Why should local search be a part of your online marketing strategy?
Not only does Google Maps prominently showcase local businesses at the top of their search results page, but provides customer reviews about an organization’s products and services. Searchers can read customer opinions about their experience with the organization. As you can imagine, customer reviews can hurt your company’s reputation or create customer evangelists producing a viral marketing effect.
Recommendations for Local Search:
1.Get listed with Google’s Local Business Center. Be sure to completely fill-out all the information as much as possible including descriptions of products, service offerings and photos.
2.List your business on categories and subcategories that are related to your businesses niche.
3.Claim your listing. Once you have submitted your business to Google Local Business Center, you’ll need to claim your listing. Google does this by mail or phone. By claiming the listing, you are establishing a sense of trust to Google about your site.
4.Building trust through Webpage localization. Include city and state words or phrases in the Meta tags, headers and content.
5.Having a localized phone number and address in the footer helps build trust in the search engines, about your business’ geographical location.
6.Inner linking strategy should contain localized wording in the anchor text of the links. It assists in telling the search engines where and what that page is about.
7.Localized linking strategies provide prominence of geographical location. Build links from local organizations or directories in your area. For example, chambers of commerce are good links to obtain.
8.The search engine pulls results from local resources such as Yellow Pages, Super Pages, Dex Knows, Yelp, etc…It may be confusing to the search engines if the business title, phone number or address are different across any of these resources. Therefore, make sure all have the same information. Otherwise, you are decreasing the validity of your business’ location with the search engines.
9.Customer reviews assist in popularity. There are theories that customers with a good, quality review assist in the overall local search algorithm. We’ll be sure to publish our findings as these theories are tested.
No one knows, except for the Google PhD’s, what makes up their local algorithm. Optimizing for universal search results and local search results are two separate algorithms. Local search is driven by business location, Website theme, phone number, local resources, customer reviews and more.