- 1 When trying to find a business near me, use the “near me” Google search
When trying to find a business near me, use the “near me” Google search
The days of having to flip through hundreds of pages in a phone book that you misplaced are over. More and more people are using Google to find local businesses. Google has also slowly been changing their algorithm to become accustomed to this change over the years. The landscape of SEO has changed dramatically in the past few years and spamming poor quality web 2.0 links is no longer a way to promote yourself.
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What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is simply optimizing your webpage to show up as a nearby result when someone is searching for a specific service or business in an area. So when someone seeking a web designer searches web designer near me, Google will find any businesses listed in close proximity. There’s also a lot of competition, which is why simply placing yourself on a virtual map isn’t enough. You have to have good SEO practice.
It’s absolutely essential that any website you wish to be viewed by local customers is mobile optimized. Not everyone sits down at their computer to search for businesses near them. More people have been utilizing handheld devices over recent years, with an estimated 60 percent of searches coming from mobile devices alone in 2016.
If your website isn’t mobile optimized, Google’s going to sting you for it and your business will appear at the bottom of the list. Any web development company worth their own salt should already know this, so when a potential customer searches for “web designer near me”, your result will be above those without a mobile-first designed website.
Responsive design has been important for at least the last 10 years. People browse the internet at different resolutions and handheld devices are no exception. iPads, iPhones, and older devices all browse the web at different resolutions, so responsive web design is an absolute necessity.
How Google Has Changed For Local SEO
A few years ago, when customers searched for businesses near them, it would show them all kinds of results wide and far that weren’t beneficial to them or what the were looking for in the first place. Today, Google has become far more efficient in providing customers real-time results. When you search for web designer near me for example, Google will display a map of results on top where advertisements usually are. Right under that will more than likely be review websites like Yelp which also display nearby businesses.
Google has changed for the better in recent years to find websites that are properly optimized in a certain area so that they can show specific businesses in close proximity. This includes adding proper meta tags for the areas you wish to be found, having a valid number and business address for the residing area and having social media engagement for your business. Social media engagement is a huge bonus.
Google knows that a lot of people still try to game the system and trick the search engine into displaying their company in the search results of a location they’re nowhere near. You know what a lot of these sites trying to trick Google don’t have? A proper phone number, an address, and virtually no social media presence. Google takes social media presence into account a lot, including reviews people have left for your business.
What are people saying about you? Are they saying positive things? Are they saying negative things? Running a business locally and abroad requires you to make sure Google sees your company as a positively reviewed business. When people search for a business nearby, Google is less likely to show your business near the top if it’s been poorly reviewed or slammed on social media for being a faulty business.
Making Sure You Capitalize On Local SEO
To make sure you show up at the top of the results for “web designer near me”, you need to follow a few simple steps:
- Make sure you have up to date meta information including tags and a description for every applicable page that includes the area of service you operate in.
- Engage with customers on social media and invite them to partake in the discussion. Google loves throwing brownie points towards businesses with active social media presence.
- Prioritize content over all else. If people are coming to your site and leaving without clicking anything, then you need to take a look at your content and re-read it from the perspective of a customer. Does it make sense to you as a potential buyer?
Local SEO has shown to be a profitable money printing machine if you utilize it correctly. If you’re not utilizing it at all, you could be losing an unlimited amount of potential customers. When people want information, they take out their phones and look for a service or business nearby. Make sure you follow the simple steps to ensure you’ll not only show up on that list but appear near the top of the results.