Local-based search engine optimization is one of the fastest-growing areas of SEO, and it’s no mystery why: According to Google, fifty percent of mobile local searches lead to an in-store visit on the same day, with 18% of those searches result in a same-day sale. Buyers are increasingly relying on Internet searches to inform them about opportunities in their local area,
Embracing local SEO will be a boon for virtually any business that’s seeking to bring more traffic to its door. That business does not even need to have a strong online presence in general, although they should at least have a website. In general, however, local SEO is about generating local visits.
To get started, there are four major steps a business should take.
Four Steps To Embracing Local Search Engine Optimization
1 – Create a listing on Google My Business.
With control of nearly 2/3 of all online searches, Google is the king of search engines, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. It’s most likely to be the first stop for the majority of your local leads. Google My Business allows you to create a detailed listing for your business, including address, maps, phone number, and operating hours. Once you have a My Business page, you could also set up listings in Google Products if you want more exposure or to advertise specific products/sales via searchengine.
2 – Get listed in Bing Places.
With roughly 20% of the search market, Microsoft’s Bing may be a distant second, but it shouldn’t be overlooked – especially as recent Microsoft OS releases have been heavily pushing users towards their own search engine. Bing Places works just like Google My Business – you input and verify information about your business, and then it automatically comes up whenever relevant searches are made.
3 – Create a location page on your own website.
Don’t overlook your own website, even if it isn’t a major focus for your outreach. Having a complete location page on your site with address, phone\fax numbers, business hours, and a map will help boost your own search presence further.
An on-site location page also provides a second benefit: Having one is a powerful trust signal which indicates to visitors that you’re a serious and trustworthy business. Operations which appear to be hiding their location or contact information tend to be distrusted by wary online searchers for obvious reasons.
4 – Finish off by creating entries in local directories.
There are dozens of websites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Local.com, and Foursquare which are devoted to listing local businesses, and generally provide space for comments and reviews and other detailed information. Some cover all industries; some are industry-specific. Some require registration fees; some don’t.
The sky is basically the limit here: The more you get listed on, the more traffic you’re likely to generate. Even the subscription sites are quite cheap, for a marketing investment.
Simply put, local SEO is big. The faster you jump onboard, the faster you can benefit.