Getting Found: Your Local Search Best Practice Checklist

By: Marcel

You always hear that the Internet made physical location irrelevant, right? But maybe your business has a brick and mortar location that you’re trying to get customers to visit. Or you’re in an industry where buying “local,” even if online, is something that’s important to your customers. In these cases, some targeted SEO strategies can help you stand out in the local search arena.

What happens in a lot of these cases is that people have gotten used to typing in something like “_______ near me,” and search engines return a handy map with all the relevant results in the area. Clearly, businesses have it in their best interest to make it as easy as possible for search engines to find that information.

Cover these four bases if you want to ensure you’re appearing in as many local search listings as possible:

1. Use location in your page titles and meta descriptions.

One of the easiest ways to let the search engine know how to locate you is by clearly identifying where your business is based in your metadata. Using intuitive page names like “Shared Workspace in Lincoln Park, Chicago” can really help to pinpoint your business’s location.

2. Add local structured data markup.

While we’re talking about technical ways to improve local SEO, we should discuss structured data markup. It may sound intimidating to those without knowledge of programming, but what it does is simple: it’s data that lives in the code of your site meant to help search engines more easily pull out the info they need to serve up to users. Your location is one of these useful bits of data that can be encoded into your site.

For those who are not technically inclined, plenty of WordPress plugins exist that let you add structured data, includingdata on your location, without any knowledge of code.

3. Set up your Google My Business entry.

You know those nicely-formatted search listings for businesses that include the location, contact information, open hours, and reviews from customers? These entries come from a directory run by Google. Set this up first before you take the time to set up any other directories, because this one will likely have the biggest impact on your local search listings.

Believe it or not, even in this day and age, Google still verifies businesses by sending a postcard to the business location. When you receive the postcard, enter the PIN on it online and your business address will be officially registered.

4. Claim your spot on review sites.

In 2017, over 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a local establishment. Local places are no different from others in that customer reviews are everything. Because they’re so widely-used, review websites like Yelp, AngiesList, etc., are also some of the first search results that pop up when someone searches for a local business.

Boost your local SEO by claiming your page on these review sites, including filling out all the extra details about your business. While you’re at it, show that you care about customer reviews by responding to compliments and customer concerns.

Need help with getting your local SEO dialed so customers can easily find you? We’re happy to help you with the above and more. Get in touch with us today to get started!

About Marcel Krawczyk

Marcel has a diverse background in marketing, small business development, computer science, and sales. After starting and running his first business, a general contracting company, he developed a passion for the marketing strategy aspects. He went on to be the marketing director at a startup which he left to begin Little Jack Marketing in 2010.

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