In order to understand a little more about the process of Search Engine Optimization, it’s important to be aware of the distinction between local search and organic search. In local search, it can be difficult to deal with a lot more variability in terms of search platforms and market distribution, but you can also really benefit from the absence of market leaders in your community. Here are a few tips I learned from Vedran Tomic on how to make the best of local search tools:
1. Keep Online Business Information Current
There are a number of sites that people use to find local business information. Make sure that your information is as accurate and up to date as possible. You don’t want a prospect to search for your address only to find out once they arrive that you closed down that particular location three months ago. That doesn’t say good things about your company image.
2. Make an Awesome Web Experience
When it comes down to it, a lot of people’s web search will lead back to your website. You want to make sure that your website is clean, credible, and optimized for search. There should be no question about who your company is or what your company does when someone starts to look around your website; but remember, it doesn’t matter whether all of the information is clearly stated on the home page. User experience is everything.
3. Be Everywhere
When there are a thousand options in the local search space, there’s only one option for small businesses who want to be easily searchable on the web. Enter your business information in as many places as possible: industry directories, local business sites and local guides are all places you should have your name posted. This not only renders your business easy to find for potential customers but it establishes a legitimacy that helps increase your ranking on popular search engines.
4. Create Impressive Profiles
If you’re going to take the time to create a profile on a local search space, you might as well take the time to do it right. This means that your profile is not only completely filled out but that there are no spelling and grammar errors, the language is easily readable and accurately describes what you do and why people should trust you, and finally present any images that properly portray your business. Be sure to present your company information in a way that’s consistent with your image. Search engines value consistency when considering your rank on their sites.
5. Encourage Reviews
Reviews are a very important driver of web traffic. Everyone knows that a company can talk themselves up to be the second-coming one minute and end up in the kitty litter the next. But positive reviews from customers will create a lasting image for your company online. Call it the power of the “like” button after Facebook’s famous symbol, but one thing surely reigns true, online reviews are a highly effective means of promoting your business in search.