6 Steps for Local Search Ranking Growth of your Business
People frequently use Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engine platforms to find local businesses to engage with. Whether you operate as a retail storefront or provide digital goods and services, local search ranking can affect your revenue in a significant way.
According to SEO Tribunal, 93% of all online experiences begin with search engine queries, with 46% of Google searches being targeted at local businesses. It is thus important to differentiate your company and brand from others in your industry through search ranking optimization efforts. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can benefit from local search ranking optimization in order to grow your business and attract more customers.
Benefits of Local Search Ranking Optimization
Local search ranking optimization is somewhat different from typical SEO efforts. It revolves around specific, location-based optimization which aims to attract local customers and clients to your business. If done correctly, it can bring numerous business advantages to your company, including but not limited to:
- Higher brand awareness and increased industry authority
- Increased website and social media page traffic
- More physical visits, purchases, and engagement from customers
- Stable revenue streams due to increased online popularity
- Creative marketing possibilities through UGC and social proof
How to Boost Your Business’ Local Search Ranking
- Set up Your Google Business
The first order of business (pun intended) for local search ranking optimization is to claim your Google Business as soon as possible. Customers, travelers, tourists, and local stakeholders often use Google to find relevant businesses to visit in their area. In order to make the most of this fact, you should make your business available and visible on Google.
Once your Google Business is set up, your retail or office address will be clearly visible to interested parties alongside your working hours, business details and other useful information. This is one of the most important aspects of local search ranking optimization so make sure to do it soon.
- Your Business’ NAP Matters
Information about interesting retail stores, coffee shops, and restaurants are often exchanged via social media and messaging apps. In order to make sure that your business is clearly recognizable and visible via local search queries, you should optimize your NAP for consistency. NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone number” and it represents the most important information in regards to your business.
Whether you have a business website, social media pages on Facebook and Instagram or opt for SEO marketing and promotion, your NAP should be the same everywhere. You can use Pick Writers, which is a translation and localization review website to ensure that people from across the globe can read and use your NAP information. A single misspelled word or a wrong digit can cause customer confusion and make it much harder for your retail office to gain customers.
- Encourage Customer Reviews
Depending on the industry in which your business operates, customer reviews can leave a strong impression on future clients. Google Reviews are well-known in terms of local search optimization as they can cause businesses to move up and down the ranking frequently.
You can affect your business’ ranking by mentioning reviews to any customer willing to leave a comment about their experience with your services. The more positive comments and reviews you have on Google Reviews, the better your local search ranking popularity will be.
- Consider Content Localization
If you have a company website, a blog or social media pages under your business’ name, you should consider investing in content localization. Content localization is the process of translating your texts, images and promotional materials (including articles, product descriptions, etc.) into other languages.
This can be an especially effective tactic if you aim to attract frequent travelers, digital nomads, tourists and others who may come from other countries to your local area. This type of local search ranking optimization can significantly increase your traffic and popularity so make sure to give popular languages such as Spanish, French, Italian and German a shot.
- Optimize for Local SEO
Another aspect worth considering in terms of local search ranking optimization is local SEO. Whether you belong to the catering industry, run a retail clothing store or a small marketing agency, that particular industry has popular and less popular keywords. These keywords can drastically improve your local search ranking and ensure that your business shows up on search engine result pages much more frequently.
You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner or SEM Rush to explore which words, phrases, and trends are currently high-ranking in your industry. Integrate these keywords into your website, blog, product descriptions, and other online content elements to increase your local search ranking by a large margin.
- Ongoing Local Link Building
The fact of the matter is that local search ranking optimization never really ends. You will always have to find creative ways to outrank your competition and get more traffic and customers for your local business. One of the best ways to do so is by investing time and resources into local link building activities. You should reach out to local newspapers, radio and TV stations, influencers, charity organizations and other B2B stakeholders with an offer of collaboration.
These businesses will gladly promote your business on their website under certain circumstances and for your mutual benefit. Work with other businesses whose interests do not collide with your own and you will both enjoy better word of mouth and popularity as a result. The more web pages and news outlets your business is present in, the better your local search ranking will be.
Optimization Pitfalls to Avoid
Now that we have a better picture of how to boost local search ranking, let’s take a look at some mistakes worth mentioning. Mistakes in your local search ranking optimization can lead to adverse effects for your business’ popularity. Not only that, but they can make your store or office much harder to find or get in touch with, so make sure to avoid them at all costs.
- Multiple Business Listings
Once you set up your Google Business listing, don’t create duplicates of the same name. Multiple listings under the same name, address and information can create confusion for customers fairly quickly. They will also effectively spread out your reviews and link building efforts over multiple listings, leading to far lower overall ranking.
- Lack of Contact Information
Some customers won’t come to your address outright without contacting you via email, phone or website beforehand. This means that your contact information should be up-to-date and free of typos and errors. Mistakes in contact information will not only affect your local search ranking but also lead to customer-side difficulties, making your business much harder to locate and get in touch with.
- Lack of Social Media Presence
A general lack of social media presence will often trigger red flags with customers who may want to visit your business but can’t seem to find your social pages on any platform. You should use social media platforms to promote your business, post quality images and captions from everyday customer relations and other relevant marketing media.
- Lack of Customer Engagement
Lastly, you should engage with recurring customers and future visitors online as much as possible. Answer customer reviews, follow up on incoming emails and chat with your followers via social media in a professional manner. Maintain an online presence to ensure that your local search rankings stay intact and to attract new customers to your address.
As we’ve previously mentioned, local search ranking optimization is an ongoing process. Most of what goes into local search ranking comes down to social engineering and the way you treat your customers. The best way to boost your business’ ranking is to deliver on your marketing promises, provide customers will quality products and services as well as to be present online.