Improving your SEO – are you missing out on local customers?

Improving your SEO - are you missing out on local customers?

Improving your SEO – are you missing out on local customers?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not a proven science. Improving your SEO – are you missing out on local customers? What can work for one business, might not necessarily work for another and many business owners don’t really understand it. We understand that the idea of SEO can be overwhelming, but did you know that almost 80% of all local searches convert? Meaning potential brand-new customers who are already looking for you…so don’t miss out!

What’s more, in recent years (especially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic), searches for businesses ‘near me’ have increased by more than a staggering 500%!

How to reach local customers with Google My Business (GMB)

Say if you were to search for ‘coffee shops near me’, you would expect to see listings for local businesses that meet your needs. You’d also be able to see any particular services that they offer – such as delivery, take-out, or whether they’re purely a dine-in venue. As well as this information, you’d see other customer’s reviews and a rating out of 5 stars.

These are Google My Business listings. If you don’t have one, it’s time to get started and create one – it’s really simple to do here.

If a listing already exists but you don’t have access to it, you’ll need to claim it and verify account ownership before you can make any updates…and that’s where it can become more time-consuming.

Making the most of local search

You need to take full advantage of a Google My Business listing and treat it as another social media channel.

For example, make sure that all of your business information is correct. Update that old phone number and use this as an opportunity to link to your brand new website! 

If local customers are searching for a business like yours, make sure they find YOU before they find your competitors.

If you’re situated in an area like us, in New York, where it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd, use GMB’s tools to the best of your abilities and make it truly work for you.

For example:

  • Business Description: this is limited to 750 characters so each word really has to count! Use this section to briefly describe what you do and if you service areas around you too (that are a little further afield), include this by adding ‘We also serve the following cities: …..’. This way, more people will be able to find you.
  • Geo-tag images: A picture can really be worth 1,000 words by making sure that they’re geo-tagged, making it even easier for customers to find you. Post images as regularly as you can, from new creations in a restaurant to brand new signage, even just a picture to showcase some great sunshine! And make sure you’ve shared your location.
  • Engage customers: Stay in contact with your customers – when they leave a business review, respond to it. If it’s a glowing 5-star review, thank them and express how pleased you are that they enjoyed their visit. If it’s not as glowing, perhaps apologise for their impression of your business and hope to see them again in the future.
  • Promote events and post regularly: If you’re sharing articles on a blog, perhaps share bite-size sections on GMB too. Be sure to make the most of the platform for any upcoming events too, such as sales or promotions. Google My Business is no longer ‘just’ a directory listing, it’s much much more than that, so utilize it!

Local SEO is often neglected as business owners tend to focus on attracting online customers through global SEO strategies instead. 

Don’t miss out on potential local customers – sure, it’s a smaller pond than when you think more global, but you have a much bigger chance of being a bigger fish!

Not sure where to start?

Leave it to us! At HV Media Group, we’ve been helping businesses within the New York area and beyond get noticed online for years. 

If you’re a business owner who’s serious about growing your business and improving your local SEO, get in touch about a FREE 30-minute strategy session here.


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