E-commerce site owners often neglect one major aspect of SEO: their local listing! In theory, you shouldn’t have to worry about local searches because the algorithms should catch it for you.
We’ve got news for you — they don’t.
And even if they did, wouldn’t you want to have more control over what they say and show about your business? It is your business, right?
So we’ve put together a few tips to help you manage your local search marketing strategy more efficiently. Using these tips, you should see a nice boost in your website traffic.
Claim your business
When a user searches for plumbers in Dallas Texas, search engines take notice. They try to find the best information for their users. At times, they’ll use information from social media websites and other indirect sources.
When they do this, they create their own business listings — listing that you didn’t create.
These listings can have certain information regarding your company, but maybe not all of the proper information.
Your job is to make sure that you have created a business listing through Google and other local business listing websites like Yelp. Then after you’ve put all the right information in, make sure any duplicate listings are deleted and/or merged with the correct business listing.
An incorrect business listing could cost you thousands in profits.
Keep Google My Business (GMB) up-to-date
After you’ve claimed your business, you need to make sure you keep everything up-to-date. You can log into your Google My Business (GMB) account and make sure that your NAP is accurate:
While in there, make sure that you’ve entered a business description that is informative and engaging.
Upload some high-quality photos showing off your business storefront, your interior layout, and product selection. Maybe even do a picture of you and all of your employees. Go beyond being a store in your photos; be personal. It’s easier to trust a face compared to a storefront.
Find a way to stand out from your competition through your description and through your photos.
If you found the instructions a bit overwhelming, or you’re simply too busy to do them yourself, you can hire an online freelancer to set up your GMB account correctly.
As you can probably imagine, there’s a myriad of benefits you can enjoy from working with freelancers. For one thing, you gain access to the global pool of talents if you choose to hire people online — that, versus looking for people in your local area which is quite limited.
With the help of seasoned online freelancers, not only will you be able to ensure that your GMB account is set up properly, but you can even employ their help so you can delegate the other time-consuming aspects of your business which you shouldn’t be doing as the business owner.
Create unique content for each location
Google and other major search engines are constantly looking for the best content to show in their SERPs.
When a user searches for “plumbers in Dallas Texas”, they want a plumber in Dallas Texas. And if you are a plumber in Dallas Texas, wouldn’t you want this customer? Absolutely!
That customer would be a warm lead; they are ready (or almost ready) to use your services.
If your content isn’t crafted for this search result, directly or indirectly, then you could easily miss out on this warm lead. But don’t just duplicate content from one page to another. The Google algorithm doesn’t seem to favor duplicated content.
If you need help coming up with some unique titles, you can get a jumpstart by using this title suggestion tool. Simply enter your main terms and then click on “Submit!” It can help to get your creative juices flowing.
Instead, try to make each page genuinely unique. Don’t just change a few words either. Actually take the time to make it unique to each city. What is Dallas known for?
Most people know Dallas for the Texas Rangers, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Dallas Mavericks. So, create content with a sprinkling of non-related information into the page.
This way, the reader can match up with your content, possibly on an emotional level.
And so that Google and the other search engines see unique content. The more unique the content, the better it seems to be valued.
Ask happy customers for reviews
Don’t be afraid to ask customers for reviews — especially happy ones! Your customers aren’t afraid to ask you for a discount, so use this to your advantage. The more positive reviews you have on Google and Yelp, the better you look to others considering your business.
So when your customer asks for a discount, ask them if they’ve left a review on Google or Yelp. If not, tell them to leave a positive review real quick and you’ll give them 10 percent off.
While you may be losing 10 percent from that one sale, how many other sales might you get from another positive review? Plus, your customers are local, which means that the review carries more weight than a review from a customer that lives in San Jose, California.
Get links from other local businesses
Based on observation, certain links carry more weight than others. Links from a website with a high PA/DA work great. Links from a popular website with a lot of unique traffic work great. And links for other local business work great.
Links from local businesses are just as good as links from a high PA/DA website? Absolutely! But why?
Again, Google and other major search engines like local reviews. And a local business willing to cross-link with you is a local, ringing endorsement of your company. How so?
Businesses aren’t willing to throw away their reputation on a bad company. So, if they were willing to link to you, then there is a good chance that you are trustworthy. And the search engines will recognize that too.
On a side note, don’t ask for a link from a company that you aren’t willing to link back to yourself.
If you need to check your backlinks, you can go to sites such as Monitor Backlinks. All you have to do is type in your URL and hit “Check Now!” Knowing who is linking to you can help you correct any negative linking domains that might be dragging your SEO score down.
Use your social media accounts
And finally, utilize free publicity through social media accounts.
Search engines can see where traffic is coming from and how they relate to where they are going. If a lot of traffic is coming from your business Facebook page, Google might include the reviews from your visitors in their results too.
What about LinkedIn, or YouTube, or Instagram, or Twitter? Plus, people are searching for more through social media platforms than they have in the past. While it seems like double work, the impact on your local SEO is significant.
There are tons of statistics that support focusing on local SEO. The one that stands out to us is the fact that 70 percent of customers who will visit your store will have found information about you online first. Whether that is from your business listing, a Yelp review, a Facebook page, or some other online outlet, it is an online listing that you control (hopefully).
If you’ve neglected your local SEO, you’ve probably missed out on a lot of quality traffic.
Stop letting good traffic go to your competitors. Follow the tips shared above to start getting better results out of your local search marketing endeavor.
(Featured image by vectorfusionar via Shutterstock)
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.