Beating the Big Guys: How Small Businesses Can Win with Local Search

| January 19, 2016

Beating the Big Guys: How Small Businesses Can Win with Local Search

Local search is a boon for small business owners and businesses that don’t operate on a national level. It allows small businesses to establish themselves locally and draw traffic away from the big businesses. While the big companies might have the funding and the brand recognition, they simply can’t focus on local regions as well as small businesses can. The benefit of local search only translates into revenue if it’s utilized properly. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you utilize the potential of local SEO to the fullest.

Claim Your Business

When you claim your business on Google, you have a chance of getting listed on the local 3-pack. Essentially, they are the top three most relevant results to the keyword searched. If a person performs a search with the keywords connected to your industry, you want to be one of the three businesses listed on the SERP. This is where you’ll have the greatest advantage over the bigger players.

To be listed on the SERP, the business needs to have a local presence and local citations. That is something most big businesses wouldn’t have. You need to claim your business on Google My Business and update your website’s local markup. That would allow Google to find your business and website and display it whenever it matches the search term.

Optimize for My Business

You might have claimed your business on Google, but if you need your business on the SERP, you need to optimize it as well. You can do that by ensuring the following:

  • Your NAP data, that is your name, address, phone number data should be consistent everywhere on the internet. If there’s too much conflicting data, Google will simply skip you rather than risk giving users outdated information. Keeping your NAP data up-to-date is very important.
  • Get the right local markup on your website. That markup is a tag that would allow the search engine bots to recognize you. If you don’t include the markup in your website’s code, it won’t be displayed.
  • Get local citations and reviews on high authority local websites. The best place to look for is Yelp and Google+. You can encourage your customers to leave a review of even mark your listing with five stars. Stars are very helpful and will draw more customers to you.

When you do this, you’ll rank high enough to have a near permanent place in Google’s Local 3-Pack.

Local Search Engine Optimization

You need to shift your focus off generic keywords and start using long tail keywords with place names. For example, if you run a pizzeria in Pasadena, you might want to target keywords like ‘authentic Italian pizza in Pasadena’ or ‘fresh Italian pizza in Pasadena’. As you can see, these keywords will place you directly on the top with local listings on the SERP. The more selective you are with your keywords, the higher the chances are that you’ll succeed.

If you keep these points in mind, you’ll be able to easily compete with the big names of the industry.