A group of friends are getting together for dinner on a Saturday evening in a busy metropolitan area. They’re craving burritos and in the mood for some authentic salsa verde. They want a hole in the wall that’s cheap and has enough space for five people to sit comfortably. Cerveza or BYOB would be great, too. What do they do?
Everyone pulls out their phone and searches “burritos near me” on Google Search or directly on Google Maps. (Let’s pretend they’re not locals for the sake of this example.) That’s where you come in.
Your family-owned and operated restaurant has been serving authentic Mexican cuisine in the area since tacos were a thing. You specialize in the art of burrito making, which the locals love and you have more positive reviews online and in print than you can handle. Unfortunately, people aren’t searching for you by name.
That’s why you should optimize for search. Updating your local listing to include your address, phone number, specialty cuisine, reviews, photos, featured menu items, and adding call extension will allow people to call for a reservation or place an order for pickup. When you take advantage of those micro-moments, the long-term benefits will astound you.
Even if you’re not a restaurant, the same applies regardless of what type of business you own. Let’s get started and go over some basics on how you can dominate local search results in 2017 and beyond!
What is local search?
Local search is an effective way to market a business online. It helps businesses promote to local customers at the same exact time they’re looking for local services.
How does it relate to SEO?
You need to rank on search engines like Google and business directories such as Yelp, Superpages, Foursquare, Yellowbook, Google My Business listing, and Bing Places for Business page. Otherwise, you’ll miss the mark when someone searches for your type of business locally!
Why not go international instead?
For a sale right here and now, you wouldn’t want to advertise to someone across the world! After all, millions of customers turn to local search to find the best products nearby every day. If you’re not convinced, check out these figures from BrightLocal:
Why is local search so important, especially for small businesses?
Businesses can better position themselves to local customers. That means if someone’s walking around and their sandals break – they need a new pair of shoes right now. They’re not going to order shoes online and wait for them to be delivered. They need to find the closest store to take care of this emergency fast. You can’t beat connecting with a potential customer at the exact time they need your services!
What are the cons/pros of local search, if any?
All SEO takes a while to settle in, but once local gains momentum, you’ll see a better return on investment (ROI) because users have specific intentions on what they’re looking to buy. Unlike traditional advertising, local SEO also doesn’t waste exposure. You only reach potential customers when they need you the most, and not when they don’t. This means that local SEO is efficient AND cost-effective for your business.
Is this strictly organic or paid?
Many of the best local SEO tactics are FREE at the moment. It still costs nothing to claim your business on Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and other business directories. This means FREE and targeted traffic right to you!
Optimize information on your website
Update and secure your business listings on online directories
Have a solid link building strategy
Respond to reviews
Get on social media
So if you’re a business looking for new customers (who isn’t?), invest some time in local search. As you can see, it’s not too difficult or expensive to begin. Remember, there’s always someone out there who could use your services, or burritos, RIGHT NOW.
Contact us today for a free SEO audit to make sure you’re ready to go!