13 Jun Small Business Guide to Local SEO
If you’ve found yourself looking for more information on local SEO, you’re most likely a small business with a local brick-and-mortar storefront. You’ve also probably done some research on SEO in general, and you’re looking for specific answers on how to get your business found online in your local area. Local SEO is influenced by a combination of factors, including long-tail keywords and Google My Business listings.
Similar to general SEO best practices, local SEO revolves around keywords. However, when you’re looking to attract more visitors to a physical storefront, you want to target long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer phrases that typically include a keyword related to your industry, plus your location or the name of a specific product or service. An example of a long-tail keyword for a local pet store would be “dog food san diego” or “where to buy dog food san diego.”
When you consistently blog about long-tail keywords related to your industry, you increase your business’ visibility online for niche searches and create more opportunities to increase your customer base.
Google My Business
The second major recommendation for local SEO is creating a Google My Business listing. If you’ve read our blog on SEO frequently asked questions, you already know that 94% of total organic traffic filters through Google search results.
Because Google is the go-to place for all searches, whether they’re local or international, it’s an important place to have a directory listing. Google My Business listings are free to set up and manage, and they also offer free reporting on your impressions, calls, and website visits from the listing every month.
As more and more people use mobile devices to search for products or services in their area, Google My Business listings allow you to rank higher in local searches and target customers in your area. Customers can find directions to your business directly from the listing. If you’re convinced about the impact of Google My Business on local SEO, follow the steps below to set up your own account.
Google My Business Setup
To create a free Google My Business listing, search for “Google My Business” or visit www.google.com/business, then click “Manage Now.” You will see the screen prompting, “What’s the name of your business?” Enter your business name, then click next.
Next Google will ask about your location. If you have a specific location, we highly recommend selecting “Yes” to take advantage of additional local placements on Google searches. If you don’t have a specific location but operate in a certain area, you can select “No” and Google will then allow you to input the general area in the next screen. Work from home? You can also choose to make your address private.
The next prompt asks you to choose a business category (your industry). You can always change your category later if you find another that makes more sense for your business or for local SEO.
The last step is providing your contact information. After choosing a category, Google will ask you to confirm your business phone number, website link, contact page, etc. If you currently have a website, it is important to link to your homepage. If your website is still in the works or you’d rather not direct clients there, give us a call to see how we can help! We offer free recommendations, as well as full design and redesign packages.
After this step, click “Finish.” Google will send you a postcard to verify your business, and in the meantime your listing is up and running!
From here you will see a wide variety of options on ways you can increase information about your company on Google. By creating your listing, your business will be featured in the “Map Pack” (located on the top right side of the Google search results page), and in organic local listings for your industry.