Local Online Business

The‌ ‌10‌ ‌Critical‌ ‌Elements‌ ‌to‌ ‌Ranking‌ ‌ Your‌ ‌Local‌ ‌Business‌ ‌Online‌

In the pre-internet generation, someone opening a local business had to rely heavily on word of mouth promotion and pamphlet advertising to draw in customers. With the rise in technology adoption and the internet being on everyone’s reach, popular search engines started providing location-based search results for certain keywords. This led to the acceptance of local SEO as a key tool for local businesses to find success online. Just like traditional SEO, a local business needs to include or optimize certain critical elements on their website to rank online.

This article will guide you on ten critical elements that help your local business rank in online searches.

10 Critical Elements to Ranking Your Local Business Online

 

   1. Website

The website is the digital counterpart to your brick and mortar store. A website aims to land any prospects from the search result to a page (or a series of webpages). This page should act as a source of information to learn more about what products or services and interact with your brand via chat. The website need not be a multi-page affair but have enough information for the visitor to be engaged and urged to visit your physical store. Most web-hosting services have a template library where you can find a website design that matches your brand and use the drag and drop editor to customize the look and feel.

 

   2. Google My Business Listing

Google holds 86.86% market share among the different search engine platforms (Statista). Additionally, Google has multiple products built around assisting store owners in connecting with their prospective customers. To assist people searching for a specific service, Google shows 3 top local businesses in a special snippet section called the ‘Snack Pack’ box. 

Google My Business Listing

The listing shows vital information about the business, such as:

  • Name of the establishment
  • Address
  • Operation timings
  • Overall Customer Rating
  • Links to website, phone number, and direction

Google and other search platforms such as Bing allow you to claim their already created local business profile. There are no charges to claim your business profile, and once claimed, you control the information displayed there. You can further embellish your profile by adding relevant information such as the latest updates, customer ratings, photographs of your business, etc.

 

   3. Social Media Presence

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to create business pages, where you can post updates about your business and interact with your followers in real-time. With the help of social media ads and sponsored ads, you can easily reach out to prospective customers based on the built customer persona. Moreover, being active on social media allows people to be updated about your on-goings.

 

   4. On-page Optimization

Assuming you already have a website to boast off. Still, poor search visibility is hampering your online success. It may be time to optimize your website elements to make it more SEO friendly. Identify and choose high performing keywords that suit your brand but are less competitive. Make sure those keywords are present in the URL, meta-title, and description as Google bots are on the lookout for keywords at these places when scouring your website. Another way to improve your page ranking ratings is to include schema markup that is displayed as a search snippet on Google’s search results.

 

   5. Off-page Optimization 

Off-page optimization such as internal and external links, citations, and social media shares are considered as signs of quality content. Google rewards websites with the most number of citations and external links with higher search rankings. As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to garner maximum citations from popular platforms such as Facebook, Yelp!, or Foursquare and backlinks from other local establishments for the correct keyword to rank your listings for the same. 

 

   6. Google My Business Optimization

As we mentioned earlier, once you have claimed your Google My Business (GMB) profile, you are responsible for the content displayed in your profile. This means you can optimize individual sections visible to your customers such as Name, Address, Phone, Business Description, select business category, service attributes, and photos to match the keywords chosen by you to draw in more customers. You should optimize your Google My Business profile with the intention of:

  • Increasing Engagement
  • Improving Local Ranking
  • Increase Conversions
  • Draw in more foot traffic google Posts

As shown in the example below, any updates you publish on your Google My Business profile are displayed as Google posts in the search result. These posts can either be informative or promotional, and you can measure the metric as well. The advantage of posting on Google is that your visitors don’t need any accounts to view them, so there is no restriction.

 

   7. Google Posts

As shown in the example below, any updates you publish on your Google My Business profile are displayed as Google posts in the search result. These posts can either be informative or promotional, and you can measure the metric as well. The advantage of posting on Google is that your visitors don’t need any accounts to view them, so there is no restriction.

Google Business Page

 

 8. Social Posts

Another platform where posting new updates can generate views is social media posts. Not only can it be communicated in real-time, but your social media posts can be shared by your followers to make your posts viral. Most business owners tend to create separate posts for their GMB and social media, but those starting out can create the same posts for both and gradually venture into creating them separately.

 

   9. Reviews

For any business owner, honest reviews and testimonials are pivotal for growth. From the customer point of view, reviews are the user-generated content that can generate trust faster than any other content form. Google displays different reviews from your customers on your Google My Business profile for perspectives to read. So, make it a point to collect reviews from your existing customers to display on your GMB profile.

 

   10. Consistency in service

There is no point in building your profile if your service doesn’t match the hype. Besides the points mentioned above, providing exemplary service to your customers will delight them and motivate them to recommend your services to their peers. The more footfall your business observes, the more is the chances of Google to recommend your business to those searching online.

 

Wrapping Up

Just because you run a physical store doesn’t mean you cannot benefit from online searches. The Ten Critical Elements mentioned here will surely help you take the first step and increase visitors at an introductory level. With constant optimization, you are sure to observe a substantial increase in your offline and online visitor volume.

 

 

Infographic

 

 

 

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