The key is to have happy customers that refer your business to others. By having more customers that support your business, your business listing will rise higher than your competitors. Let’s show you some of the technical parts of local SEO.
Free Local Profiles
1 Google My Business
Google My Business is by far the most important free business profile. You could stop after this one and see results. Google holds the majority share for searches in the world, so you’ll be hitting a majority of users by having one of these.
Facebook is a social media software, why are you recommending this as #2 for local searching? Surprisingly, Facebook has a strong geographic capabilities used for advertising and therefore it also works for local searches as well. This is also a great place to have reviews and “social proof”.
Either you’re a Yelper or you’re not. Yelp has positioned itself as a top website for local searches and has a dedicated following. Over the last few years however, they have moved towards trying to make money on business owners by charging for simple things like having a logo. I personally recommend at least getting started with the free options of putting in your company address.
4 Bing for Business
Microsoft is a powerhouse with computer software, but most people switch out the bing search for Google as soon as they are operational in Windows. They’re trying really hard to be better and it’s starting to show. The reason why this made the list is because they know that Google is better, so they now include an “easy button” that just says “import your Google my Business listing”. One click (roughly) and you’ll have a Bing for Business listing from your already very popular Google one.
The important part with each of the profiles is to put your company name, website, and address, for geographic reference. By having a positive online correlation between company name + address + URL, you’ll be able to show up more often in search results.
Product and Service Keywords
Be sure to include the search keywords that people are looking for in your profiles, just like you would include on your website. This allows for the search engines to connect Company name + address + URL + services provided. These keywords should not only show up when the profiles prompt you, but also naturally in your business listing. For example:
“Local shops struggle with website visibility, Blink builds websites that get found. We are a Web Design Firm devoted to helping your small business stand out in an increasingly competitive online environment. We build innovative websites, customized to meet your business’ needs, and we optimize existing websites to increase rankings and website visibility. Web Design – SEO Services – Hosting”
Getting the keywords such as “web design firm” helps with the searches for a firm vs a web design company since we are a firm and there is a high search volume for firms vs companies.
Having positive reviews on Google (who is viewed as a trusted medium) can help people get over their initial hesitations to purchase from your company. When your customers promote you through positive reviews, this makes it easier for other customers to make the decision. Google reviews are weighted very heavily in search but don’t discount places like Yelp and Facebook for local reviews. Having reviews from trustworthy sources will help close the deal AND plays a factor in the ranking algorithm. Positive reviews are hard to come by because not everyone is willing to take the time out of their day to write about your company. It’s up to you to over-deliver to get these reviews and don’t forget to ask for them.
Update and Update
I talked about “social proofing” earlier and when a customer is looking to purchase from you, they’re going to be looking through your profiles. Outdated products need to be updated, business hours need to be accurate, and new pictures need to be added. Utilize these free platforms as a means to communicate with the customer and when you’re adding something to a flyer, a social media site, or your website, also include it in your social profiles.
I hope this helps give a starting point to help your small business show up more often in local searches. We’re available to create a website, maintain it, and help with social profile updating.