Here are five things you can do to help people find your business website.
NAP: Name, Address, Phone Number
A NAP — name, address, phone number signature — is essentially your location information across the web. It’s important for your NAP signature to be consistent. It’s believed that Google cross-checks this information to ensure that the business is legitimate. Any discrepancies in address or phone number could diminish your search traffic.
Google My Business
According to Google, roughly 4 out of 5 people use a search engine to conduct local business searches. Google My Business is essentially Google’s local directory (Bing’s version is Bing Places for Business) online. It’s free and offers businesses incredible exposure. Local businesses are required to verify their business and claim their listing by submitting a postcard that is sent to their physical business address. Once the postcard has been mailed back, the listing will go live and the brick-and-mortar business has the opportunity to start optimizing its listing by:
- Ensuring all business information is filled out and accurate
- Adding high-quality images of the business, employees, logos
- Including pertinent business information such as hours of operation, forms of payment accepted
- Gaining valuable business reviews
It is important that your business is listed correctly, avoid misspellings, wrong phone numbers, abbreviations, etc. If Google can’t tell if your information is correct, it might display incorrect information or not show your business in search engine results at all.
Local citations are online mentions of your business name, address and phone number that help customers find you. Other information may include:
- Business description
- Driving directions and maps
- Social Media icons
- Payment forms accepted
There are many platforms that share local business information, including Moz Local, Yext, Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Yelp, Citysearch and professional associations. Getting more local citations increases the chances of your business being found by customers.
Schema markup (or structured data markup) is information about a business such as reviews, products sold, services offered, and location information that is added to the coding of a website. It’s another way to give Google more information about a business. Adding this structured data markup may help a website get more search traffic.
Reviews are critical for local businesses. Two places you should focus on getting online reviews are on your Google My Business page and your company’s Facebook page. Reviews are a large factor in search engine rankings, especially when it comes to Google, and give credibility to your business. Reviews can hurt or help. It’s important to never incentivize reviews but be looking for natural reviews from people who have visited your business. Email marketing, social media, and using customer service representatives are all great opportunities to capture reviews.
Many business owners often worry about the impact of a negative review, but SEO experts agree that it’s more important how you respond to those reviews than the actual review itself. Although having more positive than negative reviews is helpful, don’t get too hung up on the negative ones. Responding to every review, whether positive or negative, is more important. Need help with tracking and responding to reviews? Our Dream Local Digital Team can help you maintain your good name with its reputation management service.
All of these factors are an important part of Local SEO and gaining more visibility for local businesses.
Contact Dream Local Digital to learn how our experienced marketing team can help you bring new customers to your local business or website.