Is your business taking advantage of local search to attract new customers? The majority of customers now go online to find businesses. If your company relies on a local customer base, that means you need to optimize for local search. Here are 5 steps to get you going.
- Start with a business website. Don’t have one yet? Lighthouse 360 offers an easy way to get a customized online presence, including a website that automatically adjusts to any desktop, tablet or smartphone screen size. That’s important because the majority of online searches now take place on mobile devices. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, customers won’t be able to see what you offer.
- Get listed on local search directories. Visit Google My Business, Yelp and other local search directories to claim your listing (it’s free). Update and complete your listing with relevant information prospective customers need, such as your business phone number, hours, email and other ways to contact you. Make sure all of your listings include your business name, address and phone number spelled exactly the same way. For example, don’t use “Street” in one listing and “St.” in another, or search engines won’t recognize these as the same business.
- Use the right keywords. On your website, in your local search listings and on social media, use the keywords that local customers use when searching for what you sell. For a plumber, that might be “clogged toilet” or “emergency plumbing.” You’ll also want to use local keywords (such as your city or neighborhoods you serve) to localize your results. For instance, a plumber in New York City might use “emergency plumbing NYC,” “Brooklyn plumber” or “Manhattan emergency plumber.” You can visit Google Keyword Planner to research popular keywords.
- Get rated. Online reviews also show up when your prospective customers do a local search, so it’s important to make sure you have high ratings. Getting online reviews can be a challenge, but using Lighthouse 360 can help. After every job, Lighthouse 360 makes it easy to automatically ask for reviews from your customers. All positive reviews are automatically displayed on your business website, your social media accounts and the RateABiz review site.
- Think local. Create locally oriented content for your website. For instance, if you own a landscaping or lawn care business, you can write blog posts about gardening tailored to the local seasons and weather (protecting plants from frost if you’re in Maine, or dealing with drought if you’re in Southern California). If your home remodeling business is in an area where most homes have basements, post about how to turn a basement into a family recreation room or mother-in-law suite. Be sure to share this content on social media, including links that drive customers back to your website where they can find out more.
Follow these steps and next time someone in your town searches for the service you provide, you’ve got a good chance of showing up on top of the results page.