Recent surveys indicate that 75% of local searches result in a visit to the store. Any business owner knows statistics like these mean optimizing to better capture those local searches is an absolute must. Over the past few years, the entire search industry has made a huge shift. Because in-store visits are down and smartphone searches are up, the search industry has realized that optimizing to make in-store visits increase is no longer optional.
Local SEO has to be addressed for brick and mortar business of all types, almost faster than traditional SEO concerns do. Consumers on the go need accurate specifics to move from the smartphone to the store, and they need it quickly, making local SEO practices that much more important. More and more businesses are investing in the help of local SEO services to make that happen, but not every company knows what it’s doing. In fact, if you’re paying for local SEO services and they’re making any of these three mistakes, it’s time to make a change.
A Google My Business profile is how the search engine giant displays verified information about your company. It’s a tool from Google that gives you full control over their listing about your company. The profile offers a lot of information about you to customers and opens it for reviews, photos, and questions from those same customers. In most cases, the information listed on your Google My Business profile will be populated across the web. If you haven’t created your own business profile, though, you don’t have the ability to manage the information it displays or even review the information that is being collected.
Local SEO efforts must begin here for companies with brick and mortar locations. Even if you’re already using other eCommerce SEO strategies, not claiming your profile is a serious mistake. It’s completely free, it takes about twenty minutes, and it puts you on the map (quite literally in many cases). If there are already Google business listings for your company, check them. If they’re fraudulent, talk to Google so you can have them removed as quickly as possible. As you complete your profile, think carefully about your company. Google will ask you what categories your business falls under, and if you miss one, you could miss out on some serious traffic as a result. Don’t select anything irrelevant, as that will get you in trouble, but make certain you’ve selected all of the potential categories involved.
Remember, even if you have multiple locations, you just need ONE Google My Business Profile. You can then list out your locations within that same profile and further optimize it. There are multiple ways to optimize your GMB profile one of the most efficient ways is to geo-tag the image and improving the citations.
You might hear SEO bloggers talk about your NAP information online as you think toward local SEO. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, and it should be the same on your website as it is off your website. You want standard contact information across every single listing you have online. It should be on your Google My Business Page. It should be in every directory for your vertical. Any place your contact information is listed, it should be the same.
Fortunately, most SEO companies have access to local search tools to help find and identify information that isn’t consistent. Make sure your SEO services company is taking advantage of that. Google takes steps to ensure the accuracy of your business is valid, so if it’s different almost anywhere on the internet, you have a serious local SEO problem.
Whether you’re talking about eCommerce SEO, local SEO, or technical SEO, the one thing that will ALWAYS remain important is content. You’ve probably heard the now familiar saying, “Content is king.” There’s a reason everyone is sick of hearing it. Content really is king, and if your local SEO services provider hasn’t even approached the content equation with you, there’s a serious problem. Why does content matter when you’re talking about local optimization? It’s simple.
For years, Google’s goal has been to give those who are searching the single most relevant results possible. If your website doesn’t have any content, how can Google even begin to know whether you are the most relevant result possible? Sure, the My Business listing will help, but if you have great content on site, Google is going to rank your site a lot higher. It can’t just be any content, though. It has to be high-quality stuff. You want at least 500 words a page if Google is even going to notice you. You want keyword-rich content that actually answers queries people might type in. You don’t want 300 words of keyword-stuffed content that Google will promptly brand as spam and begin noticing that your entire website has problems. Add some high-quality links to the equation, and you not only have a site that is going to rank well for local SEO purposes, but you have a site that will rank well no matter what the search query might be.
No matter what SEO company you’re talking to or what services they specialize in, if they’re not talking to you about content at every single opportunity, they are failing to do their job. Content matters in every arena and local optimization services are no different. Worried now because you’re paying for local SEO services that clearly aren’t delivering? Local SEO is just beginning to gain traction in many places, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not important for your business. Choose a provider who can help you do it right. Contact us today to learn more about how our services are different and can move your customers from smartphone to your store in a matter of seconds.