Google and other search engines handle search a little differently for local businesses. I’m sure you’ve noticed that if you are standing in Coffs Harbour and you search for mechanic you will get a list of automotive places here on the Coffs Coast. You don’t get a list of mechanics in Sydney or Perth.
If your business is selling to local customers then you want your name to come up at the top when someone in Coffs Harbour searches for your products or services. This is referred to as Local SEO.
Improving your ranking is not nearly as difficult as some “SEO experts” would have you believe. Although I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was fiddly. The following steps are simple to do but may take you some time. However, the payback is potentially huge. The easier you make it for people to find your business….well, you know the rest!
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
The Google My Business listing enables your business to show up across all Google platforms: search, maps and Google +. Once listed customers can find you quickly and easily on any device.
Your business may already be listed on Google My Business, but it’s important that you claim your listing and ensure that all the details in your listing are correct. Click here for instructions.
Get your business is listed in leading local directories
Every time your local business address is listed in a directory, search engines give you another tick as a bona fide local business. So take up the free listings in local directories. If you’re not sure which listings to go for, check out our list of high authority Australian directories.
Our article Using Local Directory Listings to Climb to the Top of Google for has more on this subject.
Make sure your Name, Address & Phone are the same everywhere
This step is critical! Search engines use your Business Name, Address and Phone (NAP) information to match up all the references to your business online. So if one listing has you as “Joe’s Garage” and another as “Joe’s Automotive”, search engines get confused.
First, make sure that the NAP information on your website is correct. Then go through all your directory listings and match the NAP information to that on your website.
If you have other staff members who are responsible for managing listings make sure they have precise instructions on how those listings should appear.
Ask your customers for online reviews
Local search engines are in the business of providing people with information to help them make decisions and customer reviews do just that. According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey online reviews make up as much as 10% of Google and other search engines ranking results.
So it pays to ask your customers for reviews – whether it’s on Facebook, Google or Yelp.
Manage every local location separately
If Joe’s Automotive has a garage in Coffs Harbour and another in Grafton, then you want the business to show up in local listings for both places.
First it’s a good idea to have a separate page on your website for each local office. This helps search engines understand that you have separate locations.
Second, repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 above for each location. Make sure you have consistent directory listings for each location.
SPECIAL OFFER TO COFFS COAST BUSINESSES ONLY
If you want to improve your Local SEO then the best place to start is by assessing where you are at right now.
Our Local SEO Checkup report looks at your current ranking and then goes in depth to review all the various things that influence that ranking so you know what needs to be tweeked to bump yourself up the search rankings.
Normally our Local SEO Report costs $250 but for the month of June we are offering it for free to Coffs Coast business owners only.