How important is Google local SEO? Roughly four out of five consumers utilize an online search tool to gather information about locally operated businesses. If your business is not optimized for google local searches, you can miss out on attracting nearly 80% of your customer prospects.
You do not need a research study to explain that Google is the dominant player in the search engine game. What you need to discover is how to improve your local search ranking on Google, as well as get your small business website ready for the almighty Google search engine.
Google Local SEO Starts with Google My Business
To optimize Google local SEO efforts, it makes sense to use the Google My Business tool to match your business with Google local search results. When Google confirms your business is authentic, it might reward your local search efforts with a highly coveted spot on a Google sidebar. At the very least, making sure you cover all the Google My Business basics will give your business much more exposure for Google local searches.
Let’s see how your business can improve its Google local SEO.
Accuracy is the Key for Google My Business Info
Businesses that present complete and accurate information will rank higher in local searches. Ensure you have entered all of your business information in the spaces presented in Google My Business. This will prove potential customers with important information like your location and your hours of operation.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
According to the search engine giant, businesses that upload photographs benefit from up to 35% more clicks to their websites. Just make sure to follow certain guidelines, such as uploading photos are at the minimum 720 pixels wide and 720 pixels tall. Consider uploading a cover photo that presents the front of your business, as well as profile photo that features one of your most popular products.
Are Videos Worth the Effort?
A promotional video running fewer than 30 seconds can go along way towards establishing the all-important positive first impression. Customer prospects want to associate a face with a small business. Keep any videos you upload smaller than 110 MB, with a resolution of at least 720 pixels. Just one video can make your business stand out for Google local SEO.
Customer Feedback is an Effective Marketing Tool
Google My Business includes a section where customers leave reviews. Not only should you encourage customer reviews for Google local SEO reasons, you also want to make sure to respond to the most recent reviews. Responding to customer reviews will open the door for more customers to leave reviews.
Get the Google My Business App
Available for using with both iOS and Android devices, the Google My Business app is a must have to ensure you remain connected to your customers. Instead of having to sit down next to a desktop or a laptop computer, you can update your business hours, contact information, and any upcoming promotions from your cell phone. Use the app to review important metrics like the number of customer reviews and different customer profile insights.
Google Local SEO and Your Business Website
Yes, Google offers a highly effective local SEO tool called Google My Business. However, you have to do your part to optimize Google local SEO efforts by fine tuning your small business website.
Location Page Make a Huge Difference
If you run more than one location of your business, creating a page for each brick and mortar location will boost your Google local SEO efforts. Each location page should provide customers with the name of your business, as well as the address and phone number of each location. Google will give you a huge search ranking bonus when you add a Google Map to your website for each location of your business.
Local Content Rules
If you have any online marketing experience, you have probably heard of the phrase “Content is king.” In the world of the search engine giant called Google, high-quality content is rewarded with higher search engine results. Although writing about general topics that are relevant to your business is important, uploading locally driven content goes a long way towards improving your Google local SEO strategy. Examples of local content include features about local events and local news that pertains to your business.
Make Your Links Sing for Google
You know that acquiring links to your website from outside source enhances your search engine rankings. Did you know that how well you structure your internal links matters as well, especially for bolstering your Google local SEO program? A strong internal linking campaign will improve how your business website supports flawless navigation for visitors to your site. It will also improve how you structure your information to give each page more power to rank higher in Google local searches. Kissmetric offers a short and easy to understand guide on how to improve internal linking for optimal local SEO.
If you get one thing out of Google local SEO, it should be this statistic: Nine out of 10 consumers use a Smartphone to perform local searches for businesses. This means you have to make your business website mobile device friendly to ensure potential customers stay around for awhile to learn about where you are located, as well as what products and services your business has to offer.
How Google Ranks Local Searches
According to Google, local searches boil down to three factors: Relevance, proximity, and prominence. For instance, Google’s mysterious, yet powerful algorithm might decide your location is too far away for a customer who is searching for some of the same products and/or services your business provides.
This simply means what you have to offer matches what a customer prospect wants from a business. Adding and maintaining accurate business information on your Google My Business page ensures you remain relevant in the community.
Just how far will a potential customer travel to reach your business? The distance factor answers that question within Google’s algorithm.
Do you know how well-known your business is to potential customers? The prominence factor used by Google’s algorithm answers the question. An effective way to increase the prominence of your business for Google local SEO is to mention prominent landmarks located near your business on your website and within your Google My Business page.
The Bottom Line
Google constantly changes some of the criteria used to calculate local search results. The key is to remain on top of the Google local SEO game by ensuring your website and Google My Business page contains the latest and most accurate business information.