The importance of Local SEO for small businesses

| August 25, 2015

The importance of Local SEO for small businesses

Google is always in evolve mode when it comes to changing its algorithms and now it’s pulling in the reins on local businesses.

It’s become very important for you to be careful, or else people who are searching for you may feel you have closed or are out of business.

Very recently, Google announced that all the “My Business” accounts that were inactive might become unverified. Google Maps now has an update for Android that could tell users that your business has either closed/shut down if you don’t update your business hours.

New Notifications

This new notification will tell customers whether the location they are looking for is open or closed. In addition, it will also tell the users whether the location will be closed around the time they are estimated to arrive at it (even if the office/store was open when the user initially searched for it).

For example, if a person looks up the store location just 20 minutes before it shuts down for the day, but Maps has estimated that it will take him/her 30 minutes  to reach that point, they will receive a notification which tells them that the company or store will probably be closed by the time they get there.

Updating Information

The idea behind the update is that local businesses should ensure that their Google “My Business” account information is updated. Missing out on business because customers don’t know what the exact business hours isn’t something you would want. This is one more classic example of how Google as well as other search engines have started becoming very exacting with reference to companies toeing the line with all their online marketing efforts.

Strategies to Follow

Local optimisation has become a very important aspect of online marketing. Here are a few Local SEO strategies that you should adopt:

  • Local Maps- A larger  number of people are now using these technologies to look for businesses in a particular area, and as mentioned earlier, it’s important  to keep your  “My Business” account updated at all times
  • Indexing- Make sure that your business is indexed on Google, Bing and Apple as well as on Local-searches in your area. This step is different from ranking
  • Ranking- Once you have taken care of the indexing, ensure you focus on local ranking. All the content that features on your site should have keywords that are specifically  targeted to the local audience and the keywords and keyphrases you use should be in line with your geographical location
  • Common local searches- Make sure your business has been listed on different applications including FB, Foursquare & Citysearch. This will help you reach customers who are looking for your business via their mobile devices

Apart from this, hire the services of an experienced SEO professional and get them to optimise your site for local searches. This becomes a very crucial factor in Local SEO. Maintain a good local presence on Social Media and build a strong online community. All these things in combination will help you reach your target audience in a better way and reap business benefits.