Local businesses are the backbone of many areas. The relationships you form and the personalised service and care you offer beats any online transaction.
Unfortunately though, without plenty of discipline and a strong online presence, it may be difficult to win over the hearts of the community these days if you’re not showing up in local searches on Google. The world functions on computer screens and smartphones it seems and getting attention of your local buyers is getting harder by the day.
There are plenty of ways to improve your local ranking as a local business, but not a lot come close to being in front of people when they’re on Google searching for what you sell. Read these 9 ways to improve your local ranking on Google so you can guarantee your business will get the appreciation and exposure it deserves.
1. Keep Your NAP Consistent and Correct
One of the most annoying situations for a potential customer is to be starving hungry, searching for a local restaurant, finding one, and then discovering their provided phone number doesn’t work, or they’re no longer at that address.
To keep locals from creating an uproar about incorrect contact information, go onto your site, your social media, or any other listing you might have to check your provided name, address, and phone number. Correct, consistent information will boost your local rankings.
Likewise, incorrect or inconsistent information can hurt your rankings.
If you’d like to take it a step further, one day while running errands, search your provided address, put it into your own GPS, and see if it takes you there without any issues.
Fun fact: Half of the customers who searched a business on their phone visited it the same day. It’s your job to make sure they are getting to the right place after they search it.
2. Respect the Reviews
Being a local business comes with a high sense of vulnerability. You must be willing to accept not only the praise but the unfortunate criticism.
When customers google local listings, they most likely will check for reviews and responses to the reviews. The better and quicker your responses, the better.
One idea to get more mileage from your awesome reviews is to take the positive reviews you receive and create a social media post with them. Everyone loves to see praise! However, don’t forget to privately thank your customer who provided the positive response.
As far as the negative responses, respond to them respectfully, addressing their concerns and then learning from your mistakes.
3. Keep Creating
Constantly fresh content, whether it is posting reviews, posting photos of your products, or adding a new header photo to brighten up your site, will keep your rankings growing.
If a site looks out-of-date, not cared for, or bland, people will automatically think your business is too. A simple post per day, even on social media, can work miracles for your business.
Fresh social media content with a link in the bio will up your online traffic. Give customers a taste of what you can do, and they will end up searching for more. If you’re stuck on layouts for a site, it’s okay to ask for a little help.
4. Local Rankings Improve with Local Engagement
You have a perfect opportunity for growth if your town offers any sort of local market or local business showcase. By engaging with your community by showing face, your online presence will grow even stronger.
A simple handshake, smile, and business card can go a long way!
With over 2 million small businesses in Australia, going the extra mile with your community is what could make you or break your business.
5. Become Mobile
If you want to learn how to rank higher in Google Maps, you must cater to the device that is used most to access Google Maps – a smartphone.
When a customer can easily navigate through your site by searching it in the car, you’re doing something right. Pull your site up on your own phone and test how easily you can get through it.
If you see that a certain drop-down menu can be changed for the better on your phone or if the font is too small, go to your desktop and fix those details immediately.
The last thing you want is someone giving up on trying your business because your site doesn’t cater to a cellphone. Always be one step ahead of the present and cater to the technology of the future.
6. Mix up the Media
This goes back to the fresh content idea. If you want people to stay interested in your site and for your rankings to improve, mix up the way you present information, ideas, or products to your customer.
With all the options on social media and online platforms, the possibilities are endless. One day try uploading a fun photo, but why not try uploading a short, fun video on the next day?
If you want to have a little extra fun, take a poll on what your lunch special for the next day should be or have an employee spotlight when you see someone showing amazing service. Customers love a business where the employees are appreciated.
7. It’s Okay to Creep
One of the best ways to have an edge on the competition is to know your competition and their local results.
Take some time out of your day to write down who your main competition within your town is. Once you have a list down, visit all their sites, go through their reviews, and understand what their advantages or weak points are.
If you see another business doing something you like, don’t copy them but let them inspire you. Take the energy and motivation they have for something and let it power your site.
8. Use Keywords
A sure way to boost online traffic is the use of keywords. Using keywords will help you appear more often and higher on Google rankings.
Make sure you research keywords to use in your articles and keep them interesting and natural. If you use words that seem forceful or misleading, it could hurt your rankings.
When you find a keyword that works for you, don’t overuse it. You don’t want to exhaust the reader while they are trying to learn more about you. Make it cool and casual.
9. Find Customers Elsewhere
With growing platforms such as Facebook, you have access to so many customers outside of the potential ones finding you in their independent google searches.
Some people google local listings but many also click on highly praised businesses they see their friends and family attending.
Make sure you encourage customers to tag your location on Facebook or maybe even create incentives for those who share their experience on Facebook. One post could pull in a large handful of their closest friends, giving you the business you want and deserve.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you have a handful of helpful tips, use them immediately to improve your local ranking. Like said before, it isn’t difficult. All it takes is some fresh ideas and discipline.
If you’re still a little lost or unsure where to even start, get in touch with us for a complimentary local ranking audit worth $199 so you know which improvements to tackle first, or check out our site for ideas about website layouts, tips on SEO optimisation, and so much more.
Start now to give your business the online presence it needs.
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