Since the uptake of mobile led searches, there’s never been greater emphasis on “near me” listings. In fact, according to a recent Google Trends reports, searches with terms such as ‘nearby’ or ‘near me’ have more than doubled since 2014.
In this new era of convenience, users want local information at the click of a button. Options are needed quickly as consumers choose somewhere to eat and shop, spend time with friends or enjoy entertainment. In that same report, it was revealed that four out of five searches carried out on mobile devices resulted in a purchase. Those conversion rates can’t be argued with!
Being on hand to capitalise on these local searches could see sales and profits soar as you meet the demands of the local audience. Here’s some tips for getting local SEO right in 2017.
Invest in Google AdWords Location Extensions
Make any search with the term ‘nearby’ and Google will display a list of three of four suggested entries. Most of these will include a location extension, a handy extra that includes the company address details, contact information and a useful click-to-call phone icon. Giving users this readily available information has shown to increase click through conversions by up to 10%.
Validate all your business directory listings
Despite the impressive listings for local searches from Google, users are still looking to other directories for information. In fact, recent studies suggest the Yellow Pages is not only more likely to be used for basic company information – address, telephone, hours of operation – but also has the highest share of searches for independent businesses. From Bing Places to Yelp, TripAdvisor, UrbanSpoon and so on, it’s essential to add correct information to every type of directory online.
Don’t underestimate Google Reviews
Did you know that Google Reviews are one of the most influential ranking factor for getting your business on the elusive top three local search listings? Encourage your existing customers to leave reviews by whatever means necessary. It may be a polite email reminder with a link to leave a review, or an incentive such as entry into a competition draw for anyone willing to leave a review. This is one of the best ways to increase your visibility on the local listings.
Market on Mobile Apps
Mobile apps are big business and provide another platform to showcase your brand. Utilise an in-app advertising ad network such as ReachLocal’s ReachDisplay, or why not advertise on Facebook using ‘local awareness ads’? This form of targeted promotion only appears to those in the local vicinity according to a demographic that you’ve stipulated. It’s a great way to improve conversions without unnecessary cost on spreading the net too far.
As with SEO best practices concerning all forms of web marketing, it’s essential to make sure your site is mobile friendly. While you may encourage local users to click through from Google’s listings, if the site doesn’t perform well on their device, they’ll quickly lose interest. Avoid losing out to the competition by implementing a striking and user friendly design across all platforms.