Local SEO – Do you have a local business? Is your business already prospering?
If your business is prospering, the reason is because you are doing your promotion correctly and your products have a good quality.
On the other hand, if your business is not doing so well, usually the reason is either because you are doing your promotion incorrectly or your product quality is not up to par.
I can’t really help you if the problem is in your product quality, but if you have a problem in doing a promotion for your Local Business…
Then you have come to the right place. Below we have a cheap and effective solution for your promotional problem – Local SEO.
Local SEO – Best Way to Promote Local Business
Ok, before we start, we have to know first what is Local SEO.
Have you heard about SEO before? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
In short, we influence Search Engines and as many people as we can to like our website better and visit it more frequently.
Local SEO is almost same, the only difference is that we are concentrating our effort to the area around our business. In other words, Monopolising the trade in your area.
Now that we discussed what is Local SEO, we need to know how it works.
Local SEO works by telling Google your exact location and business information. Then Google will rate your service quality gotten from your website and how popular are you in the internet.
When the rating process is done, you will get a ranking, this ranking will appear when someone search for your business category in an area (Ex :Indian Food Restaurant in Serangoon).
Sometimes, people can also search using keywords like “Sushi Restaurant near me”. When this happened Google will detect their current location and recommend the nearest restaurant.
Usually, the complete information of the top 10 business on the list will be shown by Google (Name, location, ratings, opening hours, etc.). The rest will be shown when people click on the list itself.
This is why you may want to include as many information as you can to raise your business quality in Google’s eye.
Advantage of Using Local SEO
There are several advantages you will get by doing Local SEO for your website. Here are some of them:
Boost Your Visibility – Have you tried searching for a business in certain location? For example, you can search for “Coffee Shop in Jurong East”. Usually, when you conduct these kind of search, the top result should be a map along with the list of best Coffee Shop in that area. Doing Local SEO correctly can place you in that list.
Boost Popularity – When you are listed in the search page map, more people will know about your business. When people know it, they will want to try it. If their reaction is positive, then they will recommend it to their friends and write about it in Social Media, spreading your business even more. As a result, your business popularity will keep raising. This is how those Famous Brands started, from small until they become Big.
Boost Website Ranking – The most important thing in determining website ranking is to take account of people’s comments, reaction, and recommendations on the internet. When your business become popular and many people recommended it, your website will get more visitors, this in turn will raise the website rank greatly. Moreover, by having business in the search area, you already get a boost in ranking, making it easier to rank higher than usual.
Boost Revenue – With all those advantages above added up, you will at last achieve the goal of why you opened a shop in the first place : Generating Revenue. The more you become popular, more people will know you and visit your shop. The more customer come to your shop, the more your revenue will increase, resulting in you monopolising the trade in your area.
How to do Local SEO Correctly
The next thing you need to know about Local SEO is How to Apply it Correctly to your website.
In accordance to the aim of Local SEO, which is to attract as many local customer as we can and make people from outside the are know that we are here, there are several things we have to do to apply Local SEO to our website.
1. Specify Your Business and Location in Your Website
Before we can do anything in Local SEO, we have to make a preparation first. The first thing you HAVE to do, it to create a Contact Page or similar page detailing your business locations, opening hours (if any), and other info that can aid Google in pinpointing your location.
Another page you have to create is About Us or similar page containing the information of your business. Put information you need people to know there. No need to put in sensitive or private information, because it’s not necessary and only serve to aid your competitor and hinder you in the long run.
When these two pages is done, then you should have provided Google with informations about your website they can use to rate your website and show the result in their listing.
2. Register Your Business in Google Database
The next step after that is to register your business directly in Google database. Doing this is also to claim your business so it will be considered the “Official” one on the the internet.
If you didn’t claim your business, then there will be other people that will steal your rightful place and people will take the copycat as the real one, just because they claimed their business first.
You can do this by going to Google Map website, then search for your business. If it’s not already listed there, you can select “Add Your Business” and fill out all information.
Doing this will make Google acknowledge your business and listed it in their map. When people search for your business in the area, your business will be listed there.
When Google managed to register your business, then congratulations, you have finished the first step of your website’s Local SEO.
3. Get Listed in Other Listing Site
Go to famous listing sites, like TripAdvisor, thelist.co.uk, and the local chamber of commerce website in your area, then list your website there. If many famous and trusted listing sites has your business listed there, it will send valuable direct traffic to your business.
There are many ways you can get additional traffics; foot traffic, referrals, people buying online from those listing sites, and various other ways.
Getting listed in as many places as you can is the key to getting more traffic for your Local SEO.
4. Spread the News Using Social Media
As one of the best sharing media ever exist, Social Media should be your prime choice to spread the news, especially about the existence of your business. The sharing process is quick, easy, and most of all, totally free.
Millions of people use Social Media, including people that live in your area or around it. Which means you can promote your website without problem, cementing the reputation of your business as the real one and preventing any attempt of stealing the name from you.
Popularizing your website via Social Media can also help you get better ratings from Google. Google checked every single comment on the internet, and when they find a comment that specified your business, they can take that as consideration for their rating. The more popular and widespread your business is, and the better feedbacks your website got from people, the higher your rank will be.
Other than the steps above, you can also check if your website already fulfilled the requirement of a Good Website written in this SEO Checklist or not.
Factors That Affect Local SEO Effectiveness
The things mentioned above are various ways you can optimise your website for Local SEO. Unfortunately, this method, while true, is not always succeed.
There are several factors that can influence Local SEO. You have to pay attention to these factors when you are doing Local SEO for your website so you won’t be tripped by them.
1. Google Updates
Google regularly updates their algorithm, and these algorithm changes always comes with new laws. There are 2 updates for Local SEO : Google Pigeon in 2014 and Google Possum in 2016.
Pigeon update are focusing on business outside the search area. It lessened the score the more distance it’s located from the search area.
Proven quality business will not get hit as hard as the lesser known business though, so for them it’s not very troublesome.
Possum Update in 2016, however, rectify this. Currently, Google is rating the business based on both address and affiliation.
They also eliminate multiple entry for those especially popular business websites.
For example, you might have a chiropractor office that has three separate listings for individual practitioners and then one listing for the practice itself. These separate profiles would all link to the same website and use the same phone number. Usually, only one or two of these would show up in the local results, and the others would be filtered.
This levels the playing field. Previously, because some business got ranked multiple times, they dominate almost half of the search page. With this update, the multiple entries have been deleted, so the websites that previously ranked below them experienced drastic raise in rank.
The ranking criteria remains the same though, so don’t expect any raise in rank without changing a few things in your own website.
2. Mobile Responsive
The majority of the user that access the website via Local SEO do it using their mobile. That’s why your website must be mobile-responsive to accomodate this.
A website without mobile-responsive will get penalty when deciding the ranking in the listing. To avoid this, it’s best to change your website into mobile-responsive starting from now.
Being mobile-responsive also help you in the regular SEO, because Google give plus points to mobile-responsive websites.
3. Area Specific
Just to remind you, Google will only show the listing when people search for a business in specific area.
So if they only conduct regular or general search, then the Local SEO won’t be as helpful as Specific Area Search. It’s still working, mind you, just not as effective.