How to Do Local SEO For Your Small Business
Local business owners are starting to understand that if they’re not on Google maps, then all they’re doing is helping their competition attract more customers. As a result new business owners will throw up some information on Google and walk away thinking their job is done. Unfortunately new business owners don’t realize that they can influence their Google map rankings if they do just a bit more work, at little cost, and without a major time investment.
Get Listed (Now Moz Local)
There is a free online tool that will look through a ton of local directories to analyze your Local SEO presence. This tool in and of itself will highlight every local map directory you need to fix, update or register your business on. If you use this tool by itself and do nothing else your business’ Local SEO presence will dramatically improve. So head over to getlisted.org and find out where your business ranks.
As you’re going through Get Listed you’ll notice that some of your local directory listings might have a few listings with slightly different information. Google likes accuracy and if you have multiple listings with different phone numbers, or the suite number is slightly off, it might confuse Google into thinking that there is two different businesses. You want Google feeling confident about your business, because if Google feels confident then they’ll display your map listing up top.
Another accuracy issue is when there is multiple listings for the same business. Usually this mistake happens because of inaccurate information on one listing, and accurate information on another listing. That’s why it’s important to go through multiple local directories and make sure your information is accurate. If you find that a directory has multiple listings for your business try to claim both and delete the bad listing.
Businesses open and close all over the world and Google can’t stay up to date on every businesses, so Google relies on listing interactions to judge listing accuracy. If a map listing has 40 reviews and lots of comments Google will think that business’ listing is accurate and works well for the related map keyword. The one thing you can’t do, and Google will know if you do it, but you can’t setup a computer in your store for people to write reviews, nor can you give incentives to people for writing you a review. The best you can do is remind customers that they have the option to write a review.
Proximity to Downtown
Location, location, location is the saying, and believe it or not but it matters to Google. If you have multiple locations around town Google will look at all your local SEO metrics, but they’ll also add your business’ proximity to downtown into the mix. So if you have multiple locations around town but you want your main business located further from downtown to rank highest, then my suggestion is to start on your main business’ local SEO and get it ranking before starting on your other businesses.
For even more tools and ideas check out our friends at Backlinko