Online presence is something that every business needs. Local businesses, in particular, can benefit immensely by having a significant online presence. The search engine rankings of your business could translate into more clicks, more visitors, and, in turn, more revenue. So, whether you have a brick and mortar business or an online business, your number one priority should be to improve your visibility and rank high on Google and other search engines.
Now, if you do not have a great deal of SEO (search engine optimization) experience, you are not alone. Many business owners do not know how to rank local businesses and often depend on third party experts to get it done. There are, however, a number of things that you can do yourself to move up on the local SERP (search engine results page).
Best Strategies to Improve Search Rankings
Make a List of Keywords
If you want to know how to rank local businesses, this is the first thing you need to do. You should make a list of all the possible keywords and phrases that a customer might use to search for your business. For example, if you have a printing press in Austin, you should target keywords like ‘printing press Austin’, ‘printing presses Austin’, ‘Austin printing press’, ‘Austin Texas printing press’ and so on. You can use Google Webmaster tools to find out which are the keywords that customers use to search for a business like yours.
Create Optimized Website Content
Creating high-quality, optimized content is one of the most effective ways to establish a strong online presence. You have to make sure your website content is original, interesting to read, and has the right amount of keywords – especially in the titles and subtitles.
Set Up a Google My Business Page
If you are wondering how to rank local businesses, this is one of the most important steps you need to take. With a My Business page, Google offers you a free business listing on Google Maps and Google Search. What this means is that whenever people search for local businesses, your business too will show up on the results page – with all the information like phone number, address, and website. So, take your time and make sure you set up the page perfectly. Enter your phone number, physical address, website and blog URL, and other information that you think might be relevant. Also, do not forget to add a photo.
Most importantly, verify your business with Google. During the verification process, Google will contact you – either by sending you a letter or by calling you – and confirm that the details you have entered on your My Business page are indeed correct. A verified business listing offers you a great opportunity to improve your search engine visibility.
Set Up a Blog
Set up a blog and link it to your business website. You can blog about your business, the products and services you offer, the latest happenings in the industry, and other related things. Over time, you will be able to develop a loyal reader base, which could increase your blog’s rankings, and in turn, your website’s rankings. Also, if people find your blog interesting, they will definitely want to check out your website. It means more visitors, many of whom could become your customers!
Add Your Business to Local Listings
Add your business to the local directories, yellow pages, review websites, and other websites that offer to list your business – either free of cost or for a small fee. Make sure that the details entered in all the listings are accurate. There is nothing Google hates more than inconsistent and inaccurate information. Also, whenever you change your phone number, move to a new location, or open a new branch, make sure you update all your business profiles and listings.
Ask for Customer Reviews
Any guide on how to rank local businesses will be incomplete without this tip. Ask your existing customers to leave a review on your Google Plus page or any other review website for that matter. Even if some of them leave negative reviews, do not try to brush things under the carpet. Talk to those people and find out why they left negative reviews and try to address their grievances. It will generate a ton of goodwill for your business and also let potential customers know that you care about satisfying each and every customer.
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