The mantra that all SEO consultancy firms have been chanting for the last couple of years is “local SEO”. The basic concept of local SEO is quite simple. Most companies based in a geographic location need to be found by the local people. But what about people from the outside who might be looking for your business?
This concern is very true for all companies that are related to travel and tourism. Here are a few numbers to help you understand why:
- According to the 2016 reports published by the AAA, almost 35% of the families from the US had planned a vacation of 50+ miles last year.
- Almost 488.1 million business trips were completed by Americans in 2015 only. That accounts for almost 1.3 million work-related tours and trips happening every day for a year!
These numbers account for a significant percentage of the global population that is always on the move and might be looking for your business/hotel/restaurant right now! So unless your website ranks on the first page of Google search results you will be buried by your competitors from your location!
How to get spotted?
There are quite a few factors that will tell how visible you are on the web. But here are a few things that you must always consider while fixing your local SEO:
- Manage your location data
Location data is now available ideally in two places. Both your website and your local business listing must have the same location and constant details to solve any kind of confusion the “newcomers” might have.
- What’s beyond NAP?
Name, address and phone number are indeed the basic locators but besides these you need to have a number of other features on your websites that will guide your new customers to your location, literally –
- Driving directions – always include directions and map markers in your website maps section. Integrate with Google Maps and include the best set of user-friendly driving directions on the company website.
- Working hours – If your business is seasonal or has holiday hours please list them on your website as well as with Google local business listings.
- Parking and valet – your establishment may have in-premises parking or your customers may have to use the paid-parking lot in the next block, the trick is to prepare your first-timers from before.
- Payment options – no one likes the embarrassment caused by the lack of international card support or “no digital wallet” policies at the last moment of checking out. So when listing your business do not forget to include a line about accepted payment methods for satisfying your customers.
Local SEO may not be rocket-science but it does take a beautiful blend of imagination and technicalities to get things rolling for a local business. The strongest instrument for all local businesses is reviews on trusted sites. Know that almost 92% of your customers come to you after reading reviews about your services on the web.
Author bio: if you are obsessed with SEO and local SEO optimization you must have already made your acquaintance with Derek Iwasiuk. He is an author, leader and engineer, who loves devising new ways for websites to find a place in the first page of Google search results. Follow him on twitter @Diwasiuk for daily tips and tricks on SEO.