If you sell something offline, you can’t do without promoting your business in local search. The relevance of local search is growing in the context of increasing the share of mobile traffic, as owners of smartphones and tablets often look for the physical location of the desired store, restaurant or office center on the move. In this article, you will learn how to achieve success in local search.
What is Local Search and Why do You Need It?
A local search is the formation of a search result based on a search engine user’s location. The search engine shows the user local results if he/she specifies a geographical object’s name in the request.
It is also formed if the search algorithm decides that the person wants to know the location of the search objects.
Google SERP with local results includes contextual announcements, a list of organizations with addresses, search results on Google Maps, as well as the results of organic results. According to the ItRate.co, focused on promoting its projects in local search, users of desktop PCs actively follow the links of all elements of results. With the help of eye-tracking technology, the specialists of this company have determined that the highest CTR have relevant links to organic results which are located at the bottom of the first screen.
First of all, promotion in local search is necessary for a business that serves customers offline. Providing visibility of the company on the result page, you bring visitors to the shop, restaurant or office. Visibility in local search provides benefits for businesses that operate online. For example, a website of an online store can be ranked in local search if the geographical preferences of the user coincide with the address specified in “Contacts”.
How to Promote a Project in Local Search
The strategy to promote projects in local search includes three points: the audit of the current situation and updating of data, optimization of behavioral factors and the use of barnacle SEO tactics.
Current Situation Audit and Data Update
Site ranking factors in local and organic search coincide for the majority of points. So start by checking that your website meets the technical requirements of search engines, and make sure that your content meets the information needs of your audience.
Now check the data related directly to local search:
Verify that the information on your Google My Business page is up to date.
Check if your organization’s information is displayed when you use linked localized requests. If the information is not displayed, check to see if the website has been sanctioned.
Make sure that your business information is in the appropriate category. Users and search engines do not like to have information about car workshops or barbershops in the financial services section.
Check if there are any quality photos of the office or shop on your business webpage. They can be displayed on the results page and attract the attention of users.
Check if the working hours are correct. If a potential customer sees a closed door with a “lunch” sign, he is unlikely to come back to you.
Make sure that a landing page for visitors from local search has a location map.
Check if there is any information about payment methods on the website. This is especially important if you accept only credit cards or cash payments.
Try to find your business from a smartphone. Check if it is convenient for users to search for information on your website.
Behavioral Factors Optimizing
You know of course that behavioral factors influence the results of organic and local results. In addition, you know exactly the danger of such factors churning. So you need to create an environment in which local search users in contact with your business will feel happy. To do this, follow these steps:
Use Schema.org for structured data on your website. Pay attention to the basic type “Reviews”.
Encourage customers to leave comments. Note that you need real customer feedback, not fakes. Therefore, directly invite customers to write a review of your company. To do this, take a link to your business page. It looks like this: “https://plus.google.com/+YourCompanyName/posts.” Now delete “/posts” from the URL and insert “/?hl=en&review=1” instead. The new URL is: “https://plus.google.com/+ YourCompanyName/?hl=en&review=1.” Send this link to your subscribers. After clicking on it, they will see a window where you can leave a review of your business.
Optimize a title and description of your landing pages on the website. Search engines form the link name and snippet from them in the organic results block. CTR links to your website depending on the quality of the name and description.
Make sure that your website is adapted for mobile traffic.
Pay attention to user experience and usability of the resource. Your website should make your visitors happy.
Barnacle SEO is based on the assumption that large projects, which demand tens of millions of dollars to be invested, will always be ranked better than the websites of small and medium-sized businesses. Therefore, small projects should use the opportunities of large marketing sites and move forward with them.
For example, if an owner of a small hotel in New York City creates a website, it will be difficult to quickly ensure its visibility in organic and local search. And if he registers it on TripAdvisor or Yelp, the chances of quickly attracting customers will be greatly improved.
Below you will find a list of resources and services where you can register your business. Take into account the geography and scope of your business by choosing which facilities you can “stick” to. The following services can help you: TripAdvisor; Yelp and similar projects; Wikipedia.
(to save a page about your organization, you will have to prove that the information about your business has an encyclopedic value); industry catalogs, bulletin boards, directories.
Make sure that information about your business, published on large reference resources, is optimized for search requests. Don’t be afraid if the link to your hotel page on TripAdvisor is ranked above your website.
Your business should be visible…
…for local search users. To do this, you need to update your page data in Google My Business and service, optimize behavioral factors, and take advantage of large projects. Special attention should be paid to adapting a website for mobile traffic.