Mobile optimized websites are critical for local search success
There are two reasons you have to have your local business website optimized for mobile devices. First, the percentage of users doing local seach on mobile devices has increased year after year. Most businesses (that can benefit from good local search presence) will be searched for on mobile more than any other type of device. Therefore if your website is not optimized for mobile then you are giving more than half of your potential customers a poor user experience. The second reason is that the almighty Google strives to give users results that provide the best user experience. This means they want to give users results that are optimized for mobile, relevant to their searches, and websites that have a fast loading time. If your local business website can acheive these two things it has the foundation to start dominating local searches for your niche.
The GOAL: Top 3 Map Results (Map Pack)
The ultimate goal is to get your business into the top three results for keywords that result in legitimate leads for your business. Depending on the competition this can be a challenging task. Many factors go into this acheiving this ranking including (but not limited to):
- Verified Google My Business Listing
- Consistent Name, Address, Phone citiations on your website, social media profiles, and website directories (NAP's)
- Optimized content on your website
- Connecting with your local community
Clear call to action and contact information on every page
Once the users get to your page there has to be an intent to convert the user to a customer or client. If someone wants to contact your business it should be so easy "a cave man" could do it. Get your phone number at the top of the page and designed in a way that stands out. As we discussed in the previous paragraph most users will visit your website on mobile devices so be sure to make the phone number clickable. Again, the focus has to be on the user so making it easy to click the button on their phone to call your business can increase conversions.
The contact form should also be in a location that cannot be missed and is not too complicated. One mistake a lot of websites make is that they have the contact form located on one page only, typically the contact page. Get a simple contact form on every page where you offer a service. Collecting too much information can discourage users from filling it out so make sure you just collect basic information such as email, phone, full name, and a short message.
Setup and connect your Google Business Page
This is a critical step! Once your have your website optimized for mobile, have pages for each service you offer, and have a clear call to action on every page make sure you get your business verified and listed thorugh Google My Business. It is a simple process that requires you have a Google account. If you don't have one it is free to set one up and you will be able to configure your Google Business Page. If your website is optimized and you have your business verified through Google My Business then you can expect to see your business appear in local search results with added information and direct links to your website and click to call buttons. The goal is to have your business listed in the map pack for searches relevant to your business. If you can acheive this then you will see a dramatic increase in the amount of phone calls and emails you receive from potential customers.
Create content that is relevant to your services and location
For every service you offer you should have a landing page that includes everything mentioned above. It needs to have clear call to actions, be optimized for mobile, and be mentioned in your Google My Business page. The more specific you can be the better your chances are of dominating the search results for that topic. Make sure each page has well written content, relevant images, YouTube video (if possible), an embedded Google Map, and complete address information.
Provide Local Business Schema
Local is important and it is not something users will notice except in the search results. Make sure your website developer adds local business schema to your website. This provides extra information to search engines that they can extract to display in search results. Not only your address location but other important information such as hours of operation, business logo, and reviews are helpful to show users in the search results.
Display Credibility Badges
The simple act of displaying credibility throughout your site can provide trust and increase conversions. If you are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau or other organizations then make sure your place those badges on every page of your site.
Engage with the community
Engaging with potential customers within your community can be a critial peice of the puzzle. Using social media can be a great way to connect to customers in your local area. Look for groups and people that are involved in the interest groups relevant to your business. Your business can gain a lot of trust and exposure by being involved.