Small Business Marketing Strategies: How to Optimize for Local Search on Google

Search engine optimization for local searches requires quite a different approach than what would be used for searches on a larger scale. In this article I’m going to share with you the what’s required to perform well in local search so that your small business marketing stays on target.Claim your Google Business Listing. Sign into Google Business Listing Center, and claim your listing. You will then be able to appear on the Google Map – which is really something that will help your local business. There are so many mobile devices in operation nowadays – your business needs to be available online for people searching for suppliers when they are on the road. Your business will also be displayed on laptop and computer based searches.Categorize correctly. To categorize, think about what a person would need to Google to find a business like yours. Think products and services. If you are a bakery, a searcher might use ‘cakes’ or ‘bread’ as opposed to ‘bakery’. Get clear on you categories and use them consistently – don’t overlap.Consistency, accuracy and currency. Keep all mentions of your business consistent. This means address, categorization, telephone numbers, and website addresses. Google is going to be checking the data that is available. Google works hard at producing relevant result, so make sure it can find you and feel confident that you are open for business. Check data in other online directories such as Yellow Pages and InfoUSA for consistency.Add a meta description to your site. A meta description is a brief and concise description of your company. It will be displayed in search results under the link to a website page. It counts in search engine optimization and should be written to accompany each page. It should contain your selected keywords (i.e. products, brands and location). It should encourage viewers of a search result page to click into your site. A strong keyworded meta description not only supports your small business marketing efforts, it will help with your search engine results too. Add your telephone number to it too – so that people can call you immediately without even needing to go into your website.Get customer reviews. Ensure that your business is collecting reviews. If there isn’t an industry review site, then direct happy clients to your Google Business Listing. Google is watching the quantity and quality of reviews in addition to your prospects. Encourage and ask customers for reviews in emails, on business cards and on invoices.Age of your domain counts. It’s not just about how old your site is, it’s about how long it has left on its registration too. Register your domain name for at least another 5 years. Google wants to know that you are going to be around for quite a while longer yet, and you are not just a fly by night business setup.Videos and images. Add videos and images to your Google Business Listing. You can add 10 images and up to 5 videos. Also add video and images to your site. Google is looking for credibility and so are your customers. They want to know how your premises look.Do you have an establishment of some quality or is it just an aluminum roadside shack?Link to directories. Get the word out about your business by adding it to directories, like InfoUSA and Yellow Pages, and Google will check to see what coverage there is of a business to determine whether it is a credible business.Your small business marketing efforts may significantly improve by paying attention to the details of Google Local Business listings. It’s your turn to shine, and to reel in the profits!