Did you know that 71% of people who use the internet look and confirm the location of a business before heading to it for the first time? Think of the last time you did? You might have been looking for the time a business opens or closes.
Local search is now as integral to our lives as toilet paper. We probably wouldn’t be able to navigate our world without it now.
So, if your local SEO game isn’t on, you probably want to pay attention to these relevant tips.
1. Start Outside the Internet
It’s weird, but when local journalists cover your business, you get a linkback on their online journal. Funny how that works, right?
But connecting to local news sources is one incredible way to show Google you’re a local star.
2. Get Scheming With Schema Markup
If you’re not using schema.org, you’re not telling Google enough information about your local business. Schema is an easy way to add additional information to your HTML and make your website tastier to Google.
It might seem late in the game, but a lot of your competitors probably have no clue what schema even is. If you don’t know how to do that, you can always hire a local SEO expert to add schema to your website.
3. Sign Up for Online Reviews
Reviews are now the biggest way consumers decide whether they are going to buy a product or patronize a business. Reviews are essentially social proof you’re good enough for the masses.
And Google pays attention to this. If you notice that someone is satisfied with your service, ask them to put a review up.
If they are dissatisfied, wipe their memory and start over. Or just don’t mention there’s a way to write reviews.
4. That Other Search Engine
Because people don’t often think about Bing or use it, SEOs are pretty guilty of not even touching it. But some people still use the search engine and it’s worth it to do a little bit of work to rank there.
That little bit of work just means getting listed on Bing Places for Business. It’s a really simple and easy way to get your business listed on Bing.
5. Google My Business, If You Please
Not only do customers trust your site better if you have an address, they’ll actually find your physical location and buy your things. Google knows this and they give every website the opportunity to list your address in their directory.
This gives you a whole page of information to display to potential customers who know where to look. You can give Google a description of your business, what category tags you’ll use, hours, and other great information.
6. Take a NAP
You want every one of your addresses across all websites to be consistent. For example, if your address is 1884 Barker St, you want every address out there to be abbreviated from street to “st.” This allows search engines to easily aggregate all mentions of your address.
This is a big part of your NAP strategy or your Name, Address, and Phone number.
7. NAP Citations
There are sites out there that aggregate business data. They take your NAP and publish them for all to see. And you really do want to be seen, right?
Some of the top sites include Acxiom, Factual, Neustar, and Infogroup.
Also, get your NAP on less official sites like Yelp, Citysearch, and other places where people might look for reviews.
8. Local Backlinks, Anyone?
Your competition isn’t likely to give you a backlink. There are other businesses in your area who aren’t directly competing with you, right?
Why not network with these people? Get to know them. Maybe offer to guest post on their site?
You could get some valuable local backlinks from doing this. And really, it never hurts to ask.
9. Images Are Worth Something
Your Google business page isn’t just a place for words. You can add a picture too. This will make your listing stand out among the boring other people who don’t upload a photo or two.
Also, Google image search is a thing. If you put up images of your business anywhere and optimize for image search, you’ll get some traffic from Google image search.
10. Would You Like a Tour?
Virtual tours aren’t just for real estate listings anymore. You can pay a little bit of cash and get someone to visually map out your business. Then, if you post it to your business page and your website, customers can oggle your wares before they even set foot inside.
They may even be more likely to come check out your shop if they see what it’s like inside. This is especially important if your real storefront is non-descript.
11. Keep People There With Great Content
People aren’t going to spend much time on your site if all you have are sales listings or hours of operation. Give them something to look at while they’re there.
This means great content. A blog, a video section, anything to keep them browsing your site.
Not only will this show you as an expert in your field, it will signal to Google that your page is valuable and interesting to customers.
12. Spread That Link Juice
This is one of the most basic SEO tips I could put here. But you may not have heard it, so here goes.
You need to link internally between pages on your website. If one post goes viral but isn’t linked back to anything, your whole site won’t benefit. That’s how this works.
So, don’t isolate one page in all of your stuff. Make sure your website is a network in and of itself.
13. Have Actual Meetups
Creating a community around your business is a great way to increase sales and loyalty. But the reason I’m talking about community is more to benefit your online presence.
The more customers meet together, the more they’ll blab online about your business. Also, if you post about meetups on your site, Google will pick up on that and post it in their local events section.