45 percent of customers say they’re more likely to visit businesses that respond to their reviewsOnline Reviews Survey
Local search engine optimization is a crucial component of any marketing strategy.
With more than 6.5 billion web searches a day worldwide, using a search engine is the way in which customers will find your business locations.
Local search optimization is extremely beneficial for businesses. More than one-third (35 percent) of all searches have local intent, according to a study by ReviewTrackers. In addition, 53 percent of searchers typically visit a business within 48 hours of search.
What makes local search even more important is that the majority of local searches happen on mobile devices and most of those searchers occur on an Internet browser, according to the analysts. What’s more, millennials are twice as likely to be searching for a business to visit immediately than older generations, according to the researchers. 42 percent of millennials that perform a local search will visit a business most of the time.
So how do you make the websites where your business locations are listed (the business’s website, online reviews, etc.) rank high in local search results?
Companies should enter their name, address, phone number (NAP) and website address directly into Google My Business and other key profiles such as Facebook. This improves the likelihood of your business site being ranked highly in local searches.
Although Google is the primary search engine in the world, many companies have yet to claim their business on Google My Business. In fact, only around 44 percent of businesses have actually claimed their free Google My Business listing.
After you claim your business listing on Google My Business, do the same for Facebook, TripAdvisor, and other platforms where your business is listed.
Mentions of your business on the web that list NAP of a business are constantly scanned by Google’s web crawlers. Keep this consistent. For example, if your business is listed as “22 Fort Worth Street,” then keep that spelling on all platforms as opposed to spelling a variation like “22 Ft. Worth St.”
Support Your Optimization Efforts Through Review Collection
Online reviews affect local search performance. According to a study by Moz, online reviews are the 7th most important factor for organic ranking in search and the 5th most important for the local link pack.
Reviews are also a valuable information source for the consumer when researching a local business.
In addition, reviews can provide you with a chance to respond to and resolve customer issues in a public forum. Handling customer issues, on a platform that is seen by other customers, demonstrates to consumers that your business takes a proactive approach to customer service. This can strengthen your brand reputation and improve customer experience.
You always should strive to stand out against your competitors. Provide the necessary tools for search engines so that you can be found more easily in local search. This is an incredibly effective strategy in differentiating your brand.