With 2.6 billion local searches are conducted each month, your local business should have a stake in that action. Finding a place to start, however, is the tough part. With the help of our Local SEO team, we came up with three recommendations for the most important three things that you should include on your to-do list for Local SEO optimization. Watch today's Daily Brown Bag to learn about the importance of Local SEO and the top three things that should be on your Local SEO to-do list.
Hello, and welcome to the Daily Brown Bag. Today, we’re going to be talking about your local SEO checklist. I’m Chad Hill and I am joined by Adam Stetzer.
Yeah, good morning, Chad. Yeah, local SEO is becoming a big priority for small businesses. That didn’t used to be the case. It used to be more of an emphasis on organic SEO, but local has really come into its own, and its very important for small businesses in particular to understand it. Let’s look at some of the numbers.
There are more than 2.6 billion local searches conducted each month, and the volume on this is growing. Nearly 86 million people access local business information via a mobile phone, and that’s up 63% since 2010, so the trend line is pretty outstanding. There’s definitely a hockey stick going on here. Is that important to a local business? Yes. Over 85% of consumers who conduct a local search on their device will then either call or visit within one day, so this is an indicator that they’re really looking for a business and they’re coming in or calling you if they find you. If that’s not compelling enough, Chad, 70% of those consumers who used a mobile phone to find a local business through a local SEO search then made a purchase as a result. So, local search activity and local SEO as an indicator of consumer intent and purchase intent followed by an actual conversion has very, very strong data here, yet I know a lot of small businesses are still struggling with what they should be doing.
That’s a great question, and it’s something that we do get asked a lot about. I talked to our local SEO team, we’ve got a great in-house team, asking them for their top three recommendations, and the three things that they came back with are:
1. You need to make sure that you claim your local listings, so that’s Google, Yahoo!, Bing, possibly Yelp depending on your category, but you need to go to these sites and make sure that you verify and connect. In some cases, they require sending a postcard. In other cases they will call your business number so they can verify those listings. Then, complete the profiles. Make sure all the information is correct and that you’ve uploaded photos. That’s the number one most important thing.
2. The second thing you want to do is make sure that you’ve optimized your website to make sure that it has all your local information on it, so what people talk about is that you want to have citations across the web. What a citation is is basically your name, address, and phone number without necessarily having a link, though in some cases there are links. But, you want to have those citations properly categorized across the web. Your most important citation is actually your website, so you want to make sure that your name, address, and phone number is properly placed on that website, usually in the footer or the header, and then often times you want to have specific landing pages for each of your locations. So, if you have multiple locations, you definitely want to have an individual landing page for each location. So, that’s the number two thing.
3. The final thing you want to do is make sure that your name, address, and phone number in these citations is consistent across the web. If you think about it, if you’ve moved and changed phone numbers, it’s possible that some data is out of sync. You want to make sure that you go to all the big internet yellow page providers and a bunch of the secondary and tertiary directories out there and make sure that information is correct. There are some tools to help you syndicate that information out, and we can help you do that, but those are the things you want to think about.
Alright, so there are several places that you could be on this spectrum if you’re a small business trying to understand how to participate in local SEO and get business from local SEO listings. There’s kind of the basic one, like you said, Chad, where you haven’t claimed your listings, and you’ve got to get out and do that in the big three. Of course, there’s many minor places you could also claim. But, then we also hear from people further down the path who have claimed them, but their competitors come up, and they don’t which very frustrating, and so that probably feels a lot like the organic SEO game to an extent, which is okay.
You’re in there and you’ve got the basics, you’ve done the blocking and tackling, but you’re not as highly ranked as your competitors. So here, instead of backlinks, what we’re talking about is the same kind of onsite and offsite SEO. Make sure your page is optimized for local SEO, but then citations. Citations are sort of analogous to backlinks in the organic SEO world. And there, Chad, you talk all the time about “NAP,” name, address, phone number as being the equivalent of a backlink.
So Google is kind of searching around the internet, looking for your name, address, and your phone number as indications of your legitimacy and your popularity when they try to rank order who should show in their various local listings in the local SEO output. It can be complicated if you’re just joining the game, but it’s the right thing to do and it can really help your business. We’d like to hear your stories, particularly success stories of getting more business from local listings, or even the troubles you’ve had or complications with claiming your listing or trying to get your pin to show up. Please dump them in the comments, and if you’ve enjoyed this video, we’d like to see you again. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and we’ll let you know when the next one comes out.