Confused? Don’t be, it’s actually quite simple to understand once I explain it to you. Have you ever done a Google search for a local business? If you haven’t gone ahead and tried right now. Most likely what you will see are Google Adwords, the local listings and then the Google Organic results. What we’re going to talk about on this page are the local listings that are popping up for you and how they play a significant part the success of a business online.
The purpose of these local listings is to provide the end-user the most convenient localized results for them. Say I was in the mood for some Chinese food and I ventured over to Google to find a close by restaurant, all I would need to do it Google “Chinese food Edmonton” for example. What Google would do is take a look at its database combined with where it believes you are searching from and lists the best and closest Chinese food restaurants in your area. What your goal as a company is to be that merchant that is always at the top of the list for users looking for you close by.
And that is where it gets complex, just like working on the Google Organics side, Local SEO requires a lot of work behind the scene especially with the type of signals that need to be created. Below is a breakdown of the efforts required to start winning at the Local SEO game.
1. Users are now turning to Google to find local businesses – Remember the days when you grabbed the Yellow Pages book to find a local business to call when you needed your furnace serviced? Yellow Pages has evolved and now has a website that is geared to providing users the same functionality but at the convenience of doing it from a desktop or mobile device. The thing is people don’t go to Yellow Pages anymore, they simply just Google what they want and Google holds the rights to show you whom they believe are the best businesses. Knowing that we strongly feel that ensuring your business’s local optimization (Google My Business) is vital to a first impression.
2. Local SEO Marketing is highly targeted and convenient – One of the best things about the Google My Business is that it is now targetted specifically for your niche as well as your location. Google has gotten smarter and smarter and because of that, it learns where you operate out of, what you sell and if you are any good by your reviews.
3. Mobile Use is Growing – Google has reported that there are more searches being done on a mobile device than a desktop and expects that to climb higher and higher. The best part about this is that when searches are done from a mobile device, Google is able to pinpoint the exact location and in turn provide the best possible local results.
4. Only 50% of businesses have claimed their Google My Business listing – We all know that Google is the hub for really anything on the internet, however, there are a ton of businesses that have not claimed their Google My Business listing yet. Actually, only about 50% of businesses have claimed theirs. It’s because of that that we highly advise our clients to claim theirs as soon as possible.
5. Most SEO Opportunities Are Free – The Internet is full of directories, citations and other type websites that allow for account creation with the ability to point back at your website. By taking advantage of these sites with the consistent entry of your name, address, and phone number, it shows to Google that you are starting to get around and is one of the factors that help you get higher on the Local SEO side.
6. 90% of Local Consumers Trust Reviews – Not only are reviews important for customers to go see what other people are saying about you but these reviews are significant factors to Google when they are considering your spot on their search results. Asking for reviews (good or bad) from your customers on a continual basis is just good business practice.
7. Local Consumers Check out your Business Online Before Buying from You – We all do it, we check out businesses online to see what others may have said about us. With Google as their tool, there is nothing that they can’t find on the internet about you so it is even that much more important that you ensure your online presence is clean.