Local SEO: 3 Simple ways to increase your foot traffic by using Google

Everything is online now, and your business shouldn’t be an exception to that. No matter what industry you’re in, an online presence is something your company shouldn’t exist without.

Many brick and mortar businesses fail to see the importance of having a website when all of their sales happen in person. However, rarely anybody uses Yellow Pages these days, and not being listed online is now equal to being invisible on the market.

There are a few simple things you can do to increase your foot traffic, and one of them is investing in a little bit of local SEO. Search engines, especially Google, are our windows into the internet. When people have a question or want to find out something, Google is the first thing they turn to. By investing just a little bit of time and effort into it, your business could be the first thing that shows up there.

Start by choosing an intuitive, easy to use website builder that delivers great SEO. We recommend going with SITE123, a free website building platform. Thanks to the amazing code it’s built on, you can expect incredible SEO results with any website you create.

What is Local SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a set of action a person can take to make their website rank better on search engines. Local SEO is the same thing, but with the end goal of your business showing up first in your area.

Having a globally popular web page is great, but it won’t do you much good if you don’t make money from online sales or ads. If your end goal is to increase foot traffic to your business, local SEO is the only way to achieve that. Using local SEO will help search engines connect your activities with a certain location, giving you a much bigger chance of ranking higher.

Why does everybody keep telling you it’s important?

The key to having a successful small business is creating a name for yourself in your local area.

Whether it’s a hair salon you’re running, a vintage shop, or a small mom and pop pizzeria – most of your business will depend on how well you serve your local community.

Search engines have an end goal of providing users with exactly the information they need. To do that, they tailor the search results according to their specific location. So, if a person googles “best place to get a haircut,” they use their location to provide them with geo-targeted content.

There isn’t a better or a simpler way to market your business than using local SEO, which is why it should be one of your top priorities.

These are the three simple things you can do to increase your foot traffic by using Google.

1. Get listed on GoogleMyBusiness

GMB, or Google My Business, is a search engine directory you need to be on to even get the chance of ranking at all.

Google My Business is a great tool you can use to give people more info about your business. When you get listed on GMB, you get the option of adding your business hours, address, phone numbers and directions – bits of information crucial to your clients.

Getting listed on GMB will automatically add you to Google Maps, which is what will help you rank high in something called the “local pack.”

The local pack takes the three highest ranking businesses from Google Maps and features them above all other results when the search targets a specific location. It’s the place to be if you want your business to be seen by as many people as possible.

Getting featured in the local pack isn’t as hard as it seems. Apart from being listed on Google My Business, you need to have good reviews.

For an extremely popular food such as pizza, and a city as big as San Francisco, you’ll need hundreds of reviews to get into the local pack.

However, if you target a more specific location or a less conventional food, a few dozen reviews is more than enough to get you into the top three local pack businesses.

2. Don’t overlook your local directories

When it comes to anything online, Google is king. However, you shouldn’t forget about your local directories either.

They might not give your website that much traction globally, but they can do wonders for your local visibility.

Local directories work exactly like any other online directory, except that they’re focused on indexing small businesses grouped by their location.

When people want to look for places to eat, things to do and sights to visit, they often turn to these smaller, local directories for help. They offer the best-tailored results to very specific searches, and you should use that to your advantage.

Get listed in places like Bing Places for Business, Yahoo Local Listing, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and Merchant Circle.

What’s more important is the fact that Google Search values these local directories more than other websites, and being featured there increases your chance of organically ranking higher.

3. Make sure your site is mobile optimized

Almost 60% of time spend on digital media comes from mobile usage.

As smartphones are becoming better and cheaper, more people use their phones as their primary way of accessing the internet. Google is aware of this fact, which is why it often uses mobile websites to rank them, rather than their desktop versions.

Choose images that are easy to load, and make sure your website has a layout that looks good on mobile. Remember that most people will be looking at your site while they’re on the go, so keep the content clear, straightforward and easy to read.

You should also check if your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is up to date and easy to locate on the web page. Ultimately, your goal is to appeal to customers and have them call or visit you, so make sure you don’t skip this important step.