In the search engine that is Google, getting on the top of the page is a battle against the tech giant’s ever changing algorithm. And in this SEO war, there are more casualties – relegated to page 10 obscurity – than survivors.
But with its 2014 Pigeon update, which provides more relevant and precise local search results, it seems like there might be a fighting chance for even small businesses to win against Google’s algorithm game through local SEO.
Local SEO to the Rescue
As more consumers become more dependent on their smartphones to do Search, local SEO proves a better choice over other types of SEO techniques. Its use of improved results using accurate distance and location, takes advantage of the growing number of on-the-go searches.
What this means is that even small businesses like classic mom and pop shops or local hole-in-the-wall pubs can compete in Search rankings. And by using local SEO in their online presence, they can create more opportunities to convert casual mobile searches to in-store sales.
Through local SEO, a startup in Naples, for example, can immediately target customers within their vicinity. More importantly, these customers are not only within their store’s location, but are already looking for the service or product they offer.
The element of timing plays greatly on what makes local SEO a better fit for small businesses that want to create instant brand awareness for a fraction of the cost. This type of engagement is especially effective for brand-doubting customers.
Creating a Precise Listing
Since Local SEO is all about utilizing geo-specific searches, the first thing to do is to make sure that your business’ listing is precise. A misplaced apostrophe – Bobs’ instead of Bob’s – can redirect results to another business.
The same goes for your Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP). Make sure that your NAP listings are the same across all your online platforms. Having the correct NAP ensures that your customers get in touch with you immediately.
You can even go hyperlocal with your listings to include neighborhood markers to make your location even more precise. You can specifically indicate if you’re in the West Side or Upper East Side to engage customers using those search keywords.
Building Credibility through Reviews
Aside from capturing the right location-specific keywords, building credibility is also a big part of making local SEO work small businesses. Gathering reviews on your establishment or product improves your Search ranking.
To encourage customers to give reviews, establishments can try creative ways to motivate them. You can put instructions on your site or one click mechanisms to make it easy for customers to leave reviews. Another way is to give discounts or free products on their next visit.
Responding to these reviews, whether they’re good or bad, is a must too. Keeping up the momentum of the engagement, not only leaves a good impression towards loyal customers but also presents an opportunity for getting new ones.
Collaboration is Key
Because local SEO is still relatively new, collaborating with SEO experts to establish a strategy without losing your brand’s values, is a cost-effective investment. Especially for small and medium businesses who want greater reach and sales conversion within their budget.
If you’re a small or medium business that’s looking to gain from the power of local SEO as a cost-efficient medium to engage customers through their searches, it’s best to consult a SEO expert in Naples to get the best results.
Local SEO: The Defiinitive Guide 2017, Thesiteedge.com
Grow Your Business Using Local SEO, Brightlocal.com
5 Things Most People Forget About Local SEO, Entrepreneur.com,