Best local SEO practice is extremely important for restaurants, shops, or other local businesses. Potential customers not only look for companies in their area on the web but also increase the chance that these customers will also shop in the store they have found or use a service there. To be as present as possible in the local search results, web admins should create some conditions that are examined in more detail here.
Digital presence for local businesses
Whether you are a retailer, restaurateur or craftsman – a digital presence is of great importance for you as a local company. Permanent Reviews supports you with your entries in digital business directories and with the management of customer reviews. This is how you can successfully improve your local findability.
Local Search: Opportunity for local business owners
As a local company, the Internet offers opportunities to acquire new customers and maintain contact with regular customers. Most prospects search Google first and decide on a business based on local search results fed by Google My Business listings. It is, therefore, all the more important to ensure that interested parties can also find your company in the local search.
Big challenges for local businesses
The great potential of the Internet means a challenge for you as a local company at the same time. The monitoring of online reviews and the administration of entries in business directories generate expenditure in terms of personnel and time. Permanent Reviews allow you to manage your digital presence in one place to save time.
Play the digital card
With Permanent Reviews, you manage your online presence effectively in one application. You can organize your online reviews and business directory listings in one tool. With little effort, you can ensure that your company has an appealing online presence and can be found in local searches.
Perfect for any company that serves customers or consumers on site
Best local SEO is not limited to a specific industry. In principle, all companies that offer their services or products in a specific location benefit, whether they are lawyers, agencies, doctors, restaurants, or gas and water fitters. According to a Google study from 2014, more than 80 percent of all customers search for the desired business online beforehand.
Fifty percent of search queries ultimately lead to a visit, and almost a fifth of searchers visit the company on the same day to buy something or use a service. A study by Brightlocal from 2014 also showed that more than two-fifths of those surveyed find companies with their website more reputable and therefore prefer to visit such shops.
Ultimately, it is important for local providers to have a website and to rank in the top 3 in local search results. Because more than 95 percent of all users choose a hit on the first search results page when doing a local search. Since August 2015, Google has only displayed three search hits in local search results by default, meaning that your business must also be listed there to get more visitors via local search. The following points can help to achieve top rankings in local search hits.
This acronym stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. This information should be available on every page to make it easier for Google to establish a local connection to your website. If you only have one company headquarters, you can insert this data in the footer, for example. Make sure your data is consistent and use it everywhere, i.e. the same address details and company names in business directories, on social media channels, or on the Google My Business page.
- Name: Always enter the complete company name here. Alternatively, you can also supplement it with a service.
Example: Al dente – pasta restaurant or Gelatissimo GmbH – vegan ice cream
- Address: Always enter your company address according to the same scheme.
- Phone numbers: When entering your phone number, include the country code and separate the area code with spaces, brackets, or hyphens, i.e., +49 30 123456/ +49 (30) 123456 / +49-40-123456.
To increase the local reference on your site, the following measures can be carried out, explained using the example of “Pizzeria Al Dente” in Stuttgart:
- Insertion of the city or the region, as well as a central keyword in the title tag of the landing page
Title (max. 55 characters): Pizzeria Al Dente in Stuttgart
- Inserting the city or region and a central keyword in the H1 heading of the landing page
H1: Pizzeria Al Dente in Stuttgart – your favorite local Italian!
- Insertion of the city or the region as well as a central keyword in the meta description of the home page:
Description (max. 155 characters): Pizzeria Al Dente in Stuttgart-Degerloch. Food like in Bella Italia. Call now and reserve a table: 0711/12456!
- insertion of the city or the region as well as a central keyword in the URL of the landing page
- Insertion of the city or region and a central keyword in the content of the landing page
- Inserting the city or region and a central keyword in the alt attributes of the images
- Insert a GoogleMaps section with the company
n addition to these central elements, it is important to give the content a local reference. This can be given, for example, by providing detailed directions (by car, by public transport). In principle, it is also true for local optimization that you provide your potential customers with all the important information about your services or your company online. This includes the following data: opening hours, possible payment methods, prices, service information, or ratings.
Important areas can be provided with markups to make it easier for search engines to establish a local reference. These elements are not visible to the user and are only present in the source code. An example, according to schema.org, can look like
Google MyBusiness – the central administration
Google MyBusiness is a management platform for companies. Business data that Google uses for its Maps, StreetView, and GooglePlus services can be stored and maintained there. The information you enter there, for example, telephone numbers or pictures, will appear directly in the local search results.
A valid Google account is required for a Google My Business entry. The following should be noted when making an entry:
- Log into your Google account and go to https://www.google.com/business/
- Now you can search for your company. If there is no entry, click on the “Add Company” link.
- Now make sure that all NAP data is entered correctly.
- Then select a category that applies to your business as closely as possible. Here it is important not to indicate any goods or products. After your entry has been activated, you can enter up to 10 categories.
- Company description: In around 100 words, you describe your company’s core and enter your website URL and the business’s email address. The company description can be modified later.
- Photos: Take the opportunity and choose attractive graphics for your profile picture. With the help of the stored images, potential customers get a first impression of you, your shop, your practice, or your company. The more pictures, the better.
- Opening hours: If your shop has fixed opening hours, you can enter them. This is how your potential customers find out immediately when they search online whether and when you are open.
- Catchment area: With your Google My Business listing, you can define whether your services are only valid for a certain catchment area. This information will be taken into account for the display of your entry in the SERPs.
Mobile SEO is an important part of local search engine optimization. The reason for this is simple: over 90 percent of all smartphone users use their mobile devices to find information about local businesses and service providers online. With the increasing use of mobile phones for surfing, locally operating companies need to optimize their website for mobile use.
Reviews – the essence of good rankings and trust
Personal recommendations are essential in business to reach new customers. Ratings also play an important role in local search engine optimization. On the one hand, good ratings can increase Google’s trust in the offer and thus ensure better rankings. On the other hand, customers trust well-rated companies more than companies without reviews. So google reviews are very important for a local business. If you don’t have enough google reviews then you should increase google reviews. You can buy google reviews for your new or old business for increasing trustworthiness.
Their customers can also rate anyone who has already created a Google My Business profile on Google. However, search engines can also recognize further ratings on the web. That’s why every business owner should want to be rated on the web.
The trust of customers and search engines increases the more reviews are publicly available. The more positively and regularly one’s own business is rated, the better for customer trust and the rankings in the local search.
- Ask your regular customers for an online rating. With this group of customers, you can be sure that your service or company will be rated well.
- Allow your customers to submit online reviews on-site and provide a tablet for this purpose.
- Try to deal with bad reviews constructively. So you can use the criticism to improve your offer.
- You can set up your area on your website that links to various rating options.
- Point out the possibility of an evaluation of flyers or other print products.
- You can actively advertise with good ratings. On the one hand, customers are encouraged to come and, on the other hand, to evaluate.
Local link building – create references.
Business directories have long been important backlink sources for online shops. Although this no longer applies to web shops today, entries in directories can be helpful for local companies as part of local search engine optimization. On the one hand, an entry in a popular directory can increase reach. On the other hand, these “local citations” provide Google with important information about how well-known your company is on the web. Suppose you want to improve the ranking of your business in the local search results on Google. In that case, you can search for industry-specific or regional directories and store your company data there. This information must always be consistent and not spammy.
Doctors, for example, can register in specific directories for doctors. There are also ways to store company data in city or community portals. You can enter your company in thematically appropriate directories if you are mainly active in the B2B sector.
Tip: To find out which portals might be useful, search for your service in combination with the place where this service is offered. As a rule, high-quality and relevant portals for your business appear in the first ten organic search hits (excluding local search hits).
It is also important that your entries in directories are always up to date. It is advisable to create a list in which the relevant URL and the date of the last change are entered. The list can then be checked once a quarter. If NAP data changes, you can also work with the list and correct all references.
Other ways to strengthen local presence:
- Get in touch with the local press, for example, if you organize events or open a new branch.
- Take on the sponsorship of clubs in your area. As a sponsor, you can be linked from their site, among other things. There is also the possibility that your company will appear in the regional press.
Local SEO is important to get new customers and prospects. Because the search for a service provider is usually started on the web and mobile, anyone who keeps their data up to date is often referenced and well rated, and at the same time uses appealing content and metadata with a local reference, can expect good rankings in the local search results. Ultimately, the competitors also play a manageable role. The bigger the competition, the better Local SEO needs to be.