If you own a local service based business and would like to fuel your business with more leads online then this article is for you.
Ranking locally on Google is the key to growing your business
Did you ever search for a product or service in google and see the google map at the top of the page with local listings relevant to what you just searched for? Of course you did!
The Power of local search engine optimization
You my friend have just experienced the ultimate power of local search engine optimization. This is referred to as the google map 3 pack. Google displays the top 3 most relevant businesses from Google My Business on the top of google for free. See why this is so important now.
Google is investing heavily in answering the search intent for all its users. So it makes sense that when you search for a plumber that they will display plumbers local to your location.
Fun facts for local customers search habits
Did you know that 89% of all internet searches are done on Google? Did you also know that when someone is searching for a product or service locally that they will make a purchase within one day? Think about the last time you searched for something locally and this will all start to make a lot of sense why your local listing is so important. Getting found on online is key to a businesses success.
Local Business Case Study
Let’s take a look at one of my most recent clients Taysita Ranch. When I met them, they had a nice farm out in Chewelah, WA where they raise and sell cattle. The problem was that they didn’t have much of a digital footprint other than a facebook business page that just wasn’t generating any leads or sales. Aside from setting up their website, I did the most important thing a local business can do.
Get your small business ranked first for local keywords
Let’s take a look at 2 of their local keywords “RANCH” and Grass Fed Beef Chewelah. Whenever someone searches for the word Ranch in their local area they are the #1 and #2 result at the top of google.
Now this doesn’t bring them in thousands of visitors, but what it does do is bring in targeted local customers who are searching for what they are offering. Here is the intent that Google matches to what customers search for and you, as a business provide.
Think about your business and some of the keywords you would like to rank for.
- A Plumber in Islip, NY would benefit from ranking for the local search Plumbing Contractor
- A Roofer in Babylon, NY would benefit from ranking for the local search Roof Repair
- A Personal Trainer in Bay shore, NY would benefit from ranking for the local search Personal Trainer
THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES and it’s free.
I set up their Google My Business page which is a free tool to list your business on google.
Head over to Google My Business to sign up for a free Local Google My Business account along with in depth instructions on how to complete your listing.
Quick overview for claiming your Local Google My Business listing
Click on Manage now and enter your business name. Make sure it is your actual name and does not include any keyword stuffing like “Joe’s ISLIP Plumbing service 24 hours” when your actual business name is Joe’s Plumbing Service.
This is a quick way to get removed or better yet a competitor can request an edit to your page. But your gonna be genuine and authentic when creating your Google My Business listing so let’s not worry too much about that.
Local business with a Storefront or Office
Once you enter your business name you will be given a chance to verify this address to ensure you are the owner. If you have a physical storefront or Local Office that you serve customers directly from you will list the store’s physical address.
Having a physical address helps a lot when ranking locally as it is much easier to build out citations with your NAP (name, address, phone number).
Local Service Business where you travel or deliver to customers
If you have a service business like me that you provide services for customers but don’t have a physical location, you will enter your mailing address or home address. P.O. boxes are not allowed. Don’t worry your address will be hidden from customers as long as you selected No location; deliveries and home services only during your google my business signup.
Change your Google My Business address
This section can be changed if you change your address or you get a physical location for your business. Note** You will however need to restart the verification process with google any time you change your address.
Verify your local business
Google will send you a verification postcard that you will enter on your google my business page. You should receive your verification card within 5 business days.
While your waiting for your verification card you can still update your google my business page.
Things to add to your local Google My Business listing to get listed for search results in your area:
I will use my business Work Revised as an example. I do not have a physical location but I do work from home in Islip and I have a coworking space in Manhattan that I work from 2 days a week.
Service locations: for Work Revised I added some of the areas we service.
East Islip, NY
West Islip, NY
Bay Shore, NY
Deer Park, NY
Now obviously we do business outside of these areas locally and all throughout the US, but for now these are the specific locations that I want to target.
For me ranking in Manhattan will be a lot tougher because of all of the competition in the area and my home location is in islip, and I don’t have a physical address to show.
With a lot of work and some great reviews Work Revised will eventually be ranked in Manhattan for keywords such as: Local SEO, Local Web Design, Local Reputation Management, Local Content Creation, and more local keywords.
If you have a lot of competitors in your area it may take a lot of work and time to break into the google local 3 pack. If your already listed in the 3 pack GREAT, but you still need to keep optimizing your listing with at least some posts every week, and great reviews, because there are always going to be competitors coming for your position.
Add your real hours of operation
Make sure you enter your actual hours of operation. Some companies try to get away with listing open 7 days a week for 24 hours. If you don’t have someone answering the phones or staffing your office this will come back to hurt you with a bad review, or even getting delisted from Google My Business.
Add your Phone Number, website, logo, and description of your business.
Add a Local Business Description to win new customers
A local business description will help potential and google know what you do so be specific.
Check out my local business description:
Work Revised is a full service digital agency located in Islip, NY. We provide local service based businesses with the tools they need to grow their business locally. We do Local Search Optimization, SEO, Web Design, Content Creation, Reputation Management, and Branding. In other words we build and optimize your online presence and get you found by your local customers. Work Revised will simplify your digital presence and allow you to focus on your business.
Client experience is our top priority and we’ll make you feel like we actually care about your business, because we do. We will take the time to explain any questions, ideas, or explore new technology, because in order for us to succeed we need to help you succeed.
Joe is the owner and former NYC executive that led a mid size service firm to a 500% growth over 5 years. He was tired of building a business for someone else, so he started his own. Is your business ready to grow?
To summarize how important local search optimization is:
- Google displays the top 3 local businesses based on search intent of a local user above organic results for most searches.
- Google My Business is a free must have tool for local business owners.
- 88% of all searches are done on Google.
- How you show up on Google will directly influence your potential customer.
- Where does your local business rank?