Showing up in Local Searches
Getting Found Online
Showing up in Local Searches
Most of what we’re going to talk about today does not require you to have a website to take part in local SEO (search engine optimization). It’s all about getting your business found online.
One of the most frustrating things is knowing there’s a business a mile away from you, and doing an online search and not being able to find them.
Search engines want to deliver you the best results that they can. And they want to do so geographically, especially when people are looking up things on their phone. A lot of users will allow search engines to use their location to help them find a local business. As a business though, you have to do something to show up on the search page.
There are a couple basic ways to help you show up in search results, and if you do these things you’ll be ahead of 80% of the competition. And this is true whether or not you have a website.
Google My Business
You can go to Google My Business and this is where Google will allow you to put in all the information about your business. And you can use this whether you have a storefront, or if you’re a home based business and you don’t want to put in your home address. You can put in as much information about the address as you want – neighborhood or city, or a PO Box. There’s also a checkbox when you’re filling out all your info that says “I serve customers at my business address”. And if you check this, Google will include your address in your listing.
When you’re filling information about your business online, when you get to the section that asks for your business description, what you write in there is the key to getting found online. So take time and thought into writing it, describe in detail what it is you do. You only need 15-30 minutes tops to sit down and make sure your company description(s) are clearly showing what your business does, who you are. And when you’re writing out your description, don’t worry about how long it is, write everything out, everything you do, and work it down so that when someone searches for your business type (Ex: Tampa custom t-shirts), you show up on the ma. Think of every word your customer might use to describe what you do. For example, if your business is rhinestone t-shirts, you might want rhinestones, bling, dance shirts, cheer moms, etc. And if you find you have a lot of these keywords, rank them and pick your top 10 and those words have to go in your description.
. Think of every word your customer might use to describe what you do. For example, if your business is rhinestone t-shirts, you might want rhinestones, bling, dance shirts, cheer moms, etc. And if you find you have a lot of these keywords, rank them and pick your top 10 and those words have to go in your description.
If you’re at a loss for words to include, think about what you specialize in. Perhaps it’s youth sports so include baseball, soccer, and little league. You’re not looking for everybody to find you – you’re looking for the people that want exactly what you do. If you have some space left over, then add in a little bit about what makes your business different from everyone else. Perhaps it’s free shipping, 24-hour turn around time, family run, or no minimum order. If someone is looking for your business and there’s three of you, what’s going to make them pick your business?
And don’t forget about your neighborhood. If your business is downtown, or near downtown, or in a well-known neighborhood, make sure you add that in your description. It’ll help people find you if they’re in a specific area.
Get the best customers for you by writing good information in the description.
If you have a storefront shop, or you don’t mind people coming by your house, make sure you put in the address, the business name, a phone number, and your business hours. Not only will this be what Google uses to find you, it will help you look more like a legitimate business. And if you have business hours search engines will add as part of your listing “Open now!” or “Closed now”.
Bing Places is another place you want to create a business listing. This is also free and you want to make sure the same information you list in the Google My Business page is also on here.
This is your Name, Address, Phone number. And you want to make sure your NAP is 100% the same on all your listings, down to the letter. Does your area code on your phone number have parenthesis around it or not? Are you spelling in St. or Street? Is it “Colman and Company” or “Colman & Company”? It may sound silly, but it makes a difference, and it goes back to the idea of branding for your business. You want consistent branding.
Once you’ve got your NAP down, make sure it’s the same across Google My Business, Bing Places, Facebook, your website, and any other community places where you can list your business information.
Even if you don’t have a website, Facebook for business pages are free. And you can put in the NAP information and as well have a lot more room for text. If you have a separate website, there’s a place for that information on Facebook, as well as your hours, a phone number, best way to contact you. And it’s an easy way to post photos of your product to really showcase what you do.
Ready for more?
Once you’ve got these things nailed down, there’ are a few other alternative ways to help people find you.
This can be a tourism page, chamber of commerce, or city website. A lot of these places want local business to fill out their information. It adds legitimacy to their website and will make people want to go there to find information. It may take a bit more work for you to find these pages and add your listing, but still free, and still worth it. These sites don’t always have a ton of business listing on them, so for the people that use their site to find businesses, you’re more likely to grab those customers.
It could also be a forum for a local sports team. You can participate in the forum discussions and add your business name and website in the signature. Especially if you’re the one providing the team jerseys or hats.
The review is a big deal, and it’s a great favor to ask of your customers. Don’t be afraid to ask them, “You know what would really help me out? Do you think you could do a Google or Yelp review for me? It’d really help my business.” And if you’re asking them in person, flip your laptop around so they can write the review for you right then.
Or you could ask them to “check-in” on Facebook when they’re visiting your shop. And if you have a little freebie you could give away in return, it’s definitely a motivator.
Trip Advisor / Travelocity
These might be a little more niche, but if a business you create custom shirts for is on one of these sites, you could go in and leave them a review. Something along the lines of “Proud supplier of this business! And their burgers are amazing.”
Manta.com will also let you list your business and will help you show up in searches. The one warning we have though is you will start getting calls from people offering you to help with your SEO. If you ever get a call or email from someone saying they can get you to the number one spot in a search engine listing, and it’ll only cost $1,500, just hang up. We’ve given you a handful of things that you can do for free, and if you want to go deeper into SEO, there’s a ton of free information and videos online.
If you decide to have a website make sure you follow the same rules as above when creating your page. And if you’re hiring someone to build your website, find out what they can offer in terms SEO, because if they’re good, they’ll know how to prepare your website for local SEO.
YouTube is a great place to be found and is one of the top three places people search for things. You can link from your YouTube videos (in the description) back to your website or Facebook page, and this will help your SEO and search ranking.
If you’re not wanting to get something produced commercially, or are camera shy, you can just put on a simple “How-to” video, or a tour of your space, or perhaps you’re completing an order for a customer and want to shoot a 30 second video of them being made to show the customer. Chances are your customer will share it with other people.
A lot of what we mentioned above can be done in a single afternoon. It doesn’t take a long time to implement things that will help boost your SEO.
And the last part – make sure everything is up to date. Check in at least twice a year. Are you still doing everything you list in your description? Have you added more services? Did you change your hours?
Remember: Little things can have a big impact on your SEO.
- Join us on Facebook: Custom Apparel Startup
- Listen to more podcasts: caspodcast.com
- Watch some sales and business webinars: caswebinars.com
- Learn more about Rhinestone Machines, Embroidery Machines, Direct to Garment Printing and more at http://coldesi.wpengine.com
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