But exactly how does that happen, and how long should it take? These are questions we need the answers to, so let’s run down the five fastest ways we know of to increase your local search visibility, and not for the short term either!
1. Tune up your website – Nothing can make your business any more relevant in local search than to be a useful and accessible go-to spot for all things your market. Make sure your pages utilize solid (but not over-optimized) on-page SEO, as well as loads of great content that speaks precisely to your audience’s needs.
2. Use your Google+ Local page – Perhaps no other element will help you rank faster in Google local search than an info-rich Google+ page for your business. Take the time to load it up with all the info a customer will need to find you and avail themselves of your services, but also to allow Google to understand exactly what it is you offer. Tying this page into your other social media is another way to show Google that you are engaging and servicing your niche, thus enhancing the “social signals” Google has added to the search ranking algorithm.
3. Get listings on third-party sites – Getting links from third-party local directories such as Yelp, CitySearch will help your customers to find you AND it will give you more credibility in Google’s eyes—which translates into more online visibility and more website traffic.
4. Collect all-important customer reviews – Customer reviews are valuable currency in the online reputation game, and you can trade these in for increased traffic and sales. Encourage your customers to leave reviews/testimonials at every opportunity, and utilize these on your social media pages, particularly on Google+ and Facebook.
5. Optimize for mobile – I can’t overstate how important mobile is to local businesses. More than 97 percent of consumer search queries are for local information, and more than half of those search are coming from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.