By increasing the online visibility of your business in geographically-based searches, local optimization is a powerful tool for gaining new customers.. Local search optimization encompasses a range of factors, from online listings and review sites to social social media and the content on your website.
There are two ways that geographical searches are taken into consideration:
- Specific Search: someone adds a location keyword to their search query, such as “web design company angora mn”.
- Indirectly: the search query is not defined with a location, but the search engine takes the location of the IP address into consideration to narrow down results.
In either case, your company should be optimized to show up on top, regardless of the search engine used (this includes searches on social media, maps, YouTube, review sites, etc.)
1. Accurate Information for Current and Potential Customers
One of the top reasons users search for a business is to gain information. They want to know what hours your business is open, what your phone number is, or find your address and directions to get to your business.
By making sure your information is accurate across all listings and profiles, you increase your chances of being contacted. For example, if you own a restaurant but don’t have a current phone number listed, a prospective diner who needs to ask about vegetarian and gluten free options will probably just call somewhere else and go there for dinner.
2. Get Above the Fold With Google
In 2009, Google began showing local results for generic searches. This means that users do not have to indicate a location; Google pulls it from your IP address or the Geolocation on your mobile device. Across the board, users are seeing results that are geographically location to their current locations when they search on Google.
The more content, reviews and overall good reputation you have with Google, the higher your listing will show. (There are many individual factors that come into play with page one ranking, all of which are subject to change.)
3. Good Reviews and Ratings
Good reviews and ratings enhance your local optimization and establish your credibility with potential customers.
When a new potential customer reads the published reviews about your business, they are depending on your previous customer’s experiences to help them make their decision. Although acquiring and managing reviews can be daunting (especially the bad ones), it is important that you manage your ratings with positive responses, interaction, and promotion.
4. A Powerful Social Media Presence
Local optimization on social media encompasses many of the above factors. Users search on Facebook and other social media sites for information about businesses, so once again: make sure your information is current and up to date. On many social sites, users are able to leave comments and reviews about your business.
Social media is unique because users can “check in” to locations in real time, which alerts their followers where they are as well. It often happens that Facebook pages will naturally grow themselves in busy times, simply because one check-in begets another, and your page receives free amplification from happy customers.
Don’t Wait – Optimize Locally Today
Do you think local optimization could help your business? Contact us if you want to find out more information and learn how Art Unlimited can help your business be found online.