Local SEO has the potential to be even more profitable and effective than general search engine optimization. Recent statistics show that nearly half of all Google searches are local; what is more, up to half of all individuals who look for a local business using a mobile device visit a business they found the very same day. Following are some tried and proven ways you can tap into the local search engine market in your city.

1. Go Mobile

It has been estimated that 80% of all mobile phone users own a smartphone. Given this fact, it is not surprising that many businesses are investing in mobile marketing in their local area. However, there are a few important things you will want to do before investing in online advertisements targeting mobile phone users.

Make Sure Your Website is Responsive

If your website theme is more than a few years old, chances are it isn't responsive. What this means is that smartphone users will have a hard time browsing your site; this in turn will likely lead potential clients to reach out to a competitor whose site can easily be viewed on a mobile device.

Check Your Website Load Time

Networks used by mobile users typically aren't as fast as those used indoors. Check your website load time to ensure smartphone users won't have to wait longer than a couple seconds to see your website. If your website doesn't load quickly, consider removing large graphics, flash or other features that slow the loading time. This benefits not only mobile users but also those who reach your site using a regular computer.

Use Text Messaging

It is not out of place to use text messaging to advertise special deals and discounts. Just be sure to avoid spamming people or texting too often. Tailor your texts to meet potential customers' specific needs as doing so will increase your site visits and sales.

2. Get Detailed

Provide as much information to Google as possible. Doing so increases your chances of being listed as one of the top three businesses in your industry in your local area.

Important business information to provide includes:

  • Business phone number
  • Address
  • Hours of operation
  • Business URL
  • Accurate, detailed terms that best describe your company

3. Make Sure it's Accurate

Inaccurate information doesn't just make it hard for customers to find you. It will also lower your standing in Google. Check your business profile carefully and make sure your business name and address is properly spelled. Update your information immediately if you move and/or change your phone number. Add new business locations as soon as you open them. Need help with this? Visit our local SEO services page to learn more about keeping your data in sync.

4. Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

Positive reviews boost your business in two important ways. They show new customers that you can be trusted, encouraging them to do business with you. They also boost your standing in Google due to the fact that reviews almost invariably use keywords you want your company to rank for.

One of the best ways to encourage your customers to post reviews is to offer them an incentive for doing so. Posting a review takes time and some thought, so reward your customers for the effort by offering a discount coupon or a freebie if they post an honest review of your products and/or services.

What if it's Bad?

Every single business gets at least some negative reviews. This can happen for a number of reasons:

  • One of your products was defective
  • Someone in your business was having a bad day and/or made an honest mistake
  • The customer was impossible to please
  • The customer didn't fully understand what you do and don't offer, leading to unmet expectations

Don't panic if you get a bad review. Businesses that have only five star review ratings actually look less trustworthy than ones that have a few negative reviews as most consumers are well aware of the fact that companies can easily buy reviews from fake review writing websites. Having mostly positive reviews with a few negative reviews thrown in shows that your reviews are coming from real customers.

If you get a negative review, look into the situation and post an appropriate reply. Apologize if warranted, offer a discount or some form of assistance or explain any valid reasons why your company did not meet the customer's expectations. Doing so shows potential customers that you care about them and can in some cases even cause the reviewer to leave a positive review after the situation has been resolved.

Using local SEO tactics isn't just a nice thing to do. It's a must if you want your business to grow and prosper now and in the future. If you're too busy to handle this all important aspect of business advertising, consider getting in touch with us. Brandgy specializes in local SEO along with other tried and proven online marketing strategies to help your company consistently and successfully reach its target audience.