How Local Businesses Can Stand Out in Search

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How Local Businesses Can Stand Out in Search

During the 2020 pandemic, 57% of consumers purchased from a local business for the first time.  They sought out shops with coronavirus-friendly services, particularly curbside pickup.  How did customers determine which businesses in the area offered the services they desired?  They did a local search.

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Optimizing GMB Listing Of A Local Business

A local search is different from an organic search on Google, but many principles are the same.  Google’s Local Pack is displayed above organic search results, and it is highly visual in its inclusion of map, star ratings, and more.  The local pack is linked to Google My Business (GMB) listings, and indeed, GMB listing factors have the biggest influence on a business’s ranking in the search engine.  For a local business to optimize their GMB listing, the first step is to claim their business profile.  Next, the business should ensure their profile is complete.  That means business name, address, website, hours, and so on are all featured in the listing.  Lastly, it is important that the business keep their listing updated.  Ways to do this are: create weekly posts, respond to reviews from customers, and answer questions from the public.

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Single location businesses can simply optimize their GMB listing and link to their website homepage to excel in search rankings, but for multi-location businesses, local landing pages (LLPs) are essential to improving local search results.  An LLP is a standalone web page created for a specific business location.  This allows business owners to link each landing page to a separate listing on GMB.  When it comes to LLPs, features that improve their search ranking are: hyperlocal content, location photos, Google Maps embed, and social media profiles specific to that particular location.  Also important is the inclusion of mobile features.  Nowadays, more than 84% of local searches are made on mobile devices.  Designing a mobile friendly website is more important than ever in drawing and retaining customers.  Good features to have are floating call to action buttons, click to call phone numbers, and mobile friendly coupons.

Specifically during the pandemic, safety procedures are more important that ever to address.  LLPs ought to list options for convenient 2-way communication like texting.  Updating information related to store hours and temporary closures as these things change is a must.  Safety information relating to procedures like curbside pickup, delivery, and contactless payment are often exactly the things customers want to know about.  Succeeding in searches requires a sleek LLP.

Local Business

Infographic source: Wiideman

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver

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