How Can Local Businesses Attract More Customers?

Jessica Bernabe
image of barista pouring coffee

Your local business can show up in Google search results and start converting prospects to new customers if you’re willing to improve your online presence and optimize it for local searches.

How Consumers Perform Local Searches Today

They use mobile devices

More than half of all searches are performed on mobile devices.

Why?—Because people expect to have access to the information they need anytime, anywhere. And according to Google, 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business.

Further research from Google shows:

  • 30% of mobile searches are related to location.
  • 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day.

All of this is great news for your business, as mobile users tend to be driven by “local intent,” and are more likely to pull out their wallets and become paying customers after performing a local search.

They’re searching with and without location-related terms

For years, consumers were forced to use location-related terms when conducting a search for a nearby business (“nail salon in Valencia,” “Valencia nail salon,” and “nail salon near me,” etc.), but that’s less common these days.

Consumers don’t need to use “location indicators” like “near me” or “in Valencia” anymore because Google has created algorithms smart enough to put local results at the top of the search results.

Searches for local businesses without the “near me” qualifier grew 150% from 2015 to 2017.

With those facts in mind, you need to optimize your business’ website to send the right local cues to search engines to maximize your exposure to potential customers.

They’re asking Siri

Industry experts estimate 50% of all of searches will be voice searches (searches performed using virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant) by 2020.

And these voice searches make it easier than ever for potential customers to get connected to local businesses like yours in their moment of need.

Therefore, your website and your online content need to be optimized to reflect natural language patterns that answer the everyday questions consumers are likely to ask.

To help your business attract more local customers, follow these 7 Strategies for Getting Found in Local Searches

  1. Ensure you’re using a responsive design on your website.

    • Code your website to automatically adjust to the size of the user’s screen, ensuring your website delivers the best experience possible for potential customers looking at your business on a mobile device.

  2. Make sure your website is fast.

  3. Use paid search advertising to increase your visibility on the search engine results page.

    • Paid ads can get your business to the top of page one on Google search results, which is especially important on smartphones where users have to do a lot of scrolling to get to the organic (unpaid) results.

  4. Keep your online business listings up-to-date with accurate information about your business—especially your name, address, and phone number (NAP).

    • This allows the search engine to detect your business as a match for nearby consumers and list it in the “local pack,” or the results that show with the map on the search results page.

  5. Monitor your online reviews and work on getting 5-star ratings.

    • Reviews play an important role in local rankings in search engines and can even help your business make it into the local search results.

  6. Optimize your website with long-tail keywords, or keywords that better match natural language.

    • For example, a personal dog trainer might use terms like “one on one dog training” or “dog trainers that come to your home.” This will make it easier for your website and business to get found in voice searches.

  7. Use FAQ pages that answer common questions from consumers.

    • Think of the types of questions a consumer might ask Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant.

Search engines and consumers’ search behaviors are always evolving, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest developments within the industry.

Our Internet marketing experts are always ahead of the curve, so we can help you create a competitive online strategy that gets your business found in search engines and brings new customers through the door.

Talk to a member of our team for help with your search engine strategy!