Many small business owners feel overwhelmed by SEO. It’s such a huge and daunting subject that business owners think they don’t have time to learn enough to effectively impact their search performance.
However, most small businesses only need to focus on a smaller subset of the search industry – Local SEO. Although complicated in its own ways, the learning curve for Local SEO is much shorter and it can still have a big impact on search performance for small businesses.
And remember, if you’re already a Pronto client, we’ve already claimed and optimized the most important local listings for you business and we can further strengthen your local presence through our partnership with Localeze.
- Local search ranking factors
- Data aggregators and the local search ecosystem
- Getting more reviews
- Download our Local SEO Guide
Hey folks, Tim here. Today, I want to talk to you a little bit about local SEO. Local SEO focuses on search results within a defined geographic area. The most common way that you’ve probably dealt with local SEO is through map search results in Google. When you search for something like “Mexican restaurants in San Francisco”, you get a list of local restaurants along with a map including a pin point showing exactly where that restaurant is located.
This is extremely important for small businesses because the majority of their customers are located within a defined area around the business. How do you get to appear in these local search results? The first and probably most important thing is creating a listing on Google Places for your business. When you create your listing, make sure you include your current address and contact information, a link to you website and make sure you select categories that are appropriate for your business.
Depending on your industry and how competitive your local market is, simply creating your listing might not be enough to appear in the local search results. One great tactic for strengthening your local presence is building citations. Citations can be anything from listings on other directories like Yelp or Yellow Pages to a mention of your business on a local blog. Basically, any mention of your business name, address and phone number, which are sometimes referred to as your NAP information. This NAP information is really important because it essentially functions as your local online fingerprint.
One issue you might run into is keeping your NAP information consistent across a large number of directories. The world of local search is a huge mess. All of these directories pool information from different sources. They have duplicates. They have old listings with outdated information and they all have different processes for reconciling this massive amount of data. One way you can help is by working with a data aggregator. This would be a company like Localeze, Yext or Infogroup, and the benefit of working with one of these companies is that they’ll verify your NAP information directly with you and then distribute it to a bunch of different directories around the web, and when other directories see this information, the data aggregator essentially says, “Hey, we verified this with the business owner. We know this is the correct information.”
That puts your correct NAP information on sort of a priority lane to supersede any other conflicting data that might be out there. Another great way to improve your results is by getting positive reviews on all of your listings. Don’t just focus on your Google Places listing, but get listings on as many of your popular local search portals as you can. That way, when Google goes and crawls all these other listings, they’ll see a handful here and a dozen here, and that essentially tells them that your business is very popular online. This also has the added benefit of showing potential customers what it’s like to work with you. If a lot of your happy customers are leaving positive reviews on your listing, potential customers are going to be more inclined to work with you in the future.
That’s it for now folks. I’m going to link to a few more resources below if you’re interested in learning more. Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks for watching. Bye bye.