How to Get in Front of Your Customers for Local Businesses Wanting an Online Presence

March 10, 2016

DunlapMap1


If you are a local business, it used to be very difficult to compete with the large chains. This is for a few reasons. Until a few years ago Google didn’t quite integrate their map functions with the users IP. Meaning if I searched for something like “DIY store” you would probably get one of the big chains homepage ranking one after the other. Meaning that if you were determined to shop locally you would have to refine your searc within the maps option or add a location to your query.


You may also be drive to search for the retailers stores listing pages on their website once you reach it through their homepage, or possibly you might be tempted to purchase online if the website in question had strong enough CTA’s such as “free delivery”. In all this small local stores that might be less than a block from you haven’t even been mentioned. But over the last couple of years Google has tried to give the small local brands more than just a fighting chance with the incorporation of maps based on the searchers IP:


DIY Store Maps


There are quick a few local SEO guides on the internet but what you need to know boils down to the following. This is really easy. Unlike ordinary rankings which can take a considerable amount of time, with technical SEO, and link acquisition campaigns, these results depend on the quality of the data in your Google+ profile and how it matches with the information on your website.


To start get a Google+ profile, you will need a personal page (which you can hide from the internet) to then create a local business page. Add photos, complete the profile, include your URL and any address and contact information that you have and make sure the two sets of results match. If you have something like a yellow pages listing even better, Google will use large third party directories to verify any information if it can.


Google really cares about addresses and contact information being present on websites. For example when setting up a Google merchant centre account and a Google trusted stores profile for my own business, they require a whole host of informational pages, such as returns information, privacy terms and condition and of course address/ contact information on my about page. The reasons this is the case is because they want to make sure that anything that they are giving their seal of approval to is genuine and is going to actually be a good customer experience for their users.


Once all the data matches, up you are going to have to verify your address, this is done by submitting it to Google through your G+ account. They will then send you a postcard with a code which you need to use to verify the address and the account. Now pretty much you are good to go. The only other ranking factors are reviews on your G+ profile and how active the account is, so make sure you are pushing daily updates through your profile. This is literally all you need to do to start appearing in these local results.

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