You may have the most beautiful storefront in town, but if you’re not using best practices for local search engine optimization (SEO), your customers may not even make it to your door. An estimated one-third of shoppers use the internet to find a local, physical retailer or restaurant at least once a week.
Some of these you’ve already done – maybe years ago. If so, you still must periodically review your content to see if it’s accurate, up-to-date, and not accidentally sweeping your shop or eatery's name into a virtual dustbin. Here are some simple steps for local SEO in 2018.
- If you haven’t already, claim your Google My Business Page.
- Choose the correct categories for your business and upload photographs of your business. Google’s algorithm is going to determine your list order based on several factors – photos are a must!
- Enter your phone number and your physical location. Verify your business listing so that it will be eligible to show on Google’s maps, search and more.
- List your hours and make sure they are accurate. Don’t flake out on your customers here – if your hours vary for holidays or other special events, make sure you edit your hours so people don’t show up when you aren’t there.
- Improve your SEO by going through those first few steps and make them consistent everywhere you live online. If you list your Suite number on your address on Google, put it on your website and your Facebook page as well. If your hours change, make sure you change them everywhere.
- Encourage reviews from customers while they’re in your store and create a link online. Respond to your customers as well. All of these will improve your shop’s visibility – and ranking.
Even if your retail shop isn’t bricks-to-clicks, you should employ local SEO for your business to succeed. Your shoppers and future fans are looking down at their phones more than they’re looking up at your beautiful window display, therefore you need to be visible, accurate and present online.