Local search have evolved and people have begun to have more than a basic understanding of how search engines rank for local establishments versus traditional SEO. With the need for brands to narrow their visibility to a regional and even hyper local level, we’ve assembled a crash course in thinking about local search with four main tenants as follows:
Four Tenants of Local Search
- Make sure your address and contact info is listed throughout your site.
Besides doing SEO 101 on your website you need to make some additional considerations when thinking about local search. One of the most important is that you list your address and contact information throughout the site. While it seems logical some businesses have it buried on a contact or directions page, you want to make sure that you have it displayed prominently throughout your site.
- Make sure you are in control of your directory listings.
Hijacking local listings has been a popular trick over the years by some unsavory SEO people. It is important as a small business owner that you check your listings on major search engines as well as data suppliers to local search engines.When filling out your data it is a best practice to fill out more than just the minimum data. This is thinking for the long tail of search, the more detail that you can offer about your business the better.One tool to check a few of these sites at once is GetListed. (I blogged about them briefly earlier in the year.)
Data Suppliers/Review Sites/Other Directories
Merchant Circle (Warning: a solicitation often follows when signing up.)
- Get local citations.
GetListed has a really good breakdown on the value of citations. Basically these are mentions of your business on other webpages. They don’t have to be linked directly to your webpage like a backlink when thinking about traditional SEO. A Chamber of Commerce Website, Better Business Bureau, and other local websites that will list your company and contact information are really valuable mentions.
- Encourage your customers to review your establishment.
Rating sites have grown rapidly; the most talked about has been Yelp. Getting your customers talking about your business on these sites can bring improved search results and a good amount of traffic. Reviews also are considered valuable to some of the search engines and how they rank your establishment. These reviews act as proof that you are an existing company and open for business. For example Google pulls this information from multiple sites and includes them as part of your listing.
Remember, increasing your visibility to targeted, geographically located customers, can turn into advocacy and go a long way in improving your local search rank.