Local Search Engine Optimization For Small Businesses
If you’ve heard a rumor about local search engine optimization (SEO) being dead, you should be wary of the source. Local SEO Westchester NY is more important than ever in helping people determine hyper-local offerings that suit their immediate needs.
Quick Questions, Local Answers
The expansion of wearable technology such as the Apple Watch gives users even greater flexibility and ease when searching locally in Westchester NY, with proximity searches becoming even more prevalent. “Find a Mexican restaurant near me” is the type of search that users are performing millions of times a day, and assuring your local SEO is up to snuff will help you get into their search results list.
NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone number, the holy trinity of local search marketing, while the ‘W’ stands for Website. Together, these pieces of information allow Google and other search engines to pinpoint your business to locals searching for products and services that you offer. Taking the time to update your information in local search apps or directories may seem overwhelming, but according to Moz “listing detected at false business location” is the No. 1 negative local ranking factor, with mismatched NAP is the third biggest. Failure to update this information can kill your local search ranking.
Which Listings To Update First
There are hundreds of places across the internet where citations are posted, but they don’t all carry equal weight in the SEO world. Some of the listings carry a greater value for Google and other search engine rankings, so you should update them first and keep them updated when you make any changes. While you truly should track down and update every online citation, or listing, anytime the name, address or phone number of your business changes, the most important ones to review are Google+, Yelp, your Local Small Business Association and the Better Business Bureau. Keeping these NAP options consistent and up-to-date gives your business the best shot at remaining search-relevant to new and old customers alike.
Social Media Marketing
It may not seem that social media would have much to do with local search–but that is very far from the truth! Even for businesses with a website, social media is enough of a recommendation engine these days that individuals are quite likely to check out your Facebook page or Instagram feed to see how engaged you are with your customers, look for deals, find exact locations or check out reviews. Customers are also checking social media pages for hours of operation and website listings, so be sure that information is up to date as well.
You Can’t Have Enough Reviews
Try incentivizing your customers to leave you a review on Yelp, Google+ or on Facebook. Maybe a free dessert when they show you a posted review (positive or negative!) for a restaurant, a $5 off or 10% off coupon for a retailer–any way you can encourage people to leave positive and engaging reviews is going to benefit you greatly in the long run by word of mouth and additional traffic. QR codes or signs on your tables asking customers to leave a review are also great ways to drive this positive social commentary.