, what you do, when you are open, and how people can contact you.
The information contributes to search engines’ algorithm-based determinations about whether your business is relevant to a searcher’s query and close enough to the searcher’s location to be a helpful result.
Rankings improve when your information is consistent across the various listings, as well as consistent with the information on your website. Conflicting information will confuse search engines and negatively affect your rankings.
Another important aspect of your business' local SEO is your volume of online reviews - and how you respond to them. Yelp, Google, and Facebook all encourage customers to review businesses. A large volume of reviews indicates prominence in your field.
Monitor your reviews and respond to them. A thoughtful response to both negative and positive reviews shows your business is active and engaged.
That not only projects a great image to prospective customers, it also bumps your business’ prominence in local search results.
For businesses with a definitive local presence that want to be at the top of prospective customers’ search results, a commitment to the best practices of local SEO is essential.
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ChristineBreezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in marketing strategy, social media marketing, and building beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites. We work with clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.