Today you can’t simply hang a shingle or hand out business cards and expect to get a lot of customers. A growing number of people are searching for local businesses online today. In fact, Google says about two-thirds of smartphone users will make a purchase from a company who’s taken the time to customize information based on their users’ location. To improve your Google my Business (GMB) listing (a.k.a. local SEO) there are three areas that you must focus on.
The most important part of Google’s algorithm is relevance. You can make sure your GMB profile is relevant by:
- Choosing the right category: Dig in as deeply as possible to find the best one possible.
- Adding your practice area: You’ll have 1,000 words to create your business description available to use and should do so while also including as many keywords and keyword phrases as possible.
- Completing your business information with accurate information (a.k.a. NAP: name, address, phone number): Make sure this is accurate across the internet.
When it comes to local SEO, Google favors those businesses you’re closest to. As such, it shouldn’t surprise you that this is one of the most influential factors for GMB. About the only thing you can do to help yourself here is to create location-based pages on your website that are linked to your online profiles, including your GMB profile.
To do this you’ll want to start by choosing a high-volume, location-based keyword phrase (e.g. “type of business” + “city name” = “Asian grocery store Philadelphia Pennsylvania”). With this phrase in mind, create a page on your website that targets it. Make sure that your local SEO page includes:
- The keyword phrase in your headings, meta description, title, page copy, and all your image’s names
- Your NAP
- Your permalink (e.g. WebsiteName.com/CityName/TargetKeywordPhrase)
Here’s where you can really get ahead of your competition when it comes to local SEO. There are many ways you can improve your GMB profile’s prominence in many ways – both inside your profile and as part of your broader SEO strategy too. To do this you should:
- Add as many images as possible to your GMB profile. Your goal should be to have more photos than your competition has.
- Get as many reviews as possible on your GMB profile and other top-rated websites (e.g. Facebook, Yelp). Most sites do discourage you from openly soliciting reviews, but if you make it easy for them to leave reviews you can easily encourage them to do so.
- Making your business as prominent as possible in the offline world will benefit your online business as well. This is because the more people hear about your business, the more they’ll want to check it out before shopping there.
- You need citations and links – other sites mentioning your business’ name and linking to it. Enhancing your online presence in this fashion will improve your local rankings because you’ll be seen as authoritative.
Putting all the Pieces Together
Whether you’re opening a new business or trying to grow the one you already own, there are some tips that you’ll want to heed so that your profile ranks well. These include:
- Make sure that your business is always staffed during business hours. Google frowns heavily upon creating empty offices or renting property simply to add another address to your GMB.
- Make sure that you don’t staff the business as a virtual office. This won’t work either. It must be staffed with your own employees.
- Never share an office with another business because this can cause filtering issues. This also includes not using co-working spaces or virtual offices. You must have a standalone office with permanent signs that are easily viewed from the street.
These are just a few local SEO tactics you need to employ for your website. There really are so many pieces you must include here to create a solid strategy that will help you rank well. With everything else you have going on, it’s challenging to find the time to create such a robust SEO campaign. This is why Local SEO Tampa Company – to help you put all the pieces in place. Get in touch with them soon so they can start helping you move up the ranks when it comes to local SEO.