Finding Local Success Through Google My Business — Optimizing Your Site’s SEO
Getting your local business found online is no picnic, especially with all the great services Greater Des Moines (DSM) offers. If it’s not difficult enough to keep your products and services competitively priced, you also must find a sustainable and affordable way to attract more eyes and ears to your brand.
While there are a variety of tactics you can try when helping your business get the spotlight it deserves, optimizing your website’s SEO with the help of Google My Business can be a great place to start.
What Is Google My Business + Why Is It Important?
“Google My Business,” also known as “Google Business Profile,” is a free tool that helps businesses manage their local profiles across multiple connected Google profiles. This includes Google Search and Google Maps.
Google My Business is more than just a digital phonebook, though. By creating and optimizing your Google My Business profile, local companies in DSM can leave the necessary digital breadcrumbs that help to add credibility and authority to a brand’s online presence.
Posting information like the business name, hours of operations, website and contact phone number consistently across all digital platforms, including social media, signals to Google that you’re a reputable business. Google will start to organically rank your business in local search results.
Google My Business also allows business owners to upload photos of their business location and associated products, helping showcase what they’re offering to anyone looking for similar products in your area.
Auditing Your Website + SEO for Local Searchability in Des Moines
Local SEO can be a powerful tool to boost your online visibility to local DSM customers. Rather than trying to compete for brand awareness in a sea of competitors online, local SEO helps you to target your efforts toward a smaller group of people that are much more likely to engage with your services.
Here are a few different ways you can improve your local SEO:
Verify Your Google My Business Listing
One of the first steps you should take is to establish your Google My Listing profile. You would be surprised how often local businesses forget to do this, and it’s a wasted opportunity. There are a few things you can do to quickly get Google to start indexing and ranking your business in specific service categories.
Ensure your profile is regularly updated, including your hours of operation, address and business contact info, to avoid confusion for anyone looking to try your services.
Take Sammons Financial Group, for example. Not only can you find clear contact information, their Facebook profile and their address, but they even have a brief excerpt in their profile that describes the values of their company and their mission. It states, “As a privately-held company, our leaders and employees remain consistently focused on long-term growth, making decisions that allow us to deliver on our commitments to customers, distribution partners, our employees, and our communities.”
When creating your listing on Google, it’s important to make sure potential customers know these kinds of details — not only the physical location, but smaller details that can make your company stand out.
Optimize Your Website
Whether targeting local customers or expanding into larger markets, optimizing your website for search engines is essential when building an online presence. Structurally, you should ensure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
This is a critical component of ranking in search engines as it’s vital to creating high engagement levels with site visitors.
You’ll also want to ensure your website is fast loading and displays clear calls to action. This is especially true if you operate as a brick-and-mortar store and need to convert web traffic into foot traffic.
When optimizing your website, consider Google’s ranking factors which influence search results. While not all of these components are as impactful as others, focusing on keyword optimization, website title tags, the number of backlinks, internal linking structure, anchor text and mobile friendliness can all contribute to better search rankings.
Often, this is a lot to consider for one person or one person. If this is the case for you, reaching out to a third-party may be more effective. In2It Design provides digital marketing solutions, including website optimization. This optimization can include any services that can help you rank better.
Target Strategic Keywords
You should approach keyword research and planning differently when targeting locally. For example, rather than focusing on keywords like “discount auto parts” or “affordable auto repairs,” you should be focusing on longer-tail keywords specific to your area, like “discount auto parts in Des Moines” or “local auto repair companies in Des Moines.”
By customizing your search terms so they are specific to your target audience, you can rank for lower volume but higher converting web traffic that will only continue to grow with time. If you’re unsure of how to optimize your keywords, you can always reach out to SEO or digital marketing companies that may help you with the process. Des Moines Creative, for example, offers SEO content creation, which can help you reach any keyword goals you may have for your website.
Leverage Reviews + Maintain NAP Consistency
As a local business, you can leverage powerful ranking signals in search engines and customer reviews. Google My Business lets companies showcase real customer testimonials about their products and services. These reviews not only help motivate potential patrons' decisions but also significantly influence how your business ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs).
As illustrated with Big Blue Bed and Breakfast, if you have more reviews or a higher rating than your competitors, Google will automatically place your listing higher on your SERPS.
NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) consistency is another important ranking signal for search engines. This means it’s essential for you to track all the different areas your business profiles are established. Inconsistency in these three identifiers can cause search engine confusion and make it more difficult to get added visibility to your website.
By regularly monitoring and updating reviews and NAP consistency, you’ll see gradual increases in your rankings and be better positioned for online searchability compared to other businesses that ignore these areas.
Position Your Local Business for Increased Visibility Online
Finding your business in local DSM search results doesn’t have to be complicated. By following these tips when optimizing your local SEO and maximizing the benefits of a Google My Business profile, you can start ranking your business for high conversion key terms and position your business for rapid growth.
Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need.