The search engine landscape is changing, and relying on old search engine optimization methods just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Over 50% of Google searches take place on a mobile device, and 30% of these mobile searches are looking for something local. Google’s goal is to provide the most relevant local results for search queries, and if you play your cards right, this can help you reach more local shoppers and drive more sales!
As local search becomes more and more important, it should be near the top of your list of digital marketing priorities. Don’t stress over learning a new digital marketing, tactic, though! There are three easy things you can do to get ahead of the curve.
To ensure you’re giving Google the information it needs to confidently serve your website to local searchers, you need to build your business as a local resource with strong links, keep your business information up-to-date and foster customer reviews.
1. Be a Local Resource
Google looks for a variety of signals from your online presence to determine where to rank your website in search results. One of these signals is your prominence, or how well-known you are in your community.
An easy way to prove your prominence to Google is to build yourself as a community resource and show that you’re well-established in your town.
On the “About Us” page of your website, include links to local organizations you’re a part of, programs you sponsor or other businesses you partner with. Then, ask those organizations to return the favor with a link to your site.
These links send strong signals to Google and will help ensure you show up when someone searches for a dealership in your community.
2. Keep Your Information Up-To-Date
For many shoppers, searching for a product or business on Google is the first step toward making a purchase. This is why your Google My Business listing is a such a powerful tool!
This free listing is packed with information like hours, contact information, address, customer reviews and even what hours the dealership is most likely to be busy, and it displays directly in search results to give searchers an at-a-glance view of your dealership.
Make sure the information available about your business on Google My Business and other online directories is accurate and up-to-date.
Having all of your online directories display the same information sends strong positive signals to Google, and keeping your information up to date will ensure you don’t lose a customer to a wrong phone number or address! ARI’s Premium Directory Management can help you keep all of your online directory listings up-to-date without adding extra hours to your day.
3. Foster Customer Reviews
Reviews play a big role in your local search strategy. Honest feedback from your customers online can give potential customers a good idea of what they can expect to get from your business and persuade them to make a purchase with you instead of the competitor down the street. In fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews while researching businesses!
When Google ranks your website in local search, having a high number of positive reviews can demonstrate that you’re a prominent and well-known business in your community. Remind customers that they can leave feedback about their experience with in-store signage directing them to your review platform of choice (Google My Business is a great one), and include a link to it on your website. Then, respond to your reviews to show shoppers that you truly care about your customers.
The emphasis on local search as part of your digital marketing strategy will continue to grow as more and more shoppers go mobile. Stay ahead of the competition by implementing local search best practices now! Not sure where to start? ARI’s Digital Marketing Services team is here to help.
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