Is your business locally owned and operated? Do you only target specific states, cities, or neighborhoods?
If so, you’re hopefully working hard on your website and web presence.
That’s great! We love local businesses at Portent, and we’d like to help you out. Here are 3 quick and easy steps that you can take to update your website, and grow your web presence.
Put Your Address & Phone Number on Your Site
This is, to many, a no-brainer. You run a local business; you likely have your address or phone number on your site, right?
Sadly, not always.
Many sites have the company address listed, but it’s often hidden away on the Contact or About Us page. Sometimes the number is on the main page, but it’s in an image, and is thus invisible to the search engines. Once in a blue moon, I’ll see a site that flat out doesn’t put their address or phone number anywhere. I’m still confused at how a local business expects to succeed without their address on their site, but I digress.
The easiest and quickest solution is to put your address and phone number in either the header or footer of your site in search-engine readable HTML text. This way, your information is on every page of your site, and you don’t have to work it into the site content nor images.
Update Page Titles with Address, City, or Phone Number
Many local business’ sites are designed and developed cheaply, by people that don’t know enough about designing and developing. I know this from experience – before I came to Portent, I designed and developed some pretty mediocre local sites. But the one thing I did do was make sure that all my client’s pages had locally targeted page titles (the text within <title> in your html) featuring the business’ address, city, and/or phone number.
What we see a lot from local sites, is that the entire site shares the same page <title>s and sometimes never includes anything local.
If your business relies on phone calls for appointments, orders, etc. then you should consider the following approach:
[service/product] – [biz name] [phone number] – [city]
Alternately, if it makes sense to target your locality first (home services like plumbers, landscapers, etc.) then I suggest this:
[city] [service/product] – [biz name]
When I write <title>s, I like to call out the business with a superlative, such as Houston’s Favorite Pizza, Atlanta’s Best Tapas, or Minot’s Only Acupuncturist. This will get the attention of your potential customers in the search results by helping you stand out from the competition – who wants to go to the local pizza joint, when you’re Houston’s Favorite?
Claim Your Local Search Engine Listings
Do you own your own place listing on the major search engines? Do you even know whether you have listings on the major search engines?
If not, you should. They’re the most important tools to your local business’ success.
It’s an easy process – it only takes about 30 seconds (depending on your typing speed). Each of these will have a step by step process that is very easy to follow. At the end of the process, the site you have submitted to will call you, mail you, or email you a PIN number to confirm you as the business owner. Enter that PIN, and your listing will be claimed. Submit your listing to the following sites:
- Google Places: http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter?gl=us&hl=en-US
- Bing Local: https://ssl.bing.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx
- Yahoo: http://listings.local.yahoo.com/
For many of you, your local business is your life. For the rest, local SEO is the key to getting a leg up on the competition. We have a lot of experience in local SEO, and if you’d like a full review of what can be done to improve your local SEO efforts, we can help!
If you have any questions or comments, please add them below. We’d love to let you know what you can do to improve your local SEO.