Customers use Google to find products and services in their area. According to statistics, 46 percent of all Google searches are local, and nearly 29 percent of customers search for local businesses at least once a week.
Is your website at the top of the search results when local customers search for “language school near me” or “best language school in London” if you own a school, a travel agency, or any other type of language business that serves a local area? And how well are you enticing people to click on your results?
If you’re a local business that hasn’t yet optimized your website for local search, you’re passing up a huge opportunity every time a local customer searches for your products or services online.
Do you want to know how to get your local business in front of those local searches? Continue reading for five tips on how to make your website more easily found by local customers.
Establish a Google business profile.
Creating and optimizing your Google listing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to appear in Google’s local search results as well as Google Maps.
What exactly is a Google listing? It is your Google My Business business profile, where you provide information about your school to the search engine and people searching for it. This includes your business type and industry, the products and services you sell, where you’re located (if you have one), and contact information such as email and phone.
There are numerous reasons to create a Google business profile, including:
- Improve your chances of appearing near the top of local search engine results.
- Control the information Google displays about your company and ensure that it is accurate and up to date.
- Assure local customers that you are a legitimate business they can buy from.
- Directly in the search results, provide people with quick access to your website’s address, phone number, and business hours.
So, if you haven’t already, set up your Google My Business account. All of the steps are detailed in our article on how to set up Google My Business.
Once you’ve created your Google business profile, make sure to optimize it and monitor it to ensure that:
- All of the information is correct and up to date. This includes your company’s name, logo, address, operating hours, and acceptable payment methods.
- It includes all of the new products and services that you’ve added to your portfolio.
- You read and respond to every new customer review posted on your Google page, even if it’s simply to say “Thank you.”
Encourage local customers to write reviews about your school.
Encouraging local customers to write reviews about their interactions with you does more than just improve your visibility in local search results. It also fosters trust and encourages more prospects to purchase from you.
Consider what appears in the local search results when looking for a local small business accountant:
- Local searchers are more likely to click on, visit, and purchase from websites that have a high number of customer ratings and reviews.
So, if you’re a new business or didn’t realize how important customer ratings and reviews are, now is the time to put them first. But how do you get more reviews for your school? Here are two easy things you can do:
- To encourage people to try your products or services, provide free trial or discounts.
- Then request a review.
- Send a follow-up email asking customers to leave a review.
- More ideas can be found in this post about 16 tried-and-true ways to get more Google reviews.
Make your website more visible in local searches.
If you’ve been researching ways to attract more local customers to your website, you’ve probably come across some information about local search engine optimization (SEO). This is the process of optimizing your website so that it appears at the top of search results when people look for local businesses near them.
So, how should you optimize your website for local search? There are numerous options available to you, but the following are the top priorities:
Look into local keywords.
Begin by researching and optimizing your website pages with keywords relevant to your company and local customers. These keywords help Google understand what each page on your site is about. Don’t know what keywords to use? Try the 123 Reg Digital Marketing Suite, which includes our Search Engine Optimizer tool to assist you in determining the best keywords.
Include keywords in your content.
Include your keywords in the content of your website. Add different and relevant keywords to your page title, meta description, headings and subheadings, and image alt text, depending on the content and information on each page (the description of an image). Also, consider mentioning your location and the local community that you serve. Include your location, for example, if you serve customers in London, alongside your keywords.
Make your location known.
Include your location on your About page and any other pages that are relevant. For example, if you’re a florist, your About page is an excellent place to mention that you serve customers in London.
Read on to find out how to optimize your content with relevant keywords.
- Write blog posts about local issues, events, and causes.
If you have a blog, make the most of it in order to attract local customers. How? Keep up with local news and events, and create content that is relevant to both local stories and your business. It’s a good way to get the attention of local customers.
For example, if a charity you support is promoting a new cause, write a blog post introducing the cause and explaining why you got involved, and encourage others to do the same. Write about a local marathon on your blog if you sell sports equipment or custom t-shirts. This type of content can help you rank higher in local search results.
If you don’t already have one, now is the time to start. There are numerous advantages to blogging, including increased local awareness and traffic to your website. Just be consistent and include relevant keywords that local customers will use to find your business. Learn more about how to use blogging to increase the sales of your small business.
- Get your company listed in local business directories.
Online business directories include sites such as Yelp, Yell, and others. Getting listed in local directories can help get your business found by local customers, whether you’ve been online for a while or are just getting your offline business online.
So, conduct some research to identify the most popular local business directories, and then submit your company information to each of them. This typically includes your company name, website address, physical address (if you have one), phone number, email address, and a detailed description of your company and offers.
If you don’t have time or don’t want to deal with the hassle, you can use our Digital Marketing Suite, which includes a Local Listing Tool that will help you get listed on the most relevant local directories. You only need to enter your company information once, and we’ll handle the rest.
If you want to attract local customers, you must appear in local search results when they look for your business. By following the advice in this article, you can improve your site’s visibility in local search results and ensure that more local customers find you when they’re looking for a company like yours.