How to rank higher in local search
If you’re a business that depends on your physical location to bring in sales, it’s important that you’re easily found in local search. Go to Google and search for your company by brand name or by description. Are you in the results on the first page? No?! Then you should read on for a few essentials you need to know to rank higher in local search results.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is not as scary or complex as it sounds. But if you have a business in 2019, you need to at least understand the importance of being visible in search engine results. Search Engine Optimization is just that: the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results.
See? Not that confusing.
SEO is an important and necessary task that should be addressed on an ongoing basis (from now until the end of time). The processes of ranking higher in search vary in complexity and it is often extremely wise for business owners to hire a professional to execute their SEO strategy. Unless you’re keeping up to date with Google’s algorithm changes, it is very beneficial to pay someone to do SEO tasks for you every month.
However, if you have a WordPress based site, or know a bit about websites yourself, you may be able to get a leg up on optimizing your site yourself. Here are a few SEO tasks you may be able to execute on your own that will all contribute to increasing your domain authority and page rank in the eyes of major search engines:
- Download the free Yoast SEO plugin and learn how to use it here
- Include descriptive alt tags on all your website imagery
- Compress images to increase page load speed
- Update meta descriptions of all site pages
- Index your sitemap with Google Search Console
- Regularly update your site and reindex pages
- Regularly create valuable blog content
Google My Business
This is a huge real estate opportunity for your company’s website. Create a Google My Business account and update all the relevant information for your company. GMB gives your website a large visual presence on the right hand side of your SERP (search engine results page). This displays various important information for potential customers like:
- operating hours (and special holiday hours)
- address and map
- photos of the inside/outside of your facility and staff
- important news or events posts (NEW!)
- customer text chat directly to your phone (NEW!)
- customer reviews/testimonials
- physical location feedback (i.e. handicap accessible, parking lot on site, etc.)
Yelp & Voice Search
A very important part of local search is something many business owners forget about: Siri. This helpful robot that lives in so many of our pockets often helps us find the closest coffee shop, bar or boutique. Here’s the secret: Siri pulls localized data from platforms like Yelp! So if you have an excellent, highly reviewed yelp page, changes are your business could be shown in voice search results.
Social Media Profiles
All your social media profiles should contain:
- your website link
- your store location
- your operating hours
- phone, email, and text chat option for customers to get in touch with you in the way they feel most comfortable and natural (Tip: We highly suggest you set up your Facebook bot auto responses. This is definitely the way things are headed and increasingly, chat is the most preferred method of conversing with businesses)
There are many more local directories a-la Google My Business and Yelp that can help you get found online. While many of them might not be as known as the two giants, they are still effective ways of boosting your visibility in local search. Check out the following directory sites and consider adding your website to them:
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
- Merchant Circle
- Dex Media
- Discover Our Town
- EZ Local
- Advice Local
- Get Fave
- My Huckleberry
- Magic Yellow
- Map Creator
- Judy’s Book
- Home Advisor
Ready to rank higher in local search? Contact us today!