If you’re looking to market your company, your services or your products on the Internet (and who isn’t), your backyard is where it’s happening. That’s right, according to Google an astonishing 73 percent of all online activity is related to local searches. Drilling down on that statistic, Google research states that 50 percent of mobile users are most likely to visit after conducting a local search while 34 percent of consumers on tablets or computers will go to a store.
If you want to develop a local profile, there is no better way than optimizing your Google Local Listing. These listings are prominently featured in local search engine results pages (SERP), as seen below in my own local listing.
Here are steps that will help you become recognized by Google and create your local profile and listing.
Set Up A Google Account and Fill Out Google Local Information
If you want to be active on the Internet it’s essential that you create a Google account. Once that’s completed, the next step is filling out your Google Local Listings. It’s very important that all of the requested information be included because Google also ranks completed listings higher than those that are incomplete. Google wants to provide its searching clients with as much information as possible and will, therefore, select the business that provides the most information.
While Google provides drop-down lists of selections, it’s important to select the ones that best fit your business. In fact, the more precise you are the better chance you’ll have in having your site listed to the people most interested in what it is you do.
Use Your Exact Location and Include Key Words
“Location – Location – Location” It’s just as important here as it is anywhere else because Google+ uses your location to create a Google Map and photograph (see above) of your precise location. A wrong location will not make potential clients or Google happy due to the fact your clients will probably get lost and Google expects consistency in name, phone number and address in all of the directories you will be listed in.
Location key words that appear in your H1 and URL are also important to include because, according to Google, “keywords placed in business titles that describe the location of the business have a 19.6 percent impact on local search performance.”
Google Reviews Are Awesome
According to Nielsen, 92 percent of customers say that they trust advertisements and recommendations from third parties more than traditional, paid advertising. Given the fact that the Google+ review line appears directly below your URL it offers serious credibility, assuming that you have good reviews. They can also have an impact on how Google ranks your company. Google’s primary’s responsibility is to its customers and positive reviews indicate to Google that your company will meet their customers expectations and therefore will rank it higher than a company that has bad or no reviews.
Google suggest that you encourage your customers to provide Google+ with reviews by adopting the following practices:
- Reminding customers after a purchase or during regular communication that reviews are appreciated
- Using your Google+ platform to ask customers to leave reviews
- Including the URL to your Google+ page on company cards, newsletters, and other communications
Your Website Is Essential
Your website’s URL must be included in the Google+ Local Listing because it will be used to improve the search listings that appear on its page. This means your website needs to have a well-developed About Us page and Home Page that include keywords, the business address and quality content.
If you provide Google with the requisite information , it can seriously increase your business by helping Google understand your value and providing potential customers with the who, what, where and when of your business.
Search is local and so must you be.