3 Things Every Local Business Should Be Doing Online
Nowadays virtually everyone uses the Internet to find local businesses in their area. Google and other search engines have become the modern-day yellow pages – it’s how customers find the services and products they’re looking for. With all this information available at the click of a mouse, local businesses must make it their priority to make the most of their online real estate.
Top 3 Things Every Local Business Should Be Doing Online
1. Claim Your Local Business Listing on Google, Yahoo and Bing
One of the first steps to optimize your website for local search results is to claim your free business listing on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Together these account for roughly 95% of all online searches, with Google dominating nearly 2/3 of the market. All three offer free local listings to businesses so potential customers searching for your services can easily find your business information and quickly act upon that it.
To find out if your business listing has been claimed, visit Get Listed. By inputting your business name and zip code, they will check to see if your business has been listed on the most popular search engines. Claiming your listing is fairly easy, optimizing it takes a bit more work. For starters, make sure you fill out all required and optional text fields for your business.
2. Create Separate Landing Pages For Each Location
Do all of your company’s locations have their own SEO optimized landing page? If you have more than one business location or service area, you will need to create a separate page for each location – and each should have slightly different content from the others. And don’t forget to make sure that those landing pages link back to your website.
Let search engines know what locations you are targeting by including geo-specific terms, keywords and phrases in the following places on your website:
- Page Titles
- Meta Descriptions
To learn more about customizing HTML tags, please check out the Top 5 On-Page SEO Elements of a Perfectly Optimized Web Page.
3. Run Locally-Targeted Ad Campaigns
Another way to drive targeted, local traffic to your website is with the help of locally-targeted pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. When compared to the non-internet and traditional forms of advertising which local businesses have come to rely upon (e.g. phone books, radio, newspaper, TV. etc.), PPC advertising can actually be an extremely affordable and highly effective alternative. A properly managed PPC campaign will, by design, only send qualified visitors to your website. On top of that, you will only pay for those visitors if, and only if, they actually visit your website.
Example: If you run a bakery in Portsmouth NH, you can target your ads to the city of Portsmouth to attract local customers when they search for baguettes on Google.com.
To learn more about the benefits of PPC advertising, please check out How Paid Search Advertising can Benefit Your Inbound Marketing.