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Four Ways to Increase Your Local Search Presence

Local search is the new equivalent of the old yellow pages—however—this time around, you don’t need to rename your business “ACME Plumbers” to show up on the first page. Instead, internet users are looking for more information about your business, such as pictures, descriptions, and online reviews. At AlphaGraphics of Alexandria and Arlington, we offer a wide range of marketing services that can help drive more local traffic to your business. Read on to learn more about what you can do to help improve the presence of your Alexandria or Arlington business in the local search results.

Google My Business (GMB)

If you haven’t already done so already, head on over to Google My Business and claim your free business profile. This is the very first step you should take to help increase the chances of your website showing up in the local search results. Over half of all internet searches are conducted by mobile phone—and a GMB profile will provide people with the info they need to find your business on the internet. When setting up your profile, be sure to fill out all fields as accurately as possible. Use your smartphone and take internal and external pictures of your business and then upload them to your GMB profile. Google tends to show favor to local companies with a completely filled-out profile.

Get Your Website in Order

The second step to improving your local SEO rankings is to ensure that your website is up-to-date, has a responsive design, and is free from technical errors such as 404 pages, broken links, and thin content pages. All of the above is considered a good user experience, and Google will take note. One of the most important aspects is the ability of your website to work well on both desktop computers and mobile phones. If people have a hard time navigating your website on their cell phones, Google considers this a poor user experience. To check if your site is optimized for smartphones, head on over to the free mobile-friendly test page from Google. Enter in the URL of your website, and the tool will tell you if your site is optimized for mobile devices. If not, they will let you know what’s wrong.

Build Citations

A citation is an online mention of your business that includes your name, address, and phone number (NAP). Depending on how competitive your industry is, you may need many citations to help improve the ranking of your company website. The best way to build citations is to find online directories in your niche via a Google search. Here are a few directories to get you started: There are thousands more directory sites out there on the internet. Some of them request that you pay for a listing—it’s advisable to not pay for a listing as there are countless others that are entirely free. Look for a “Add My Business” or “Claim Your Free Listing” button on the directory to get started. This next step is very important—you need to enter the name of your business, address, and phone number exactly as you created it on your Google My Business profile. As time goes by and you build more and more local citations, Google will start to notice and reward your website with improved local rankings. In very competitive niche, such as real estate or healthcare, it may require more citations than a non-competitive niche, such as a hardware store or bakery.

Get Reviews

Google also looks at how many reviews you have and the quality of those reviews. If you don’t have a lot of online reviews about your business, avoid the temptation of creating fake reviews or having your employees do it. This is illegal and can get you in a lot of trouble. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to online reviews. The best way to get reviews is to simply reach out to your customers and ask them for an honest review on one of the many review sites such as Yelp, Google Customer Reviews, or Angie’s List, to name just a few. You can also have a few postcards printed up and then mailed out to your customer list. Thank them for their patronage and ask them to head on over to the internet review site of your choice (it’s easier if you use a pURL) and leave an honest review. Over time, the reviews will add up, and Google will take notice!

Local Marketing Help in Alexandria and Arlington

At AlphaGraphics of Alexandria and Arlington, we offer a wide range of marketing services that can help drive more local traffic to your business. If you need help with any aspect of a local marketing campaign, give us a call. If you’d like to speak to an expert about your business, give us a call at (703) 549-2432 or contact us on our website.

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