Some small businesses may not have the time or budget needed to run a local search campaign. Fortunately, there are many important tasks you can perform that will boost your local search results without consuming your days.
1. Create a My Business Page
Every small business will benefit from having a complete Google My Business page. A properly filled out page will act as a key local listing by putting your location on Google Maps. With your business on the map you will show up in Maps searches and, if you optimize correctly, map packs for organic searches.
2. Add NAP to Your Website
The next tip applies to any business that has a website, which should mean all of you. The name, address, and phone number (NAP) for your location should be displayed on at least one page of your website. This information needs to be crawlable by search engines, meaning it must be text and not placed in an image. BizTraffic opted to add our NAP as a footer on every page.
Once you’ve added your NAP, be sure you stick to it when creating listings in other directories. Displaying inconsistent contact information is one thing you should never do.
3. Choose Your Categories
Ranking up near the top of the list of most important local search factors are business categories. Every listing you create will allow you to set one or more categories for your business. Search engines use this category data to decide which businesses to display for certain searches. An un- or miscategorized location will not be displayed in searches for your relevant keywords. Categories will vary between between major search engines, and some will be broader than others.
4. Include Attractive Photos
While the addition of images to your listings will probably not increase your ranking, listings with attractive photos have been shown to receive more clicks than those without. Any pictures you choose to display should be high quality, but what they are of will depend on what your business does.
Many businesses choose to display photos of their buildings or logo, but you should avoid this practice unless your business actually deals in real estate or logo design. Pictures that display your product or a service you provide can help set your business apart from competitors.
5. Identify High Quality Directories
Search engines look for trusted and consistent location information to display in results pages. When it comes to building these citations, you should favor quality over quantity.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are always great places to start. As are data aggregators like Acxiom, Infogroup, Localeze, and Factual. However, you should also target sources that are more specific to your industry and location. A quick way to find some of these is by searching for “[city] directory” or “[industry] directory”.
Optimizing for local search should be treated as an ongoing process. Local SEO campaigns exist for a reason. We have documented some of the problems you will probably be faced with and how to resolve them. Implementing some of these tips into a weekly routine will provide a good starting point for improving your local search results.