Local search is one of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your website. Google Place and Bing Local can help get your business up in the rankings of search engines for relevant geographical keywords faster and easier than SEO. Best of all, it’s free!
Benefits of local search
There are a lot of advantages to local search when you are a local business targeting a specific geographical area nearby, such as:
- immediate global reach, attracting local customers
- all the information on one page: basic information on your business, map, directions and reviews from clients
- more inbound links to your website, which increase credibility with major search engines
- transparent and open to your customers, making you a trustworthy business.
Tips to optimise for local search rankings
Here are a few simple tips to optimise your online business for local search rankings and attract local customers:
1. Claim your profile
This is the first step and it’s very simple. You only need to log into Google Places or Bing Local and go through a few verification steps to validate your business.
2. Upload images
These local sites usually provide pictures of businesses and this is beneficial for when a visitor wants to find out more information about your business, see how your headquarter or how your products look like. These pictures will represent your business so ensure they are high quality and send a message.
3. Ask for reviews
Ask your customers to review your business and share their feedback for other interested people to read. You can use your site’s contact form, an invoice or any other method that comes to mind to redirect them to Google/ Bing Local and encourage them to write a review.
4. Add local phone number
Be sure to include a local number, preferably in text rather than image. It’s fine if you have an 800 number but this doesn’t give any kind of location indication, so it’s best to include a local number.
5. Include full physical mailing address
Aside from the e-mail address, also add your mailing address to reinforce your geographic location.
6. Consider the right keywords for customers to find you
Rather than including popular or general keywords, consider adding long-tail keywords that describe your business. Unlike popular keywords where the competition is fierce, long-tail keywords are more personalised and there is a higher possibility of making sales because customers will find you easier.