SEO and Local Business Listings
So we know that having our businesses listed in Google Maps and other major search engines boosts search engine optimisation, providing users with a quick and easy way to locate us (by name or by keyword), while driving quality traffic to our websites...
But how do we boost our results in this largely untapped area which plays a key role in boosting brand awareness?
Here are some steps to be sure to follow:
1. Make sure your website is search engine friendly
- Use title tags and descriptive meta tags to describe your web pages so that search engines "know" what each page is all about (these should relate to the search terms visitors are using to find you)
- Reinforce key words used in tags with keywords within page content that are similar or relate (more weight placed on headings and subheadings, so these should be used strategically)
- Use reciprocal links (forward links to affiliate websites which link back to your website)
- Make sure all links are functional (broken links are missed opportunities!)
- Update content continuously (search engines will re-index changing content)
2. Place complete address and contact details prominently
Ensure details are presented as text rather than hidden in a flash file, and optimise meta tags to include contact details.
2. Check your business listings in each of the various major search engines
Ensure you are in fact listed, and your address and contact details are correct and complete (complete details are favoured).
Optimise your keywords if any changes have been made to the keywords used on your website.
3. Ask satisfied customers to write reviews for your listings
Search engines favour results with reviews as the results appear more "relevant". Positive reviews that use keywords will be given more weight. The number of reviews on your listing will also affect your results. Positive reviews have the added effect of strengthening brand credibility and increasing the likelihood of engagement.
4. Check your business listings in local web directories
Ensure you are in fact listed, your address and contact details are correct and complete and where possible request that your listing be linked to your website.
If you've followed all of these steps and are wondering why you're still not making it to the top, this may be a reflection of your website's SEO.
Otherwise it might be a factor of your location (businesses closer to the city centre tend to show more positive results), your business name (names containing key words will be assigned more relevance) or your competition (in all of the above areas).
With Christmas just around the corner, it's now more important than ever to boost search engine rankings and increase quality site traffic to make those conversions. I hope I've set some of you in the right direction. If you're interested in learning more or have something to add, post a comment- I'm always up for a chat.