If you’re a business with a brick-and-mortar location, taking steps to increase your visibility on local search could easily result in a boost to your bottom line by this time next year. According to Google, 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find information about local businesses, including store hours, addresses, product availability and directions. Google also reports that 18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day. As more research is done on consumer behavior, we’re continuing to find that people who conduct local searches are ready to make a purchase decision; and if you’re a business owner, these are the consumers you want to reach. So what can you do to increase your visibility on search engines? Here’s a list of 6 steps you can take right now to help increase your local search visibility.
According to a study by Moz, Google My Business is the biggest driver of local SEO success. Having a My Business account will help your company appear in Google search results and Google Maps when people search for your business, or businesses similar to yours. My Business accounts are also 100% free to set up, making it an easy, cost-effective way for you to boost your business’s visibility on local search results.
2. Increase your number of social sites
The larger your business’s online footprint, the more likely your business is to be noticed and recommended by Google to consumers who are conducting a local search. The key here is choosing social sites that make sense for your business type. For example, if your business sells products that are more visual, like home décor, you should consider creating profiles on sites like Facebook and Instagram; rather than professional sites like LinkedIn. If you’re not quite sure what to post on each site, read this article to learn more about social posting for businesses.
Does your website still say you’re open 7 days-a-week when you’re only open on weekdays? If you’ve made changes to your business hours, address or phone number, it’s crucial that you update all of your online profiles to reflect accurate information, even if it’s just a temporary change. Failing to do so could result in mismatched information across sites and negative customer reviews; both will hinder your likelihood of showing up in local search results.
4. Don’t ignore customer reviews
It’s rare for any business to get all positive reviews online. So if you do happen to get negative reviews from time to time (perhaps, because of misleading business hours), the worst thing you can do is ignore them. Take time to respond to people who gave your business negative reviews with your apologies and any solution you can offer if there is one. You’ll also want to engage with consumers who gave positive reviews of your business. Giving happy customers a little TLC is just as important. Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow when responding to consumer reviews.
5. Optimize your website
If you want to show up in local search results, you’ll want to make sure that your website speaks a language that Google can understand. If you have broken links, make sure they’re updated. If you have images with no meta-tags, add simple descriptions to explain what your images convey. These are all simple updates that you or your web designer can make in one afternoon.
6. Get shout-outs
When other businesses link to your website, it creates a domino effect that leads to increased SEO for your business. Links help create awareness of your business with locals, which can lead to an increase in searches and visits to your business’s website. Gaining a rise in both these areas will benefit your local search visibility because Google wants to recommend businesses that locals are interested in. For example, if a user searches for “restaurants”, Google is more likely to recommend a site that’s been visited 100,000, over a site that’s only been visited 500 times, with the same search.
Take your visibility to the next level
Your business’s ability to appear in local search results is becoming more important as consumers turn to Google for all of their shopping needs. By making these 6 updates, you’re putting your business in a much better position to be discovered by local users at a time when they’re ready to buy.
If you’re looking for a more robust local SEO marketing plan, the experts at DBC Interactive can help you prepare a marketing plan that targets your unique business needs. Our team works with businesses throughout Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, like McCombs Supply Co., Inc., to boost their local SEO. We can help implement strategies for your business like:
If you have questions about these strategies or want to learn more, contact DBC Interactive today to discuss how we can help your business gain more customers in 2018.
More people are turning to the web to find healthcare information and practices and businesses they need. And why not? Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing can make it easy for all kinds of people to locate all sorts of healthcare products and services. During these searches, people often form a first impression. They learn things like ”Which insurance carriers does your practice accept?” “What kind of reviews have previous patients left?” and “Does your practice conduct itself with high standards of integrity and ethics?”
Often, they get their first impression of your business before your website is even visited. First impressions may take shape as consumers subconsciously ask themselves:
- Are they ranked high on Google?
- Have I seen advertisements by them?
- Do I keep seeing their name?
- Does it seem like people like them?
Are you unsure of what kind of first impression your potential patients and customers might have of you based on these four questions? If so, it might be a good time to take a few minutes to look at your business from the eyes of a potential patient or customer. Google yourself. Take stock of your community outreach. Complete a self-assessment.
Evaluating oneself can sometimes be difficult, but it’s an essential step to improving your digital brand. Check out the solutions below from marketing experts at DBC Interactive and learn how you can improve your business’s first impression.
DIAGNOSIS: Your website’s search engine ranking is low
TREATMENT: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If your website is easy for search engines to read, search engines are more likely to rank your website higher in subsequent search results. Here are some tips that will help you optimize your website code:
- Make sure your website lists relevant keywords and phrases
- Include Alt tags on your photos
- Edit meta tags to ensure accessibility
Don’t panic if you have no idea what an “Alt tag” is; most people don’t. Optimizing a website is frequently an ongoing effort in an unfamiliar territory, which is why many business owners hire digital marketing consultants like DBC Interactive to manage their SEO efforts.
DIAGNOSIS: No digital ad presence
TREATMENT: Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Your healthcare business is losing leads if you’re not marketing your services online. Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a quick way to drive traffic to your website, especially if your healthcare business appeals to a specific demographic. One of the most effective SEM techniques used to target specific audiences is called Dynamic PPC. Dynamic PPC, commonly referred to as “pay-per-click”, allows your healthcare practice to:
- Place paid ads around relevant searches
- Pay an amount for your ads that is based on the number of clicks to your site
- Have presence on search result pages without relying solely on the search engines to rank your website
DBCi has experts who can help you create a vibrant PPC program that drives the right people to your website.
DIAGNOSIS: You’re having difficulty keeping your healthcare practice top-of-mind with your patients and customers
Being at the top of the search engine results will certainly help bring consumers to your website, but retargeting will help you even more. Retargeting keeps your ads in front of potential patients and customers, even after they have left your website. A retargeting program can sending ads for days or even weeks after a website visit. Using retargeting, you can:
- Target display ads directly at potential patients or customers that have visited your website
- Send specific messages to potential patients based on their behavior
- Remind past website visitors that they should consult with you
Retargeting is one of the many digital products that fall under DBC Interactive’s menu of services. Whether you want digital, web, mobile or radio advertising, the media experts at DBC Interactive for are ready to help you build a media plan that delivers your best customers.