Local business searches are one of the many ways digitalization has impacted how we do business. Nowadays, running a successful business requires different methods than 30 years ago. With the increase in technological innovation has come a corresponding increase in online businesses. Businesses continue integrating technology into their everyday processes, from digital marketing to online branding.
How does this affect your business? Your business stands a better chance at success if you explore digital marketing and other online solutions. As you will see from this Strikingly blog, one way to take advantage of such solutions is to make your business findable in local searches.
Getting your business website to rank in local business searches keeps you on top of the customer attention game. All you need to do is find the perfect local business directory that can help boost your website and place it on the local business search map. If you do not have a website yet, you should build a free website with Strikingly. Here's how to go about it.
What is a Local Business Directory?
A local business directory is a list containing important information about your business. This information may include the location of your business and navigation or direction on locating you. It can also include your opening and closing hours, contact details, relevant images, customer reviews, and your website link. Local business searches are run through local directories to get the customer the best results.
Customers often use search engines to find local businesses around them. For example, if you are looking for a nearby eatery, your first impulse will likely be to Google it. You may search for something like 'eateries near me.' When you hit the search button, search engines show eateries close to your location.
There can be many eateries close to you, so how do search engines determine which ones to show you?
How to Rank Well In Local Searches
Image taken from Strikingly product
When you type in your search query (what you want to find), the search engine looks for websites with the most relevant content to that query. They judge by some factors like how comprehensive the website content is and how much you have used the search keywords. Search Engine Optimization is the process of making sure your website meets these criteria.
Optimizing your local business website will not only put you at the top of the local search results. It will also drive more traffic to your website. The following tips and tricks will help you scale up your local business search rank.
1. Register Your Business on Google My Business
This is an important tool to scale up your local business searches and boost traffic to your local business. Google My Business offers any local business great opportunities to rank on local searches. It makes it easier for customers to find local businesses when they initiate local business searches in the search engine. Customers can also reach you online and visit your social media pages and site.
2.Ensure Your Website or App is Mobile-friendly
Lately, laptops and tablets are being designed in more portable and compact models. Still, the mobile phone is the handiest device for most people. According to Webmaster, about 60% of all online searches are carried out on mobile devices. Searches related to the food and beverage industry have up to 72% of mobile searches. Thus, optimizing your website for free and convenient mobile use will help you rank better in local business searches. A Strikingly website allows you to optimize for mobile devices. It presents a beautiful layout with the full functionalities of the website desktop version.
3. Leverage Other Local Business Directories
As earlier noted, getting your business listed in a local business directory will go a long way in improving your rank in local searches. Google My Business is the directory for the Google search engine. There are business directories for other search engines. Most of them are free or quite affordable. Here is a list of other directories you can choose from:
Bing Places: Bing is one of the most popular search engines around. Registering your business on Bing Places will increase your chances of getting found by people who use the search engine.
Yelp: Yelp is the one-stop-shop for your business. Apart from ranking websites for local business searches, it also offers tools that help businesses to plan their growth strategies.
Foursquare: With over 50 million users, Foursquare is a goldmine for businesses. A good optimization strategy will make your business findable by millions of searchers.
Yahoo: This is also a popular platform that offers you the opportunity to list your local business directory. The platform partners with Yext to ensure that business owners can access information about their business anytime, anywhere around the world.
Mapquest: Mapquest provides maps, directions, as well as information on road and traffic conditions to its users. That way, customers can easily locate and patronize your business.
Moz: Moz is not a business directory in itself. It is, however, useful because it helps you track your business listings and citations across top business directories and local search engines. It provides a detailed analysis of your performance in directories, your search engine optimization strength, and areas that need improvement. Moz works well with Bing and Google My Business.
4. Get Reviews From Your Clients
This will help build trust for your local business. People tend to read reviews and comments about any local business they are interested in. If the reviews on the local business directory are also poor, they will be demotivated to patronize your business. Hence, you should encourage your customers to leave reviews on your local business directory, and if the reviews are poor, you need to find out why and implement changes.
Angi is a business listing site that focuses on business reviews. Formerly called Angie’s list, Angi serves as a huge review pool for prospects and potential customers. Former and existing customers leave honest reviews about any business they have patronized before. Potential customers can search through these reviews and decide whether or not your business is the best fit for them.
When creating content for your website, you should use keywords relevant to your local business. These keywords must be carefully researched. They are typically words common to your industry or niche, which your customers always search for. For instance, if you run a local restaurant in Los Angeles, you may need to research keywords such as "restaurant in Los Angeles," "the best restaurant in Los Angeles," 'the most visited restaurant in Los Angeles,' Los Angeles restaurant,' etc. After doing your keyword research, infuse the keywords into your content. Your search engine will judge the relevance of your content by the presence of those keywords. Hubspot and Ahref are some tools you can explore for keyword research. In this post, we recommend great content ideas for your small business. You can also hire a professional content creator, for optimum results.
Benefits of Listing Your Business in Local Directories
It will create visibility for your local business: People initiate local searches daily. Therefore, optimizing your local business will improve your chances of being seen in the local search results, and this will, in turn, help you boost your sales and make a profit for your local business.
It will increase traffic on your local business website: The more visible your website is, the more customers will visit it. As long as you optimize your website correctly, more people will visit the website, increasing your traffic. This is also good for better search engine ranking. Search engines rank websites better when they notice much traffic on the website. In other words, when more people visit your website, the search engine assumes it is because your content is valuable. Hence, they will put it out there for more people to see.
It will help your local customers find you easily: Enlisting your local business in a good local business directory will help them locate your local business easily. Business directories carry relevant information about your local business. To further improve your business’ attractiveness, you should use quality product pictures. Your best option is to hire a professional photographer for that. Learn more about how website pictures can impact your business from this Strikingly blog post.
For instance, a local restaurant can put up attractive pictures of their restaurant alongside tasteful-looking dishes. This will attract more customers than a restaurant website that is plain and devoid of pictures. Those pictures will add credibility and trust to the local business and attract prospects who have initiated local business searches.
There is a wide range of opportunities open to local businesses on the internet. Many consumers conduct local business searches before they make a purchase. Such consumers make their purchasing decisions based on local search results. This means if your business is not findable, you are losing a lot of money.
Since your consumers are actively searching for you, you must create tactics to help them find you easily. That way, the next time your customers initiate local business searches on their search engines, your business website will pop up top in the local search results and connect them directly to you. If you are looking to build a website for your business, check out these business website templates on Strikingly. With a free website, you can begin your journey into creating a findable business for your customers.