If you sell something offline, you cannot do without promoting your business in a local search. The relevance of local search is growing in the context of increasing the share of mobile traffic, as owners of smartphones and tablets often search for the physical location of the store, restaurant or office center they need. In this article, you will learn how to succeed in local search.
What is a local search and why is it needed?
Local search is the formation of search results based on the location of the search engine user. The search engine shows the user a local issue if he indicates the name of a geographic object in the request.
It is also formed if the search algorithm decides that a person wants to know the location of the search objects.
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The Google SERP with local results includes contextual ads, a list of organizations with addresses, search results on Google maps, and natural results. According to the American company Nifty Marketing, which specializes in promoting projects in a local search, desktop users actively follow the links of all issuing elements. With the help of IT-tracking technology, the specialists of this company determined that the highest CTR have the relevant natural issue links, which are located at the bottom of the first screen.
First of all, promotion in local search is necessary for a business that serves clients offline. Providing visibility of the company on the issue page, you bring visitors to a store, restaurant or office. Visibility in local search provides benefits for businesses that work online. For example, an online store site can be ranked in a local search if the user's geographic preferences match the address specified in the "Contacts" section.
How to promote the project in local search
The strategy of promoting projects in the local search includes three points: an audit of the current situation and the updating of data, optimization of behavioral factors and the use of tactics of fish-sticks.
Current position audit and data update
The ranking factors for sites in local and natural search are the same for most items. Therefore, start by checking that the site meets the technical requirements of search engines, and also make sure that your content meets the information needs of the audience.
Now check the data directly related to local search:
- Make sure that the information specified on your organization’s Google page “My Business” and “Yandex.Address” is up to date.
- Check whether information about your organization is displayed when using associated localized queries. If the information is not displayed, check if the site has fallen under sanctions.
- Make sure that your business information is in the appropriate category. Users and search engines do not like when information about auto repair shops or hairdressing salons is in the financial services section.
- Check whether there are high-quality photos of your office or store on your business page. They can be displayed on the page of issue and attract the attention of users.
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- Check if the running time is correct. If a potential client sees a closed door with a "Lunch" sign in front of him, he is unlikely to return to you.
- Make sure that the landing page intended for visitors from the local search has a location map.
- Check if the site has information about payment methods. This is especially true if you only accept bank cards or accept payments only in cash.
Try to find your business using the desktop and mobile gadget. Check if users find it convenient to search for information on your site.
Of course, you know that behavioral factors influence the results of natural and local output. In addition, you know about the danger of cheating behavioral. Therefore, you need to create an environment in which local search users who are in contact with your business feel happy. To do this, follow these steps:
- Use the Schema.org microdata on the site. Pay attention to the basic type of microdata "Reviews".
- Stimulate customers to write reviews. Please note you need real customer opinions, not fakes. Therefore, directly invite customers to write a review about your company. To do this, take a link to your business page. It looks like this: //plus.google.com/+YourCompanyName/posts. Now remove the value of / posts from the URL and insert the value /? Hl = ru & review = 1 instead. The new URL looks like this: //plus.google.com/+ YourCompanyName /? Hl = en & review = 1. Send this link to your subscribers. After going through it, they will see a window in which you can leave feedback about your business.
- Optimize the title and description of the landing pages on the site. Search engines form from them the name of the link and a snippet in the organic distribution unit. CTR links to your site depend on the quality of the title and description.
- Make sure your site is adapted for mobile traffic.
Pay attention to user experience and usability of the resource. Your site should make visitors happy.
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The tactics of sticking fish or barnacle SEO is based on the assumption that large projects, in the development of which tens of millions of dollars are invested, will always be ranked better than small and medium-sized businesses. Therefore, small projects should use the opportunities of large marketing platforms and move forward with them.
For example, if the owner of a small hotel in New York creates a website, it will be difficult for him to quickly ensure its visibility in natural and local search. And if he registers it on TripAdvisor or Yelp, then the chances of quickly attracting customers will increase significantly.
Below you will find a list of resources and services where you can register your business. Consider the geography and scope of work of your enterprise, choosing objects to which you can "stick". The following services can help you:
- Yelp and similar projects.
- Sites and exchanges for searching remote work: fl.ru, oDesk.com and others.
- Wikipedia. To prevent the page about your organization from being deleted, you will have to prove that the information about your business has an encyclopedic value.
- Industry catalogs, bulletin boards, directories.
Make sure that information about your business, published on large reference resources, is optimized for search queries. Do not be alarmed if the link to your TripAdvisor hotel’s page is ranked higher than your site.
Your business should be visible ...
... for local search users. To do this, you need to update the data of your pages in the Google services “My business” and “Yandex.Address”, optimize behavioral factors and take advantage of the opportunities of large projects. Special attention should be paid to the adaptation of the site for mobile traffic, as owners of smartphones and tablets are often looking for addresses of a business operating offline.