Just how important is local search when it comes to business success and how can you increase your rankings in local search? Let’s break it down with an example:
You have just moved to Greenwich, Connecticut and you are looking for a nearby spa and salon for a relaxing massage. So you type “Greenwich Connecticut salons and spas” into the Google search engine. The first thing you’ll see is a map that showcases some of the salons and spas in Greenwich. Next to this map, you’ll see a list of links to those salons and spas. This area is called Google Places and it pulls up local businesses related to your search. When a business owner adds his or her company to the Google Places listing, this business owner increases the chances of having his or her company name and information appear in local searches. It’s an opportunity that should not be missed.
When you add your company to Google Places, you can add pictures, see reviews of your business, add links, describe your business, post hours of operation, showcase the address and contact information, and so much more. Not to mention, Google Places is perfect for smart phone users because they can perform local search on the go. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to use Google Maps on my smart phone to call a restaurant or locate it on the map. And the best part about using Google Places on a smart phone is that the company’s phone number, next to the name of the company in the Google Places section, is clickable. You don’t have to leave your browser to make a call!
In addition to using Google Places to power up your local search results, you can also ask customers to review you on Yelp!, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms that enable users to search within that particular site. When you have your name appear on these social platforms you increase your chances of appearing in social search.
I also suggest creating a blog that you can use not only to share your expertise, but also to increase your SEO. When you add fresh, keyword-rich content to your blog on a weekly basis, your blog is likely to be ranked by Google. Why? Because Google loves new content! When you use keywords that relate to your business location, Google will take these keywords into account when pulling up results for local search.
When you write your blog, keep in mind to add at least two keywords throughout (naturally weave these keywords into your content) your post that relate to your business location. For example, if you own a private yacht chartering company in San Francisco and wanted your blog to pull up in local search, you could add the following keywords throughout your posts: SF Bay yacht charters, private yacht charter San Francisco, San Francisco charter cruises, etc.
And always remember to add optimized meta data to your blog posts to further increase its probability of pulling up in search results. If you’re not sure what meta data is, visit one of our previous blog posts, “What on Earth is Meta Data?”
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