Personalized search is here to stay. Anyone signed into Google will get their own search results based on location, search history, social connections, and other factors. This is particularly obvious when you look up something loosely related to a local business. Google “hamburgers,” for instance, and you get a list of nearby restaurants. Search “car repair” and you see a combination of Google ads, map results, local listings, and plain old search results. To succeed in local search you have to let Google know you have a strong local presence. But how exactly does one go about doing that…
1: Fill out everything on your Google+ Business Page. Everything. Address, description, hours, accepted payment methods, etc. Don’t leave anything blank and always keep the info up to date.
2: Keep a high profile on G+. Show Google that your business is a happening place to be by regularly posting updates, photos, videos, and commenting on other pages and posts.
3: Get more Google reviews. The businesses that show up most frequently in local search results all have one thing in common: lots of Google reviews. “Please leave us a review on Google” is something you should be saying to every customer.
4: More +1’s. Make sure you prominently feature that little Google +1 button on your homepage and other popular parts of your website. It’s a great way for people to casually endorse your business without having to go through the trouble of writing up a full review.
5: Go big on Yelp. Google recently updated their search algorithm, and so far one of the big takeaways is that Yelp listings appear to be showing up higher in search results. Add new photos of your business and encourage customers to rate you on Yelp.
6: Blog about it. Use your own website to promote yourself as a popular local destination. Write about topics that are relevant to the community and explain where you fit in to it all.
7: Give ’em something to talk about. Create online buzz around your business by running creative promotions and hosting events. Bonus points if you can get popular online publications to mention your business.
8: Be social. Google won’t admit how much stock they put in Facebook and Twitter as a search signals, but independent studies have repeatedly shown a correlation between social presence and Google placement.
Follow these easy tips and your local business will be popping up in front of more eyeballs than ever before!