How to Make Sure Real, Local Customers Are Finding Your Business

With the majority of your small business’ customers being local, you want to ensure they can find you when they are searching on the Internet. With Google estimating that users’ searches for businesses near them has grown by 146 percent in the last year, it is now more important than ever that your business comes up in local searches.

Get Listed in Search Engine Directories

As a first step, take advantage of Google’s My Business page, which will feature your small business’ contact information. Make sure you fill out all the fields in the listing to ensure your small business comes up in Google Maps and its search engine results. Want more impact? Include photos of your small business or the products that you offer.

While Google may seem like the most obvious place to list your small business, you should also register with the various other search engines out there. These include sites such as Bing, Yahoo, Citysearch and Foursquare. Think about all the places your customers would be looking for your small business’ products and services and make sure you are listed with those sites. Verify your small business’ listing on these sites and make sure your information is consistent, as this will help search engines recognize your small business as relevant and reputable.

Other Ways to Get Local Results

Online reviews are another way that customers are finding out about small businesses. They are using sites such as Facebook and Yelp to get information about your small business and the experiences other customers have had with you. More and more consumers are relying on review sites to give them an idea of whether yours is a company that they want to visit and do business with. Ask your loyal customers to write reviews about your small business on these sites. A few positive reviews can go a long way toward enhancing your small business’ reputation and will help you in local search engine listings as well.

With the increase in users searching the Internet with mobile devices, you will also want to have a website that is mobile friendly so your website will look good no matter which device a potential customer uses to view it. Websites that are not optimized for mobile devices frustrate users, and search engines like Google will actually demote those websites in search results. It’s more than likely your customers are using their smartphones to search for your business, and you want to be sure they find you, so you should optimize your website for them.

For every listing through which your small business is registered, you will want to make sure the information is consistent across all platforms. Use the exact same name, address and abbreviations across the listings to ensure that search engines can easily find you and recognize that you are a legitimate business, allowing you to appear in its results. Also remember to make sure your hours of operation are the same throughout.

Following these tips can ensure your small business will be found in local Internet searches. This will allow more potential customers to find you and, in turn, take advantage of your products and services.

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