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local search

google listing business optimization

Google Search for Businesses Part 1: The Importance of Claiming and Optimizing Your Listing

By | Business Listing, Business Practices, Google, Google My Business, local search | No Comments

Welcome to our three-part series on Google Search for Businesses! We’ll share the whole series over the next week. Stay tuned for more!

If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely set up a Google business listing at some point. Your current business info on Google is not only the #1 source for your customers in finding your business and affecting your bottom line, but did you know that your listing also serves as a bullhorn to other business sites? Read More

Top local search mistakes (1)

Top Local Search Mistakes Your Business Can’t Afford to Make

By | Business Listing, local search, SEO | No Comments

Local search allows customers to find businesses in their area quickly and easily. That’s why local SEO remains an important business tool.

An estimated 7 billion local searches are done from computers and mobile devices, with many of these being completed by people looking for info on businesses and services near them, in the moment. If you’ve ignored local search options in favor for other marketing methods, you’re missing out.

7 billion local searches are made from computers & mobile devices - is your local search… Click To Tweet

You can also avoid making some of the same mistakes others make when it comes to local SEO. Here are a few things you’ll want to pay close attention to when launching a strong local search campaign. Even if your business is small, it’s worth the effort to establish local SEO.

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Local Reviews

Why are User Reviews So Important for Local Search?

By | local search, Online Reviews | No Comments

There’s one piece of advice we always offer our small business clients — as a business owner, you should make it a priority to encourage customers to write you reviews.

In a sea of competitors, local search user reviews help customers find your business fast. Without the honest opinion of real life patrons and consumers, you’d be hard pressed to earn new business.

Here’s why local search reviews are so key for establishing a strong local search presence, and how you can go about gaining these crucial testimonials.

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Local Search

Moving Offices? Don’t Let it Damage Your Local Search Presence

By | Business Listing, local search | No Comments

If there’s one thing we preach loudly and consistently about when it comes to local search, it’s the importance of a correct, consistent Name, Address, Phone Number, and URL — also known as NAPU — across the web.

Both searchers and search engines need to be able to quickly locate this core information about your business. When information isn’t present or is incorrect or inconsistent, it creates confusion and frustration and potentially costs you business. That’s why it’s crucial for you to set up or claim and correct core business listings, including Google My Business.

Does this mean there’s an apocalypse in store for you if you decide to relocate? Not if you follow the proper steps. There’s a way for you to move locations without permanently damaging your local search presence. Here’s how.

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What to Expect in SEO in 2016!

By | Google Changes, Google Maps, Google My Business, Local Business, local search, mobile phone, mobile search, Mobile Websites, Mobile-Friendly, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Optimization Changes, SEO, Small business, smart phone, Social Media | No Comments

When it comes to SEO, we unfortunately don’t have a guidebook detailing what to expect, or a crystal ball for predicting the date of the next algorithm change.

We do, fortunately, have some hunches about what we think is pretty darn likely to go down in 2016.

Check out what we think might be in the cards for online marketing in the next year.

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How to Get the Most From Small Business Saturday

By | local search, Small Business Saturday, Small Businesses | No Comments

Small Business Saturday falls directly after one of the biggest shopping days in the entire year: Black Friday. National retailers reap in huge profits each Black Friday, and they work hard to extend the profits of Black Friday in the days leading up to and following it. So, what’s a small business owner to do? It’s always hard for small businesses to compete with national chains, but there are a few strategies small businesses can use to stand out from the crowd and take advantage of Small Business Saturday.

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Ranking Outside of Your Physical Location in Local Search

By | Blog, Google, Google Places, Google Plus, Google Search, local search, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization | No Comments

For businesses without a storefront, local search can get tricky.

Google wants to avoid businesses appearing in local search results if that business does not have a physical location in the city searched. They address this in the Google Places Quality Guidelines, where they disallow PO boxes and fake addresses.

The only known exception to this guideline is a business with general service areas. In this instance, businesses are to create a listing under one physical location. They are then allowed to designate those service areas. However, listing the designated service areas may not be effective in those areas with heavy competition.

In order to begin ranking in local search, we recommend the following tips and tricks.

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Search Localization

By | Bing, Business Listing, Google, Google Places, Local Business, local search, mobile search | No Comments

Google has been working on search localization for years. It has been a major priority for the search engine to promote local search results. Now it is producing results. The change is driven by the increasing consumer demand (mobile search) for something close by and familiar. For an increasing number of consumers there is a small and growing level of mistrust for information gathered online. People are more aware than ever that it is possible that what they are reading online is not always true. Business reviews have become an important component in local search as is the location of the business. We are still more comfortable with what we know despite the internet.

What does it mean for Local Business?

Google started this local search push with Google Places back in October 2010 with the introduction of Places search. The now familiar red pins and grouped business listings became prominent in local search results. Places carries a list of local businesses in a directory that allows results to be shown based on three areas:

  • Relevance
  • Prominence
  • Distance

A local business does not need a website to participate just a physical location for their business. A home based business can easily take advantage of this slant to local. Google searches the in internet (crawling other directories: Yelp, Citysearch etc) to provide local business results to online searchers. Business owners can claim and verify their own business listing. Once claimed a business owner can edit their listing to reflect their business. There are around 50 million Places listings and currently only around 4% have been claimed. A business is shown in results based on how it relates to the search term via the three components listed above. By claiming, updating a business listing and providing all the relevant information possible a local business can drive itself quickly to the top of search rankings.

Next Step

If you have not claimed your Google Places listing then now is the time. Our experience is that claiming, completing and fully updating your business listing can have a positive effect on revenue. It is not only Google Places; all the major search engines are providing local search results. Bing has recently introduced the Bing Business Portal a significant upgrade which includes links to Facebook deals and QR Codes. Yahoo local also carries listings of local businesses. There is no cost for your listing and by taking the steps to complete your listing you can improve the position of your business for relevant search results in your area. Local search is expected to continue to grow. This is not driven by the search engines but by consumer demand. Smart phones are at the front end of local search with recent studies showing that 1:3 searches on a cell phone have a local component and that up to 50% of those searchers walk through the door as a customer.   Don’t miss out on this opportunity for local growth.