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Optimizing your website for local search engine listings is one of the most important basic steps needed for a complete SEO strategy. To put it in perspective and better understand the importance of the proper optimization for your website and business, it is important to be aware about some of the current statistics and data available.
During 2013, 97% of costumers performed searches about local business using their computers and mobile devices. This means that search queries carry not only the information such as the service or business category users are looking for, but also includes the geographical information; commonly a city or state name. As a consequence, search engines targets a user’s search results with local listings in order to bring relevant local results. For instance, to come up with local results, Google tries to identify your location.
Now, it is very important to provide accurate and complete information about your business location, name, phone number and hours of operation to improve optimization results. Although this information is standard, the user quickly sees if they are interested on your business based on things such as the average starts rating or the number of customer reviews. What’s more, adding photos, videos, information about special offers and discounts will make it more appealing and it’ll be easier for customers to decide and prefer your business among others.
One of the reasons why it is important to have your map listing up to speed is the extended use of smart phones. As stated by Pew Research Internet Project, 74% of U.S. consumers use location based services on their Smartphone. Then, when someone uses his or her smart phone to search for a service or a product, the first results they get are the local ones.
In addition, search engines have made some changes like locating the map with local business on top of the ads on the right side. Actually, local listings are appearing even above organic search results. That is why managing local map listings will help your business get high search engine visibility that will translate into new clients every day. The first step is to claim your business listings. There are over 130 main listings you could target; Google, Bing and Yelp are considered the main ones.
Outsourcing your website optimization for local search engine and map listings is always a good idea, since you will need to supervise constantly customer reviews, analyze the analytics and to keep updated your business information.
The message is clear: you want to optimize your website for local map listings and search engine to help users find your business faster & easily. In other words, if you want the best possible online exposure for your business, you must be there when customers and prospects are looking for you.