There’s far more to a local search presence than simply listing your business on Google and the Yellow Pages. With the dynamics of internet searches now changing, users want access to more local information at the click of a button.
Thanks to the recently upgraded Google My Business, it’s now easier than ever to set your company apart from the rest. Information can be inputted once and automatically applied across all major Google platforms from Earth to Maps and Google+. But this is just the beginning. A local search profile should create brand loyalty, engage potential customers and skyrocket your SEO potential. Here’s a guide on how to build a show stopping local profile.
Keep information up to date
It’s now common knowledge that information on Google+ is used as a ranking factor. If business information on this platform is neither accurate nor up to date, Google will penalise said business. With that said, it’s essential to keep on top of your business information.
If opening hours change, this needs to be reflected on your Google+ profile. New website or physical address? This must be updated across all local search profiles. Aside from the potential SEO drawback, failing to input this revised information will likely lead to poor reviews. A customer may show-up at your shop an hour before opening because you were too lazy to add the correct information.
Always add images
As with all things web related, visual stimulus cannot be underestimated. In fact, according to a recent study, more than half of consumers gave more consideration to local results with images.
Local listings should always include a high quality and high-res image. Choose your most attractive selling point whether it be you’re vintage inspired shop front or a tower of chocolate cupcakes.
Listen to your customers
Although many neglect Google+ in favour of Facebook and Twitter, this social platform is just as important, especially for your local presence. Be sure to engage with customers by sharing content and blog posts. Simply adding pictures of the day-to-day running of your business is a great way to share your story. Or why not add images of new stock which has just arrived?
It’s a great way to communicate with customers, gain reviews, and act upon feedback. More online reviews highlights your credibility as a business, encouraging others to visit and leave feedback of their own.
Keep it specific
Choosing the right business category is often overlooked by many businesses. It couldn’t be easier as Google give a huge range of options when editing your profiling. Be sure to be as specific as possible. Google will highlight this niche across the general searches.
Therefore, if someone were to search ‘Bakery in Covent Garden’, Google would list a huge selection of options but highlight the speciality ‘Cupcake Shop’ ‘Wedding Cake’ ‘Wholesale Bakers’ etc. This instantly targets customers, so those looking for cupcakes or whatever speciality you serve, would seek you out.
As mentioned, reviews are the key to local presence success. It can be difficult to encourage a user to spare their valuable time and write a review, but that shouldn’t stop you trying. Always request a Google review for those clients which have recently bought a product or service.
Those who gain the most reviews are often persistent. If a user fails to leave a review after the first request, send a gentle reminder several days later. This can have a major impact on review conversions, catapulting your online presence and credibility.