Don’t Fret! 5 “C” Words for Local Listing Success

local seoAre you frustrated with your local business’ search engine ranking in Google? Do you only find your company on page 15 of Bing search results? Is the picture above your reaction when talking about internet marketing?

Don’t worry, because we’re here to help! Here are 5 simple “C” words (that don’t involve any “c”urse words) that will guide your marketing efforts and gain you some easy leads.

1. Citations says that the worst factor in negative local rankings is having your business listed in a false location. Especially in the case of businesses that have been around for several years, old phone numbers, former company names, out of date addresses and defunct email contacts are bound to be floating around online.

Here are some examples of sites where inconsistent listings for your business may be housed:

In order to make your citations consistent across these sites and others, one option is hiring a data aggregating service that will organize, compile and update inconsistent listings across all websites for you. Some popular sites for this kind of service are:

Another alternative approach is to manually adjust each listing of top local listing sites that apply to your business, which can be time consuming, but effective. If you would like to get an idea of how your business listing accuracy is in its current form, check out the Moz Local feature.

2. Categories

When setting up your Google for Local Business page, it is essential to sort your business into the categories that you fall into based on pre-set Google categories.

Once signing up, you get to choose one main category, then nine additional categories that apply to your business. These categories are vital since they are the foundation for all initial search terms related to your business.

When selecting your categories, you should be careful, because putting “Asian Cuisine” as a category when running a pizza parlor can drastically decrease users’ chance of finding you in searches.

For examples of how to orient for the different needs of your business, check out the Google category support page.

3. Community

When looking to draw a local crowd, it is important to include the name of your locality in the description of your business.

A study conducted by Google and Ipos MediaCT found that “four in five consumers want search ads to be customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings.” By including your locale in your search description, title, and keywords, you can target the crowd that best fits your services.

Here’s an example of one of our paid local campaign ads that utilizes these tactics:

local seo

local seo

As you can see, when users type in the search term “Cleveland SEO,” one of our ads specifically related to our Cleveland clientele pops up, significantly helping us for local searches and traffic.

4. Conciseness

Keep the descriptions and titles for your Google ads and search links concise and enticing. Don’t let your description tags and character tags get cut off in your web descriptions. Title tags should have a maximum of 60 characters while description tags should have 155-160 characters, as seen in this example:

local seo

Also, make sure the messaging on your site advertisement is timely. For example, this advertisement above has a new year theme and debuted at an opportune time within the first month of the year.

If aspects of your business change or your traffic goals evolve, you may want to revisit the metadata on certain pages and freshen it up.

5. Competitive Content

Having an edge over your competitors by having unique services and a cohesive identity is key to the online market.

  • For example: If I am doing an online search of “donuts shops near me” and “Joe Schmo’s Donuts” – a new place in town – shows up, I want to know why it’s going to be a better option than my favorite, nostalgic Becker’s donuts.
  • Know the crowd that you want to target by incorporating copy that relates to that audience. So, if “Joe Schmo’s Donuts” wanted to compete with “Becker’s donuts,” their search listing would need to tell me what about their company is going to be better or different.
  • Sprucing up your site with engaging blog content and video clips, and revamping your social media, can also make for simple quick-wins for your company’s brand. Many small businesses even use social pages as an alternative to a website, which, depending on the locality, can be nearly as effective as a traditional site.

Regardless of your presentation choice, centering your content around keywords that relate back to your business is essential to driving views and engagement.

A “C”onclusion

Hopefully this article has made your opinions on setting up accurate local web listings go from this:

local seo

To this:

local seo

For more great tips on how to optimize your business via e-commerce strategies, check out our article on “How to Improve Your Site’s SEO in 2017.”

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