The fact that this is slightly complicated is good news because if it was super easy, everyone would be doing it correctly and you would have no advantage. Take 10-15 minutes to understand the objectives and get ahead of competitors that won’t spend the time. It is worth it!
If you’re a small business owner you probably are very familiar or business owner in general very familiar with Google and searches and search results. Everybody is. But the local SEO is a little bit different and many business owners are still confused about what it is and especially why local SEO is so important for their business success online.
Here is how Google searches operate:
When you do a search on Google there are usually paid ads and ten results (organic results) that always appear. This will list different websites for those searches that are involved with PPC and those who are ranking high naturally. Again, everyone is familiar with this process and these results. However, when a person does a search for a particular service or product within a certain geographical area, say city, state, or county, state, above those ten organic listings will be 2-3 local results and that are separate from the organic results.
For example, If you do a search for say or oil change in a particular city or county or state you’re going to see local results. 2-3 business listings which will just have the name the address, the phone number, a link to the call them, reviews and star rating, and a link to the website. Well those results are not “arbitrary” need to be optimized just like the organic searches need to be optimized, because only two to three even appear up on Google. The rest of them are hidden. These hidden listings can be seen by clicking on the little box with little bullet points. If you click on this box, it will provide all the local listings to view. This box is rarely noticed, let alone clicked on. Due to this fact, depending on how competitive your business is if you’re not in the top two or three that are visible in the initial local listings, your business is invisible to visitors. Most visitors are going to see and call or click on the website of those two to three that show up. In fact, the Local SEO results are getting to be MORE important than organic results in some cases due to their appearance on Google and the emphasis placed on them.
Local SEO is an optimization strategy that will help increase your rankings against all those other competitors so that you show up on the first page of google for those 2-3 very important spots. There’s a lot of techniques and strategies that go into making you come up on those first 2-3 spots and that’s what the local SEO Local optimization is all about.
It’s important for you as a business owner to know the importance of this and get your business on the right track. It is possible to come up 1st or 2nd on the local listings and come up in the organic results. Sometimes on certain searches we have clients to come up 2-3 times on the 1st page of a Google search which is great because the more times you appear on the 1st page, the more opportunities that visitors have a chance to click on your link give you a call.
It’s also important to note that the Google local listings also have reviews on them and it’s important to get those reviews increased, responded to, and checked on a regular bases to keep it up to date. That’s also part of local SEO.
The main objective is to come up high in local results by making sure your name, address and phone number (NAP info) is correct across the web. Don’t fix your NAP information only on Google plus and the Google listing, but across all lines of business listings throughout the web. Also to make sure that those different listings and names of your business and phone numbers are also the exact same that are on your actual website. Make sure you have locations pages on your site that match those business listings so Google can crawl every location and add you to local listings in every town you are located.
There are a lot of different moving parts going on there but consistency and accuracy are the main two ingredients to coming high on Google’s local listings. Think about it this way… Google wants to place the best results for the person searching up top. Why? So that the person using Google will have a great experience and return again and again to Google to use their search engine and not a competitor. About 75-80% of all searches are done on Google. They want to keep this edge. Providing the best results is how they keep this edge.
Also, please note: About a third of all the clicks local businesses come through the local results and it is increasing every year. This is worth a small business owners time to get this right. If you don’t have it right take a look at it and if you don’t have the time or patience to work on this, call an Internet Marketing company who specializes in Local SEO to get it done for you. Just make sure you get someone with a great reputation. Prices vary. A solid Local SEO company will usually charge between $300-$500 per month for this service. If they are charging less than $250 per month… They probably are not doing anything worth paying for.
Can I see my current listings and results?
The best way to look at your current local footprint is to just go to Google your name and you’ll see all the different directories and listening that you come up on and make sure that they’re all consistent. That your name looks the same, that some don’t say L.L.C and some saying incorporated. Make sure everything is spelled correctly on your different listings and you want to make sure that all the phone numbers and addresses that are associated with your business all these different listings are accurate as well.
Lastly, it is important to put in place some sort of system management system that is updating your listings if you have changes, responding to comments and finding red flags and notifying you when anything changes online that’s associated with your business. These are all things that need to be managed and just take time and resources.
And then finally you want to constantly increase the amount of directories and listings accurate directories and listings online so that you can separate yourself from local business owners who are trying to do the same thing. Remember, everyone’s battling for these very valuable pieces of real estate on the first page of Google so that they’re more visible. Being more visible will create more phone calls and increases lead generation which is the whole beauty of it.
Remember the local listings are free this is a paper clicks is a free. So getting it right can be a big windfall money wise and dollar wise for your company any questions please feel free to contact us for a free evaluation. We love helping small business owners grow!