Being found locally for any small business is crucial. As of May 2015, Google acknowledged that search on mobile devices in ten counties, including the United States, surpassed that of desktop searches. With this revelation of how important mobile search is it is more important than ever that your business is truly prepared for local search. Searching on mobile uses geographic (location based) search to determine the most relevant information.
Search engine optimization or SEO will take weeks, possibly months, to learn and a lifetime to master as it is changing on a weekly basis. That doesn't mean you can't do it yourself or be knowledgeable to get your local search performing better. Below we will cover the five biggest areas for improvement to get the most immediate gain when it comes to local search.
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone when it comes to local search. Often the NAP includes a U for URL. Having consistency in this information goes far. Having your business setup for local on Google, Bing, and Yahoo is critical. There is more than just these three. There are over 50 business directories on the internet with more added all the time. Having this information match 100%, not 99%, will greatly help with this.
Structured Meta Data
When it comes to local SEO and regular SEO structured meta data is important. With structured meta data you can provide some critical information to the search engines. One key aspect is your exact latitude and longitude which lets the search engines and the maps of the internet know exactly where you are located. Most modern content management systems (CMS) that are optimized for SEO will have the ability out of the box (no need for plugins) to add this information to your website.
Structured meta data may be the new kid that the search engines are looking at but the old school meta information is equally important. Every page should have a unique title and a well written description of what the page is. Titles should be between 50-60 characters and descriptions around 160 characters. We always asked about what meta keywords we are setting a page up for. The real answer is none. The meta keyword attribute has been so abused over the years Google, Bing, and Yahoo do not use it. The keywords are formed based on the content information that is written on each individual page. When it comes to a first impression the title and description will be the first item someone will see about your local business.
Continuing the NAP talk of above on business directories make certain that you are fully listed on each one of the business directories. When possible include your logo, description, pictures, and hours of operation.
Speaking of Hours…
The hours you are open is important to the search engines and the people looking for your business. Not only can you display the hours visually this information can be included in your structured meta data. If your business is having extended hours or closing for a given holiday, make certain to let the search engines know so that they can inform those that are looking for you. It is never good to have a person post on your social media page stating they drove to your business and you were closed.
Working with a company that specializes in search engine optimization for small and medium sized businesses is crucial. JM2 Webdesigners is a local marketing company in Valparaiso Indiana that is dedicated to your growth. We look at all the above and many more when we help get your business online. With fair pricing and a team of graphic designers, web designers, customer service, content writers, developers, and SEO experts we are here to assist you in every aspect of your inbound internet marketing. You can reach us at , email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our online contact form here.