I’ve created a bunch of websites for local businesses.
Once the site is launched they often think people are just going to start calling.
Over time people will call and your business will get found. But that’s not the goal, right? You want A LOT of people contacting you. You also want them contacting you instead of your competitor.
I’ve offered a 7 step process as a service that seems to get people ranked in their local market a lot faster, and generates business fairly quickly.
Let’s get started, shall we?
#1 Tell Google You’re Here For Business
First things first make sure you have an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console. This lets them know your active and wanting search traffic.
Shortly after you submit your sitemap Google sends their search crawler to the sitemap, and indexes your content.
Next if you’re a business that works with people in a certain geographical area you should set up your Google My Business account.
#2 Structured Data – Speaking Googles Language
Structured data, also called Schema Markup is a sort of language developed and maintained by Google, Bing, Yandex and other major search engines. It’s a simple way to let them know:
- What kind of business you are
- where you are located
- your other online properties like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages
- And more that will really help you get found
#3 Creating Your Digital Footprint
You need proof that your out there, doing business and interacting with people.
Building an online reputation is similar to a real life reputation. The more people who know you and talk about you, the more well known you are and the easier it is to get in touch with you for people who need your business.
You can get started by creating what we call citations. Basically listings in local and relevant directories like Yelp, Yahoo business, or Upcity.
There are free tools out there that can find all the listings you have and also the ones you should get. Here are a couple:
#4 Let Everyone Know You Are Loved
You have done business with someone before, right? If not you at least have people that can vouch for your personally. Send out a quick email blast to your contacts and ask for a review on Google.
Getting reviews on a regular basis, even if it’s just once per month shows your current and relevant and WILL help you rank higher so don’t be reluctant to ask for a review if someone is happy with your service.
#5 Show Your Customers a Map
On your site, I mean.
On your website contact page you should embed a Google map with your location. I know it seems weird but the data shows that this helps rank you better on Google maps.
Pro Growth Hacker Tip: Go to Googles “My Maps” service. Create a map of your local area and mark some businesses you think people should know about (including yours!). Add links to each business and share that map with local Facebook groups as a way of “being helpful.”
People actually appreciate it, but it gives you a “do follow” link from Google themselves. These will help you rank better.
#6 Be a Part Of The Web
By this I mean get links coming in to your website. This is the step that will move the needle the most after setting up your Google my business listing.
Every link to your website is like a vote of trust. And Google even says that incoming links is a big part of their ranking algorithm.
There are a ton of methods to do this but to get started I would recommend joining a organization that will link to you like the local Chamber of Commerce. Donate to a local charity that will list you as a sponsor.
Next I’d reach out to companies or local organizations and offer to write a piece of content for their blog. Make sure they offer a byline and get a few links from contributing high quality content to their websites.
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