Optimizing for Local Search

What is local search?

Local search is the use of special search engines that allow users to find what they are looking for in geographical proximity to them. These engines submit geographically constrained queries against a database of local businesses.

Local Search results on the map

Why optimize my site for local search?

Google has told us that 73 percent of all online activity is related to local searches. Customers use local search to learn a variety of things about the businesses in their area, from reading reviews to comparing prices. Failing to prepare for these customers can result in losing a large number of potential customers.

What do local customers want to see?

One survey looked at what customers wanted to see on local business websites and uncovered some interesting information about consumers’ preferences:

  • More than a third said that a clear and ‘smart’ website gave the business more credibility
  • The most important information people wanted to see on websites were:
  • List of products
  • Price list
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Clear contact details, company information and testimonials were three of the top four factors that made people want to patronize a particular local business

How NAP affects local search and SEOHow to optimize for local search?

  1. Make sure your listing for Google My Business has been completely filled out. One in three customers will do a local search on a mobile device before they visit a business, and they are often looking for critical information, like that which is contained on this profile. On Google My Business you will fill out valuable information, such as your hours, address, photos and your website. Customers will also have the opportunity to leave you a review, which is an important part of establishing credibility with customers. Use engaging photos, encourage past customers to leave you a review and use your listing to power your local search visibility.
  2. Develop your About Us and Home Page on your main website. Make sure these pages include important local keywords, such as your location, as well as your business address and quality content. You want your page to be easily read by Google so that it understands your content and the local customers you serve. Include the link from your website in your Google My Business local listing as well to show Google that they are connected.
  3. Make sure that your name, address and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all platforms. Anywhere this information might be entered, such as various local listings, social media and web properties should contain the same information. This will help Google link your listings together, understand your reach and display accurate information to your customers.
  4. Include a helpful product and price list on your website for people to browse before they officially come into your store.

Local business websites can be very valuable for customers as they decide where they want to do business. Taking the time to optimize for these sites can help you bring in this traffic and grow your organization.

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