The internet is big. Really big! Sometimes opening a new tab to begin a Google search can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But when you’re that needle, all you want is to be found! Especially if you’re a local business. Often it’s easy for the little guy to be drowned out by big corporations and franchises, but keep reading for some secrets to make being local one of your biggest assets.
Here’s some history: Google’s Venice update in 2012 is what brought localised organic search results to the masses. There’s no benefit for someone in Adelaide to see search results for a plumber in Sydney, hence the beauty of localised results. For smaller businesses, it is essential to optimise your online presence for where you are at!
So let’s begin! Here are my big tips for getting yourself locally listed.
1. Google My Business
Let’s start at the most important. Ever noticed the map that’s displayed on the right hand side of your Google search results?
That map and the (usually indented and at the top) first few results are what local listings and Google Business can get you. Where a lot of people suffer is in not having a verified location with Google My Business and no other authoritative listings of their address for Google to check against. What makes search engines so great is that they don’t just take someone’s word for it. You’ve got to prove what you’re saying is true, and other people have got to be saying it too.
As with all things SEO, nothing is a guarantee, but setting up a Google Business listing for yourself sure will help a lot! Chances are Google has already identified your business and has attempted to fill in the details on your behalf based on info from all over the world wide web. You can check that and either claim or create your own listing here. The steps are pretty self explanatory and will require you to verify that you are the owner/working on behalf of the owner of the business in question. From there, for the love of God make a Google + page if you haven’t already.
2. Local Listings
Depending on your area, there are usually a lot of options for online local listing directories that have a good domain authority and standing with Google. You want to be careful though: listing yourself on lots of low quality directories can have a negative effect to your rankings and serp results. This post from Bright Local gives a top 50 list of local directories based on how often they appeared in their citation tool. Basically, how often search engines ranked them in their results. It’s a great place to start and will give you a whole lot of options for listing your details.
Now it is super important to ensure the details you list on these directories are identical to what is shown on your website, Google Business and Google + page. If it is not consistent, Google will either disregard it or will use it and you’ll end up with incorrect details in the search results. You’ll also want to include as much info as possible: fax numbers, email address, P.O. Box, physical address, contact name, contact number. Essentially, the more detail you give, the more it’ll help you rank.
3. Social Media
I’m sure we all know that having a social media presence for your business is SUPER important. Having your business’s details on there is ALSO super important. Google and the other major search engines give a lot of ranking weight to social media profiles/pages. On some, like Instagram, there’s no option for your business details. But on others (Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn) there is plenty of opportunity to further authenticate your business’s contact details. So make sure you do!
4. Apple Maps
Even though Apple hasn’t officially released its new Apple Maps Connect program in Australia yet, it is out in the U.S. and it’ll be down under before long. So why not spend the time preparing so you’re ready to be one of the first businesses on there! You can sign up to be notified when it is released in Australia just by singing in with an Apple ID and searching for your business. If you’ve already listed your business with Yelp (if you haven’t, drop everything and do it now!), chances are it’ll show up in Apple Maps Connect already. Until it’s released in Australia though, you won’t be able to edit any details.
Well those are my 4 easy tips to getting your local business listed in search results. I know what you’re thinking, “It’s so simple! Why doesn’t everyone do it?”! Trust me, I think that everyday...make sure you’re not one of the suckers who misses out!
The future is bright for local business SEO! No longer do we have to be drowned out by the loud, ugly voices of “big business”! Let us rise up and take our rightful place in the top SERP results…………….*ahem.
Have more secret tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!
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