Local search rankings are extremely important, what can help people find your business. Done right and you’ll have people calling on you for new business. Done wrong and your business will suffer, perhaps detrimentally.
Know How Your Customers Search
Wherever possible, ask your customers how they find your business. Chances are they searched for it online, using a variety of keywords and phrases. Take note of those keywords to determine how well your business ranks. To demonstrate, you already rank for florist. If you are located in Apex, North Carolina, then you should also rank for “florist apex north carolina.” Similar rankings substituting “florist” with “cut flowers” and “gift baskets” may be important to you too. Stiff competition in your area can make it difficult for you to rank well with certain keywords and phrases. Thus, improving local search rankings may come through using long-tail keywords, what adds several words to a keyword string. Learn what keywords apply to your business and use these in your web pages and articles. You’ll bring in new customers through your efforts.
Consistency is Key
The search engines are all about order and your business should reflect that, especially online. Your business details should be uniform across all platforms, including your website, directories and other business listing websites. List your location, your business hours, contact information and other pertinent details on your site. If you make changes, be certain to return to those sites to update same.
Get Reviewed Authentically
Business reviews are a great way for people to gauge your business. With these people will assess your business, products and services, then make a decision based on those reviews. It is critically important that people leave authentic reviews. Avoid the temptation to encourage reviews from anyone except your customers. False reviews will eventually be found out and will harm your business. When receiving positive feedback from a customer, ask them to share their review on sites such as Yelp. Avoid offering an incentive for them to leave a review — what they say should be done naturally and without compulsion.
Improve Your Social Reach
There are several social media sites that can enhance everything you do for your business. You know who they are: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and a few others. Your business should have a presence on each one and provide regular updates. Never underestimate the power of social media. Your customers use it and you should too. Engage with them on Facebook, share tips on Twitter, upload photos to Pinterest and Instagram, and maintain a LinkedIn profile. Be ready to respond to customer complaints immediately and effectively.
Monitor Your Results
Your good results are nothing unless you measure them. It is important to track what pages your customers visit, what they do on those pages (buy a product, fill out a form, etc.) and where they go after leaving your site. There are a number of tools you can use, including Google Analytics, to track your results. Moz, AWR Cloud and Google webmaster tools can all help too. Analyze these results regularly to gauge your practices; adjust accordingly.
There are a number of steps you can take to improve local search. Get started with one, track your results and then move on. The amount of data you will be parsing can be enormous and overwhelming, however. This is where hiring an SEO company to assist your efforts can make your path a smooth one. You’ll also gain a better understanding on how it all ties together and the steps you should take to get you where you are going.