Marketing Your Business: Why Google Loves Local and You Should, Too
Whilst you certainly want your business to grow and be known by people from all over the world, thinking locally can actually boost your sales much easier than focusing on the larger picture. Keeping your business at the top of the search engine results for people in your area will ensure that you get the customers you need.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been around for years: it uses special tactics to ensure that your business is at the top of search engine results, like Google and Bing. Most people don’t look past the first five or so results when searching for a business, so you need to do everything you can to stay at the top. Optimizing your results for people in your area is a great way to help your business grow. Here are a few tips on how to take advantage of local search results.
Good General SEO Practices
If you want to rank high on the search engine results, there are some things you have to do. Everyone is trying to get their business to the top of the page, so you need to do some basic SEO on your website to make sure you stay competitive.
You need to create a website that is an “authority” in your business. This means that you need to appear to the search engines as the first and foremost business that matches the person’s search words. This is difficult to do, but it’s very possible.
First, the age of your website is important: the newer your domain, the lower it will be ranked. You must add new content all of the time: search engines penalize sites for duplicate content, so you should be adding new things to your site every chance you get. Finally, you need to increase your social media presence: getting shares from your website will help your rank dramatically.
Once you are comfortable with good general SEO practices, then you can start thinking about how you can improve your rank for local searches.
First, focus on local content. Having keywords that are related to your business and the local area scattered through all of your blog posts will help the search engines recognize you as a business in the area. The more local content you post, the better your chances are of getting to that coveted top spot when locals search for your business.
You should also have a complete Google My Business profile. This will definitely help you with Google searches, and will also help with any other search engine. Make sure to fill out all of the pertinent information about your business.
Finally, focus on getting good customer reviews on websites. Search engines take reviews very seriously, and if you can get a lot of great reviews, your search engine standing is sure to improve.
Optimize For Mobile
There’s a very good chance that your local customers will be using mobile devices to access your website, especially if you are a restaurant or entertainment spot, or specialize in emergency services. You want your site to load as fast as possible for customers using their smartphones.
This means that you should minimize the amount of images and videos on your front page, as these take longer to load than anything else. Of course, you want your logo and maybe a small relevant photo or two of your business, but large-format images bog down your load time.
There are several different sites out there where you can test the speed of your website for mobile. They will also give you suggestions on how to improve your performance. This way, your local customers will be able to reach you quickly.
Monitor Your Results
Knowing where you stand and what you can do about it is an important part of climbing up the search engine page. You should monitor your business whenever you can, and a site like www.chatmeter.com can help.
Monitoring websites like this will keep you up to date and informed on all of the relevant data pertaining to your business. It will track reviews for you so you can stay on top of any negative ones and resolve them as quickly as possible. You can also find out what other businesses are doing to raise their results, helping you plan new marketing strategies.
When you want your business to grow, the easiest thing to do is to get local customers. Raise your local search engine results and watch the results.
Collin Holmes works at a busy marketing company on the SEO team. He writes about Google, SEO and marketing your business in an easy to understand way no matter how large or small your business.