Optimizing for Local Search Helps Small Businesses
Owning a small business is exciting, but for some people their business is overshadowed by the big box stores that everyone knows. When this happens, it often means the smaller companies are forced out of business. However, most people, before going shopping, do an online search for the product. If the small business's website is properly optimized for local search, though, their website will outrank the big box stores. This can easily draw in new customers.
Proper optimization of the website will include putting information on the website that relates to the region. For example, if people are running a camping gear website, they will want to have the camping gear listed, but also include their location. This way people have a chance to draw in the local visitors as well as regional viewers.
A local targeting for the website, will help draw in traffic from people who did not know the business exist. A lot of times, the reason why people end up avoiding the smaller companies is they do not know they exist. However, with the local optimization on the websites, they will end up ranking for the regional area and this helps people in getting to enjoy the knowledge people have in knowing their business will be seen.
More and more people today are looking for local businesses using their mobile phones, and this type of search is becoming really hot. By properly optimizing for Local, a company can be listed inside the “3-pack”. This listing shows a map with pins, and for those inside the 3-pack the mobile searcher can call or find directions to the business without clicking past the search screen. How convenient is that?
And how much business are those who are NOT in the 3-pack losing to their competition who are there?
Local Search optimization is a different process from, but complementary to, optimizing a website itself. It takes about as much time to start to see results, and so the costs are quite similar. Every business needs to start by claiming or creating their Google My Business page. Google keeps changing this entity too. It started as Google Maps, then Google Local, Google Plus Business, and now Google My Business. You may have claimed your business years ago, but if you didn't keep it up-to-date, you may have to reclaim it. Do you remember the email and password you used?
The bottom line, however, is that optimizing for Local Search is crucial if you have a small business. Otherwise, your competition is going to garner the corner on your market.