A staggering statistic indicates that nearly 50% of all searches on Google – the world’s biggest search engine – are local searches. But what does a “local search” mean? It’s a type of search query where people look for businesses, products or services in their community or in a location near them. This may be exemplified through examples such as “estate agents near me” or “MOT centre in LOCATION”.

With local searches dominating, where does your business stand in the search results? Are you appearing among the top of the special local “map packs” of google (the map with 3 organic results)? Or are you handing business and clientele over to your competitors?Map Pack in Leicester

If you haven’t considered optimising your online presence for local searches, why not start now? But before getting started, there are a few things you need to know and do.

Utilise Google Business Profile

It all starts with signing up or claiming your Google Business Profile listing and then optimizing it. Wondering what optimizing means? Well, it’s a comprehensive range of strategies, which collectively add up to a powerful online presence and higher rankings for your business. This, in turn, generates more traffic, more leads and more sales. A business owner’s dream.

Optimize your Google Business Profile

An important aspect to consider while working with your Google Business Profile listing is to organically optimize it. This does not involve paid ads in order to appear at the top of the search results. Instead, it means ensuring that every aspect of your online presence is 100% consistent, authoritative, trustworthy and up-to-date organically.

And before going any further, let’s scrutinise what goes into a Google Business Profile listing:

  • First up, you have the business name. As obvious as it may sound, we encourage you to ensure that this name is as accurate as possible. This means no typos. No add-ons. And pure consistency with your business’s main website.
  • Next up, you need to ensure that your phone number, physical address and web address are accurate, too. Nothing screams an untrustworthy source like a website that won’t open, leads to something completely different or irrelevant or opens up at the speed of a tortoise crossing the road. That’s the NAP (name, address and phone number) out of the way. What’s next?
  • To make your local listing on Google stand out head and shoulders above your competition, you also will want to consider using and optimising your images. If you are an estate agent, or in the home improvement industry, why not show what your front entrance looks like, what’s from the inside, or why not showcase some projects you’ve completed? The same applies to any other type of local business. Like a bathroom fitter can show images of their completed projects and showcase examples of success.
  • Another hugely important area to consider is your reviews. These are worth gold in today’s digital landscape. Reviews are the modern-day version of word-of-mouth advertising. More and more people are swayed by both positive and negative reviews and make decisions as to whether to frequent your business based on others’ experience with you. An important side note – always reply to reviews, whether they are good or bad – show how you communicate with your clients!

Additionally, you can consider

Other aspects to consider as an analogous practice when it comes to optimising your listing for local searches include:

  • Performing a local SEO audit to see how you currently fare and where there’s room for improvement;
    Engaging on social media and adding posts to your Google Business Profile;
  • You also need to optimise your presence on online directories as well as citations;
  • With regards to your website, you might want to improve your internal linking structure, URLs, headers, title tags, and meta description;
  • It is advisable to add location pages to your website if you serve more than one location;
  • Ensure that your site is appropriate for mobile searches, and importantly
  • Create local, valuable content.

Conclusion

These are just some of the more important elements to follow when optimising your online presence for local searches. And we do understand that it can seem like a lot of work over a long period of time. The effort will truly be worth it as when (not if) you start drawing more traffic to your business, this is when the sales magic will happen.

However, if all this sounds overwhelming, why not ask for help? Book a FREE discovery call, let us step into your business shoes for a moment and offer you possible solutions for optimal results for your business and marketing budget.

Call now