You don’t need to outrank everyone; you should show up among the top in your local area.[/caption] In marketing we spent a lot of time trying to attract people to us. But let’s admit: It’s easiest to connect with people who are already looking for you. That’s where local searches come in. If you’re a small business owner, it’s unrealistic to assume that you’re going to be able to compete with everyone in your industry on the World Wide Web. You might be No. 398 of search results that include everyone on the planet — but you may be in the Top 3 in your own neighborhood. Aim to build a loyal base with local customers by turning up in local searches. Here’s a fun fact: 75% of people are already specifically looking for businesses in their local area when they perform searches online. They’re also 75% more likely to hear about a business for the first time (and form opinions about it) based on what comes up in search results. If those numbers aren’t convincing enough, here’s another one: 82% of local searches result in a phone call, visit, or purchase, according to TMP/comScore. These are all reasons why it’s important to spruce up your local search result ranking, rather than relying on general keyword searches to bring new audiences to your website blindly and hope for conversions.

How to Stand Out in Local Searches

So you’re convinced that you need to show up in local searches. So how can you do that?
  1. Make sure that your business name and contact information are listed often and easily accessible throughout your website, such as on every page’s header or footer. When a search engine crawls your page, this will make your information easy to find.
  2. Create plenty of places online where your information is listed, whether it’s every known social media platform out there or by having other local businesses list it. You’ll want to make sure this is always accurate and up-to-date. A search engine may pick up your information from a website other than your own.
  3. Choosing SEO on your own website, you may want to incorporate words about your local area and surrounding neighborhoods. For example, you may want to use Fort Lauderdale, Ft. Lauderdale, South Florida, street names, or other hyper-local terms or nicknames for the area right around where you’re based. A good rule of thumb is about 10 miles, but this will vary based on your business type. People aren’t going to travel as far for a good cup of coffee as they will for the right car body design specialist.
Of course, there is also paying for listings with services like Google Places. But if you put in the time, you should be able to build a significant presence organically. Most importantly: Always Google yourself on a regular basis to see how you’re doing, if your info’s up-to-date,  and where you rank. Just be sure to use your incognito mode in your browser, and allow your browser to access your location, to get the most accurate results!]]>