It’s true that we at Higher Power SEO are trapped behind computer screens (most of the time), but every so often we do get to venture out into the San Diego sun for some actual F2F interaction. We were especially excited to get out into the community last month at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business Expo. We went to the event, which was held at LEGOLAND, to help the Carlsbad Chamber support local businesses.
At the event, we helped local business owners check out their local web presence, and learn the steps they can take to ensure that potential customers are able to find them in web search. Higher Power SEO is a badged Google Partner, so we know the ins and outs of the search giant. But we’re also involved with Google’s Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map initiative as an Official City Partner for Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, and throughout North County San Diego.
If you weren’t able to make it out to the 2015 Business Expo, you can still take steps to make sure that web searchers can find you (especially people using smartphones to search “near me”), and that the information they find is accurate. We’re more than happy to help you with any and all aspects of local SEO—just get in touch!
1. Check Your Current Status
Your first stop for all things local can be the Get Your Business Online site for your community. Google has made separate websites for many areas, including Carlsbad and Encinitas—if you go to www.gybo.com, you’ll be directed to the local site closest to you depending on your IP address. If you click on the green button on the upper right that says “Check My Business,” you can see right away how (and if!) your business appears on Google Search and on Google Maps. Google might seem all knowing and all-powerful, but you’d be surprised how inaccurate map results can be.
2. Set Up Your Google Listing
Your next step is to set up your Google My Business listing, which is what powers their map results. It’s especially important that you fill in every applicable area and that it’s all up to date, because Google uses this information to give users robust results that include information like hours, photos, and reviews. ICYMI, we actually published a blog post not too long ago looking at the recent changes to local SERPs, and why these make your Google My Business listing especially valuable.
3. Claim All of Your Listings
When you start a business, the basic information that you have to send to the city, state, and so on gets automatically added to numerous databases (it’s why many small businesses start getting junk mail before they’ve even officially opened!). This data gets mined and resold, and in this process much of it winds up online. That’s why even if you haven’t set up a page for your business on Yelp or Yahoo! Local, your business likely already has a page. These pages are out there, but unless you claim them you don’t control the content—you have no idea if it’s accurate or up-to-date.
4. Make Sure Your Info is Consistent
The other big reason to claim your listings—besides being able to keep aware of online material that can impact your business, like reviews and user-uploaded photos—is to ensure that you have the same information everywhere. It’s called NAP consistency (which stands for Name, Address, Phone Number), and it’s important not only to make sure potential clients can contact you, it’s also a significant factor in search results. Search engines treat all pages that include your NAP info—whether it’s a web page, directory site, or online press release—as “citations.” Search bots like it when your business has a large number of citations, but they don’t like it if the information in your citations is inconsistent.
If you aren’t sure about how to manage your profile pages or you simply don’t have the time to deal with all of these sites, we’re here to help. We offer Local SEO Setup packages that are designed to be affordable and effective, helping ensure your business is on the map. To learn more, call us at 760-881-4736.