Local SEO is in our daily lives and most of us don’t even realize it. When we do a search for any local business such as restaurants, barbershops, and retail stores, we are allowing the local search engine algorithm to generate results for us. The local search results are based on proximity to your mobile device and local search ranking factors. Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, and even Pokemon Go! all use GPS coordinates to generate the data we are searching for, near us or nearby.
How Local SEO Effects Small Business
As a small business you may feel good about your business popping up on Google Maps for restaurants on your mobile device but if your device is an Android, how do you know if your business is also on Apple Maps or Waze? Do you know what local search engine results page your new customers prefer? Does your business listing appear on page one of the most popular mobile devices, maps, and review websites? What are the Best Practices to ensure your business is seen by your potential customers?
How to Improve Your Small Business’ Local SEO
Don’t worry because SEO Digital Partners will provide you the knowledge and/or coaching you need to get your business ranking on local searches on any device!
First, there are a few ways to improve your local search results by aligning all your business’ Name Address & Phone Number (NAP) data correctly with the data aggregators. Data aggregators are not to be confused with the multiple listing or online directory services that obtain their data. Services like Yext are not data aggregators and so if you pay a Yext representative to correct your online NAP listings, they may get corrected for a while but as soon the data aggregators receive a slight change in the NAP data for your business, the work that was paid for to be done by Yext will change. So it’s best to go to the source of the NAP data, the four data aggregators. Updating your NAP will not be done overnight but, your business will reap the benefits of doing this yourself or having an expert service like SEO Digital Partners do it for you, right the first time.
Second, improving local profiles for your business. This means adding a certain number of photos and encouraging customer reviews, especially on Google My Business (GMB). We recently conducted testing for a client improving GMB listings and the results were significantly better for listings with at least 10 unique images, 8 to 10 reviews, and correct NAP data.
Thirdly, increasing your local social media engagement. This means not only having a lot of followers or social media posts but also actual audience engagement, such as likes, comments, and shares from your posts from your followers. In other words, your social media has to have value for the audience.
Fourthly, but not lastly, business reviews. Some of the most impactful reviews you may have never even seen but they could be affecting your business are on Google. Although Yelp gain popularity is cyclical, Google Reviews on Google My Business is not. It is a highly regarded signal to the local SEO ranking algorithm. So no matter how bad or how good a review for your business may be, you still need to respond to it within a reasonable amount of time.
Regardless of your business type or location, local SEO brings customers to your business every day whether the customers tell you they found your business on Apple Maps, Bing Maps, Google Maps, Waze, Yelp or Pokemon Go! We use Google Best Practices and review your NAP on all your local listings. This will help ensure your business is on the digital map no matter what device or search engine results page your potential customers may be using. Call us now!