These local SEO strategies are for companies whom want to raise their visibility for Google local searches, meaning where Google shows 3-7 nearby businesses along with a map, normally combined into the usual Google search results. Here’s some examples of searches where the searcher is seeking a product or service for the town of Aldershot:
Before we consider these strategies, please tick the following boxes:
- You’ve submitted a Google Places listing for a company, plus verified it. If not, please read this particular article initially about doing precisely that.
- You have a company address and associated telephone number for the town you need to be found inside. So if you need to be found for pubs inside Aldershot, you ought to have a 01252 phone amount plus an address based inside Aldershot. This sounds obvious, but if you based somewhere else, don’t try and fiddle things with Google – it’s just not worth it.
- You have used the same business address and telephone number in the Google Places listing, and it’s the same as the details on your website (in the event you have one).
1. Remove Duplicates
If the company name, address or telephone number are found on more than 1 Google Places page, then delete duplicate listings if you have the login details, or report those to Google if you don’t have login details for them.
2. Get Descriptive
Write a 300+ word description of the company. If you’re garage wanting to be found for MOT in Aldershot, make sure those words are in your description, but don’t spam the words. Make it nice and readable.
3. Get Visual
Upload at least 5 images plus 1 youtube video if you can. If you can include your keywords in your image file name, even better – hairdresser-aldershot-shopfront.jpg is better than plain old image1.jpg
4. Link to your Website
You don’t have to link to your website homepage. If you’ve talked about your product or services in your Google Places description, why not link to your Product or Services Listing page.
5. Be Consistent
Make sure this webpage has the same telephone number and address (normally in footer of webpage) as in Google Places. And if you can, in exactly the same format. So 01252 700200 is slightly different 01252 700 200. Choose a format, and then stick to it across all your online presence – that includes business directories.
6. Decide What You Are
Choose the right categories for your business. This is more about what you are, then what you offer. So you are a dentist who offers root canal treatment – dentist is what you choose for one of your categories.
7. Make the Phone Ring
Make your telephone number prominent on every web page, put it high up, and make it attract the eye. When people look for local businesses, they often just want contact details, and quickly. Email and address is also good to have on each page, but telephone number is the most important.
And if that telephone is clickable from a smartphone, that will make it even easier for mobile users, and will increase the calls you get. Test it on your smartphone today and see.
8. Get Mapped
Embed a google map on your contact us page on the website, or even better, on the page you link to from Google Places.
9. Show People Like You
Ask happy clients to leave feedback at your Google Places listing, but not all at once. To start with, just ask one client a week. Once you have a few, you can then ask every day.
Why not give clients a postcard when they leave you, with instructions on how to leave their feedback?
Why not give them a free little something if they come back again and show you their review?
And if they can’t log into Google, or don’t have a Gmail account, that’s fine. Google scans reviews from sites like Yell or Qype – ask clients to leave a review there instead.
10. Get Social
Your Google Places business listing now means you’re on Google+. Google+ is a social network, just like Twitter or Facebook. If you’re already busy on social media sending out news, offers or updates about your business, how much more effort would it be to send it out from your Google+ business page? Tools like Hootsuite can help you with this.
This activity shows Google you’re an active business, and will help your listing rise above the competition.
Sit Back and Wait
If you’ve done at least half of the points above, that’s good. Now sit back and see what happens. Check back on Google and see if your local listing moves higher. And always ask your clients how they found you – it’s always good to know what part of your marketing mix is working.
Please comment below if you have any questions about any of this. Or if you have any success stories. Or nightmares! I will always try and help local businesses get found online if I can. And sharing our experiences can only help the local business community.