I’m not a big fan of acronyms. I mean, they’re pretty common these days, and they do come in handy when you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about. Lots of industries (including marketing) rely on acronyms to make us sound smart and to scare off aggressive solicitors. It’s like an alphabetical defense mechanism.
Whereas a lot has been said (and written) about our favorite acronym SEO, I’m here to talk more specifically about Local SEO, and how you can use this to impress your friends while attracting customers to your business.
Let’s first start by defining Local SEO as a ‘complicated subset’ of SEO. Ironically, Complicated Subset was the name of a popular new wave band back in the ‘80s … but that’s not really relevant to what we’re talking about, is it?
Local SEO is the ultimate Google power play as it can vary by category and by location. This does two things; confuses people that own businesses and provides Andrew with a significant amount of job security.
Why is Local SEO Important to My Business?
This is easy … kind of like me and Sunday morning.
Local SEO makes your business easier to find on search. This is specifically relevant for businesses that serve their customers face-to-face at a physical location. It plays into the seeking consumer’s need for relevancy based on their location. In simple terms, Local SEO expedites the search process for the consumer with cash money seeking your product or service.
It rarely gets any better than that.
Local SEO Really is Complicated
Well, yes and no … getting it set up isn’t necessarily difficult but establishing and maintaining a solid ranking is a different matter altogether.
If your Google Business Profile is properly set up, your category isn’t overly competitive, and you live in a nice city like Lockhart, Texas, you might show up when someone searches your category on Google. Or, you might not. This is where Local SEO and Sunday morning are nothing alike. On a desktop, your profile shows up on the right margin. On a cellphone, where 63% of searches happen, you show up right smack in the middle of the screen where even my mom can find you. But wait, there’s more. A properly optimized Google My Business page also places you on a map shown to a person conducting a relevant search. This is actually how I met Stephanie, but that’s a story that also lacks relevance right now.
Through the magic that is the internet, a properly structured Google My Business page readily provides everything a customer needs to do business with you. This includes a shortcut to your website, contact information, and even a map for the directionally challenged.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, I’ll add that your Google My Business page also has a ‘click to call’ button that allows consumers to call you without burning a single calorie. This is euphoric for modern American consumers and just what you need to make mo money … which is what owning a business is all about.
To put this in more literal terms, if you search ‘dry cleaners near me’ you’ll get served a handful of options depending on where you are at the time. Remember, the wizard that is Google always knows where you are…just like Santa Claus. Those options are typically ‘dry cleaners’ that have a properly structured and optimized Google My Business page in near proximity to where you are doing the search. If you don’t have one, you don’t show up, and guess what? Santa Claus can’t find you either.
How Do I Address My Local SEO Needs?
Step one is to “claim” your Google My Business page, which involves a little blood work as well as an old-school confirmation process that involves the US Postal Service. Your next step is to provide Google with all the information they need to create your profile. Part of this process requires you to upload files, which can be scary for those of you born before 1978.
So far, none of this sounds too intimidating, yet many companies either choose not to do it, don’t know how to do it, or don’t know Andrew’s cell phone number. The truth is, showing up in an advantageous position is dependent on a lot of factors that change quite frequently.
And before you raise your hand and ask … Here’s the why and how a business can solidify their local SEO position in their given marketplace:
- Make sure you have a complete Google Business Profile
- Have lots of positive reviews from your customers
- Add relevant terms to the search query on your profile
- Make sure you load geo-tagged images and videos related to your business
- Keep your profile updated with content that features keywords that are relevant to your business
And then there are a couple of other important steps you can do, but they are more complicated, and you’ll need Andrew’s cell phone number for that. I mean, I can’t tell you EVERYTHING or you’ll never send me an email asking for more information or sharing a chuckle with me about that Sunday morning line.
So … there you have it. A self-proclaimed marketing expert man-splaining local SEO. Yes, it’s pretty simple, but more importantly, it’s pretty mandatory for your business. Want to learn more? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help Santa Claus and others find your business.