Local SEO | Search Engine Optimization
In recent months and even days, Google, which is the leader in online search, has made changes to its search algorythms that give local businesses real advantages in their online marketing. The problem is that many business owners are unaware of these benefits and have never even set up their local pages with Google, Yahoo or Bing. Failure to take advantage of these changes will cause many businesses to lose potential customers who are using the web to find local products and services.
Google Places continues to provide new features that benefit the local business environment. The new Open Now feature allows iPhone and Android users to filter their local search results to show only businesses that are open at the time of their queries, based on the business’ listed hours in Google Places. That presents a powerful tool for late-night restaurants, for instance, but also for any local business that operates outside the realm of a traditional schedule – especially if most of their competitors do keep traditional schedules.
More important, however, is the fact that Open Now is just one of many new features aimed at dressing up Places and making it easier for users to find local businesses on Google. A full menu of new local search options has been added to Places over the past year, and in just the past several months those improvements have been making their way to mobile searches as well.
The local advantage
After introducing the personalized social recommendation engine Hotpot, Google added filters for mobile users to narrow their searches of local businesses by user-generated star ratings and reviews. Changes were also implemented to filter queries by the distance a business is from a current location. Other improvements have included the addition of images and bigger buttons for users to view maps and call local businesses directly.
While each tweak made to Places presents a new opportunity for local businesses, it seems that only a very small percentage of merchants have even claimed a listing. Naturally, that means that an even smaller percentage are optimizing their listings to account for the latest improvements such as Open Now.
Merchants whose hours of operation and other pertinent information are not readily available to Google might as well not be open for business – ever – because that’s how it will appear to users of the Open Now feature.
Don’t miss out
Many believe that Google’s strong interest in local and mobile search is founded in Google Offers, a rumored daily deals, local commerce vehicle to compete with Groupon and the like. Whatever the actual motivation, Google is making it easier than ever for local businesses to get noticed on the Web.
What’s surprising is that not all local businesses are taking them up on it. Actually, it’s more than surprising – it’s shocking.
Getting your local listings set up with Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Local is an absolute must and must be done properly in order to achieve the best rankings. Leaving out critical information can keep you from obtaining the top spot you are looking for or at least getting on page one of the search results.
Clemens Media Group knows how to set up these local listings and do it right so that you can get the full advantage of your listing. Not only can we set it up right, but we can help you maintain your positioning by monitoring your progress and implementing additional SEO strategies to enhance that local listing.
Choose one of ourlocal internet marketing packages today and start getting the online results your deserve.
Google announced what may ultimately be one of the biggest changes to their algorithm yet.
From the Official Google Blog: “Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.”
This simply means that if Google deems your content as low quality and not of much benefit to the end user, then you will lose ranking. This also means that you may need your content evaluated and make sure that it will meet Google’s new standard. Clemens Media Group offers free website evaluations to help you stay on top of Google’s changes.
Call us today at 856-448-4342 for assistance in getting you to the top of Google and getting more customers in your front door.