If you are writing for a business that searches for local clients, then you will be pleased to know that buying local is in fashion, and Google is supporting the trend for local preferences. As a matter of fact, Google has been focusing attention on local search for the last few years, as evidenced by the investment in Google Maps, Google+ and Street View. In 2014, Google ran its Pigeon filter to further solidify its methods for local search.
Benefits for Customers
For visitors and residents in a locale, this focus on local means that they can search Google confidently for restaurants and business in any major city and many smaller cities and find accurate information, images and detailed offers from local companies. Google has hired photographers to take pictures of the exterior and interior of businesses listed on the search engine as well as confirm geographical locations and contact information. Additionally, you can not only get directions from Google Maps, but see pictures of the location you are going to visit so that you know you are in the right place.
This news is exciting because it is another way that people can find those small mom and pop shops, artist galleries and trendy boutiques that are tucked away in an eclectic corner of their city. Buying local keeps the community afloat financially and it rewards everyone involved from the customer looking for that unique gift to the seller searching for rich customer relationships.
Challenge and Opportunity for Businesses
For businesses, Google Local has become a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is ensuring that their business is online with an up-to-date website and a Google Local / Google+ listing with all of the details entered correctly. Businesses can claim their listing on Google and make many of the corrections themselves. However, it does become challenging to keep up with the information unless you have a dedicated employee who is assigned that job. Writing services can assist in keeping local content correct and timely.
The opportunity is getting the word out to more people than ever on a powerful platform that can reach hundreds or even thousands of people that have never interacted with their local business.
How Can a Company Rank Higher in Local Search?
With the opportunity of reaching more local customers, ranking higher in Google Local SERPs has obvious benefits. Ranking factors in local search are not exactly the same as in national or international search, but there is overlap.
In this excellent article in Search Engine Land, “Simple Tips To Set The Stage For Local SEO In 2015,” Greg Gifford offers several suggestions which boil down to these:
- Be Awesome
- Earn Awesome Links
Since being awesome is not quantifiable, additional suggestions are included discussing how to improve website content and make it visible as local to search engine bots. Another valuable resource referenced is “The 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors” from MOZ which outlines what Google is looking for in order to rank listings for local search.
Paula A spends her days writing about sales and marketing, but in her off-time, she devotes her culinary skills to creating biscotti recipes just for fun.