SEO for local businesses
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SEO for local businesses


Welcome back. Let’s talk about search engines
and local businesses. You probably already know
that search engines are powerful tools for connecting potential customers
with businesses. But, did you know that they can prioritize
your business in the search results if the person searching is nearby
or wants options in your geographic area? Let’s head back
to our bicycle shop example to see how this works. You’ve got a website where customers
can order products online. But they often need
to buy replacement parts ASAP, which means they don’t have time
to wait for delivery. You need to make sure
those customers can find your shop, so they can buy
what they need on the spot. So how can you help your bicycle website
show up in local search results? First, you have to let search engines know
what you consider is local for you. Start with the basics, and make sure your website
includes information, like your business name,
your business address, or your service area if you meet with customers
at their location. Also, your phone number
and your working hours. Another way to help
is to add relevant content that also helps identify
your geographic location. Content goes a long way
in helping customers and prospects connect with your business. For a bike shop, content might include a blog
about bike repairs and maintenance, and details about the bike clinics
that you host at your shop. It could include descriptions,
photos, and videos of local bike races, or popular biking trails in your area. It might even include how-to articles about choosing
the correct bike frame size, with an offer for local customers
to visit your shop. As you add more local information
to your website, and search engines recognize
its relevance to local searches, the chance of appearing
in local results may increase. Remember, the role of a search engine is to provide the right result
at the right time and in the right place
for the person searching. In order to do this, search engines may use the proximity
of that person to your business, or the geographic area they type in
as part of their search. And it’s important to recognize this because you can’t expect your bike shop
to appear in search results when somebody wants to find
a bike shop in another country. Just how well your business
is known may also be a factor. Just like in the offline world, some businesses are just
more established than others. Online, businesses
that may have had websites around for a longer period of time, or have built up a lot of references
and content over time, can be rewarded by search engines
in the results pages. Don’t forget to take advantage
of the local offerings of search engines themselves. Making sure that you’re using services, like Yahoo Local,
Google My Business, or Bing Local, will help the search engines
know more about your business and when to list you in their results. Once your business is listed and the physical location
or service area confirmed, these local search listings become another way
local searchers can find you online. Last but not least, don’t forget
that many searchers on the go are looking for local results
on their smartphones. If your website can be found
in the mobile search results, it can be an important way
to connect with customers. So, make sure that you’ve got
a mobile-friendly, quick-loading website that search engines can understand
and visitors will love. And that’s an intro to local SEO for you. Remember, following these steps can help search engines understand
if your business is local. Add location details to your website. Continually add quality content
that’s relevant to your audience and highlights the location
of your business. Check your business listings
in search engines and local business directories. And ensure your site is mobile-friendly and easy for both search engines
and visitors to understand. It might take some work
to get found locally, especially if you’re a new business. But if you take the time to add clear business information
to your website, build great content, and promote
your site in local directories, your customers can start finding you
on the other side of their local searches.

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