Today, more and more people are turning to Internet to search for goods and services they need. Consumer are now using search engines to find local information. Therefore, for any business, showing up in natural search results are not enough. It is important for them to have a robust local SEO strategy also to drive more visibility and traffic to their site and physical store, and stand out from competition. A local SEO strategy targets potential customers in your locality and allows you to be found easily when they search for the products/services you offer. A reliable New York local SEO Company can improve your visibility and ensure that your site is being shown to the right audience.
Making local SEO a part of your marketing mix ensures:
- Consistent and accurate location and business’s information
- Improves your business’s visibility to prospective customers
If you are in a business that relies on local customers, you need to learn how to get the most from your presence in local search results and the MapPack. Here are seven ways to improve your local SEO.
Monitor your competitor’s Google My Business QnAs: Google My Business (GMB) is an excellent function that allows local businesses to grow their presence. It has a QnA feature that helps convert potential customer who are on the fence. Invest time in researching your competitors and find out what you potential customers are asking others in your industry. In the GMB profile, there is a QnA section where users can ask a question. The questions submitted on the profile are visible to anyone who sees a Google My Business listing. This helps you to see the questions that your competitors get and if they get answered, you will know how to answer such questions and engage with the potential customers, if you get these questions in the future.
How it helps your business: Questions posted on GMB are likely to be asked by people who haven’t visited the business but are willing too. So they offer a way of engaging with your potential customers.
- For your own listing: You can use your GMB profile to converse with a potential local customer who is at the end of the conversion funnel. If potential customers have found you and are looking to you to clarify something, all you need to do is to provide a thoughtful response that will convert them to customers.
- On a competitors listing: Watch out for all the question that your competitor gets and understand how potential customers are asking them. Use this to better fill out the information on your own profile and website. For example, if you own a restaurant and you get lot of questions about vegan food, then makes sure to highlight gluten- free products on your site listing. This type of research can help you get ahead of your competitors. Answer the questions being asked of your competitors on your own website and GMB profile before anyone asks. Mention in your description that customers will enjoy a meal along with some relaxing, ambient music.
Modify your Google Product listing to get more exposure: Google helps business with GMB profile to upload every detail of the product. This can be viewed by potential customer. In the GMB profile, the listing appears in carousel format in both Map and the Product tab in Search. It allows users to click on the product cards for more detail, click to call, or visit the website. Uploading your product on GMB profile is easy. You can add by clicking “add a product” in your GMB profile and follow the steps. You can also click on your listing in the SERPs and add the product straight from there. Google will display them in the order they are uploaded or edited. But you have to be strategic if you want to change the order of the product. Any minor editing will be brought to the front of the carousel. If you are looking to bring a product more to the forefront of your offerings, then do some editing and the carousel order will change accordingly.
How it helps: If you want to showcase some of your products, then you have to increase your stocks in one of your locations. Make sure to bring that stock to the forefront on your GMB listing in order to alert your local customers. This helps to showcase specific products to relevant audiences depending on their location. For example, seasonal products may be better served first. For example, if you offer school supplies and it’s back-to-school time, edit your back-to-school item listings to bring them to the beginning of the carousel. This will enhance their visibility to your target audience when they are searching for these products.
Use Google’s Business Messages whenever possible: Google My Business allows businesses to correspond with customers right from the SERPs. When activated, the GMB profile displays a Message button that users can click on to directly message with the business and chat. This functionality has been there in GMB since 2017 and in Google Maps since 2018, but gained popularity in the recent years. On your GMB profile, the option to turn on messaging comes under the Messages tab in your desktop dashboard. You can also set up an initial auto responder to be sent out when a visitor first messages to your business. To ensure that this service is timely, Google recommends you to reply to all messages in 24 hours. Remember, Google can deactivate the messaging service on your account.
How it helps: Everyone may not have the time to call up a business they want to engage with. Allowing potential local customer to message you directly from your GMB profile is the best way of streamlining conversation with the customers. Responding quickly to their queries increases the chances of converting them. This tip applies mainly local businesses because they don’t use centralized call centres or messaging. It is a touch point that shows personalization of the business. Be considerate and ensure a tone of voice that is best suitable to your customer in that location. This shows how well you know your customers. Use local names for the area your business is located. Talk about specific events and charities that you support. Since the functionality is available in a wide range of places on the internet, it will be a wasted opportunity if you do not engage with the potential customer on a personal basis.
Keep your GMB profile up to date with all relevant information: Google always keeps updating the features available through GMB. Ensure that you keep your listing fully populated with the relevant attributes as they become available. Google keep on adding functionalities to GMB and not all features will be available to types of business. Accessing your new updates depends on what category is set as your primary in GMB. To stay updated about latest features, visit Google’s GMB announcement page.
How it helps: Any new change in GMB and its early adoption will keep you ahead of the pack. It makes your business more appear attractive. For instance, in September 2020, Google made it possible for businesses to add attributes related to Health and Safety. Attributes include stating that masks are required by customers and that temperature checks are required. If your business displays these attributes but a competitor does not, then you could be winning the customer and this is useful for local businesses who have suffered recently with a fall in visitors to their locations due to lockdowns and pandemic concerns. By mentioning that health and safety precautions taken at your sites, you encourage more visitors to your store.
Join with local market places and forums: The key to marketing your local business is understanding your audience. The best way to understand your target market is by spending time with them online. Make sure to register your business in local directories and forums. This will help you to know your customer and hear what they are saying. FaceBook is one such market place where you can market your products. You need not engage with your audience but you will learn more about them. It will help you know how much your audience is willing to pay for products by seeing what similar items are being sold for in your town’s Facebook Marketplace. By monitoring your local audience, you can better understand their preferences. When it comes to forums, join Reddit subreddits for your city and read the threads that talk about your business in your area. Understand what your audience is saying about your competitors.
How it helps: Getting this kind of information helps you to customize your search marketing strategy. Look for places that your target audience members are talking freely about your local area. Find out what they want from their local businesses. You can also interact with your target audience, but it has to be done sensitively. This is because most of them do not want to be mined for information without their consent. Be honest when you reach out for feedback.
Do not ignore other search engines: Google is the largest search engine but there are other popular search engines too like Bing, Yelp, etc. You may get most of your traffic from Google, but don’t forget that you might not be tracking all of the ways customers discover you through search. Your profile showing in the SERPs might not generate a click. As a result, it will not show up in your web analytics program. So if you don’t measure impressions across different search engines, you will not know if your business has been seen on the likes of DuckDuckGo or Bing. If you want your business to appear in the DuckDuckGo local map pack, you will need to have your business set up with an Apple Maps Connect profile. Similarly, Bing uses Bing places to power their local map functionality. So optimizing a Google My Business listing will not help you increase organic visibility on other search engines.
How it helps: If your competitors are not appearing in search results on Apple Maps or Bing results, then optimizing for these search engines can help you win local searchers on them.
Keep an eye on your reputation: If you are in the hotel industry, you should check your reviews on leading sites like Trip Advisor. But you should also focus on your GMB listing regularly. Look out for:
Prominent featured reviews and directory sites: The top carousel lists large directories, social media sites and niche directories. This give potential users access to information about your business on sites that you may not be checking. When links to these sites appear as the first feature in the Google SERPs, they may get a lot of visibility from your potential customers.
Ask people: When customers are in the process of narrowing down their choice of business they might start searching for specific information about those businesses. That can often trigger a “People Also Ask” feature to appear.
How it helps: It is important to remember that what a potential customer sees about you may not only be information you put on your website or GMB listings or even reviews left on sites that you closely monitor. A potential customer’s reviews are influenced by other people’s opinions and others’ experiences with your business. Local businesses attract a lot of reviews because they are promoted by sites that encourage leaving reviews.
Having a localized SEO strategy is important for businesses with multiple facilities across a large geographical area. An effective local SEO strategy with the help of reliable New York local SEO Company you improve the authority of your business within your industry and can reach your targeted audience.
Published by Long Island MedResponsive