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Google recently made some significant changes to the local search results display by reducing the 7 pack display to 3 pack. This sudden change affected several local businesses which makes it tougher for the local businesses to feature in the local search rankings. And the fact that around 73 percent of all online activity happening in the local search area, this makes it all the more important for SME’s to concentrate more on local search optimization.

This also means that more customers are turning to local searches to gather information about their available local vendors. It further presents an opportunity to these local business houses to take advantage of this new found development and optimize for Google’s local listing. This will enable them to feature prominently in the Google’s local SERPs and attract more online visitors including the new ones. Here are some easy ways that you can follow to optimize for local SERP’s with Google.

1) Provide Sufficient Information

According to a recent Google release, the number of mobile searches exceeded the desktop crawls. That means 1 in 3 customers will do a local search on their smartphone before actually visiting the store. All these customers are ready to buy sort of customers which look for some valuable information like address and working hours of the stores leading to sales. To ensure that you feature prominently in these local listings, fill out all the information clearly that provides complete online solution to your local visitor.

This will act as a two-way opportunity for you to not only get your desired users attention but also based on that, Google will rank your business. Providing complete information about your business in the local search listing will ensure that Google ranks you ahead of your competitor.

Google will give you suggestions about your business may fit so you need to ensure choose the right option. Don’t be afraid to select the specific option that best describes your business. This will ensure that right kind of people will come visiting your site. Google also assures business owners that broader search listings get featured alongside the specific-minded ones in the broader searches.

The important thing is that be specific in choosing your business category that best describes your business. For example, if you’re a restaurant specializing in Chinese food, categorize it as “Chinese Restaurant” and not something else.

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2) Help Your Customer To Locate You

Google map enabled Google+ local listings generate the user’s location and information to help your target audience to track the whereabouts of your business. Any errors remaining therein will only confuse your online searcher.

Google rewards those businesses which show same consistency level in local listing of their businesses across various platforms.  Any discrepancy in that regard will not only result in lower business ranking but also will hurt your user experience. Wesley Young studied the impact of various factors on local search performance and found that NAP citations influences 16% of the local search rankings. So ensure that you integrate location keywords in your local content listings. Findings further showed that keywords when placed in the business titles impacts 19.6% of your business’s local search performance. Use location keywords throughout the Google listing that includes Title Tag, H1 heading and the URL. These keywords not only help Google with the relevancy of your business but also convey the message to your targeted customer that your business is local.

3) Look For Customer Feedback

Reviews do help in the point of sale. And great customer feedback in terms of reviews ensures further popularity of your business, too. According to Nielson survey report, 92 percent of customers make their purchase decision based on the third party reviews and recommendations more than the traditional form of paid advertising. That means more positive reviews on the Google’s local SERP listings will further enhance the popularity of your brand. This will prominently feature in your company’s name to foster click through to your site.

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Reviews also impact your business’s SERP listings as such. So if your business gets more positive third party reviews, Google will feature you prominently in its search rankings ahead of your competitors. So encourage your online visitor to leave a review about your business, when they do visit you.

If you’re finding it difficult to gather more positive reviews, we have a solution for you – our review widget. This will help not only your Local SEO efforts but also attract new business. The best part is, you can filter negative reviews from the back end. So if someone leaves a positive review, you request them to post the review on Google or Yelp. If the review is negative, we don’t ask them to post the review to third party sites and handle the customer in a way that it does not become a bigger issue. Contact us if you need a demo of our review widget.

4) Assist Google To Help You Out

Include your company’s URL in the Google My Business listing. Google will use this information to improve the search listings on the page. This means that your website needs to be easily read by the search engine. So do include appropriate keywords and map enabled business address backed up by the quality content in your website’s About us page and Home page.

Give prominence to local searches to optimize your local listing page and Google will drastically help boost your business. By focusing on the above points, Google will get better knowledge about your business and that will ensure desired attention of your target audience to help you grow further.

In case if you haven’t optimize your business with Google then the above mentioned tips are an easy way to get started but if you still are in soup with the above mentioned process, do not hesitate to get in touch with us via sales@agencyplatform.com or call 888-736-0541 (Toll Free). And, do not forget to check out our Local SEO Packages.

About The Author

Dave Thompson works at AgencyPlatform.com, a White Label Software + Services provider for online marketing agencies.

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