You want to dominate your local market online, right?
That means you have to maximize your local search potential. You may want to discuss the following advice with your current marketing provider, to make sure they are taking all the right steps to increase your local visibility (of course, we would be happy to work with you, but mostly we just want you to make sure it gets done!).
The most important element of your local SEO effort is your Maps Strategy. In August of 2017, Google (which represents over 85% of local search) significantly changed their Maps pack, and many retailers are still unaware of the implications.
Before that change, local search would show 7 businesses in the first map results. After the change, that number was trimmed to 3. So you want to be one of the 3 businesses that shows up on the map for any search term or phrase that pertains to your business! And that competition is greater than ever.
Part of the search you cannot control. Google presents local search results according to the proximity of the listing options to the person doing the searching. So someone standing in front of your competitor’s store will see the competitor’s listing before they see yours, and vice versa.
But many aspects of the search you can control. Read on to learn how to improve your chances of being the choice of local searchers.
Leads to a new Maps listing of about 20 related businesses. On a desktop, that’s 20 listings on the left, and a map with your full listing on the right. On mobile – which is where the vast majority of this type of search occurs – your listing and map appear at the top (after any paid ads), and the related listings appear below your listing.
If you have optimized your business listing on Google Maps, your location, store hours, phone number(s), and any descriptive information will appear, followed by photos of the inside and outside of your store, and your Google reviews.
As you can imagine, the more information you provide here, the less likely someone is to go click on one of the related listings.
Be sure you have a website link on your Maps link, and make sure your store(s) address, phone, email, and other critical information appear on the footer of every page of your website. Don’t make searchers hunt for a Contact or About page to get this information.
This is a powerful review system, because even Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other review services can’t get themselves listed above the Google Maps results.
You’ve probably already claimed your business on Google, but you may need to do more work on the listing itself. Click the button below for instructions to update your Google business listing.
Make sure that whatever page Map searchers land on tells them the full story of your store and brand. In a simple, graphical way, that page should tell them your story, which includes:
This doesn’t mean send them to the typical “About” page! Today’s main landing page (ideally, your home page), tells the story that people used to click on each of the menu buttons for in the past. Back when websites were a novelty, consumers were willing to click on About, Shop, Services, and Contact.
Today, they want to scroll down one page that says and shows it all.
If you can’t modify your current website home page design to do this, consider creating a page elsewhere in your site that accomplishes this goal.
Ask your marketing provider to review your local Maps search strategy with you, and share this information with them. Hopefully, they’re already on it! And if they’re not, this is enough information to get them started.