In a digital world, there is still space for setting up physical local businesses. Having a business idea for a cafe, garage, physical store, or a chemist still has a lot of chances to succeed in a digital world.
Where do you start to get the first customers? Tell people that you exist!
Google has updated their algorithm, and since September 2018, all searches on your mobile phone produce a local result. You have noted that there is a map with places of interest everytime you type something related to a location.
Local businesses now have an opportunity to explore this free marketing opportunity available in Google search engines. Consumers make thousands of searches with the term ‘near me’. If I’m in Nairobi and I need to meet a client, the easiest option is to type, ‘Java house near me.’
You get the sense?
So how do you get to have your business appear in the maps? I will give you the top techniques utilized by your competition.
Register for Google My Business
It is Free! Head on to https://www.google.com/business/ and get a free listing for your business. Ensure that you provide accurate information when filling out the pages or else you will not appear on search results.
Google uses this information to place you in the correct category on their maps. You will need to verify the information by providing an accurate address to receive a postcard from Google. Sometimes it takes time. There are some instances when Google allows you to verify using a phone number.
Create Local Business Listings
Business listings provide an opportunity to tell the world where you are located and the types of services that you offer. Most of the Kenyan Business Listings are free. Some charge for premium services.
The catch is to provide accurate information. Remember that all the Name, Address and Phone Number (NAPs) must be the same for all your listings.
Here are some of the Free Business Listings that you can take care of.
You can get more of these if you type ‘your business category + Free listing”
Citations refer to a mention of your business online. For example, a local business like getsales.co.ke’s citation is ‘GETSALES KENYA, 057 Chancery Building off Valley Road Nairobi, Kenya. Sometimes you also need to include the phone number someone (+254724914616)
So you want to have this mentioned all around the web to have Google understand it as a real business. You can have it in blogs, social media, and any other place.
Optimize Your Site For Local SEO
This is the most important part yet most ignored by many businesses. Google ranks websites, so it makes sense to have it understand that you are located in a certain place.
How do you do this?
- Have your map location embed on your site.
- Have your location mentioned on your URLs and ‘H’ tags.
- Have content related to your location
- Optimize your website for mobile
Get High-Quality Links From Local Sites
As I have always emphasized, Google is hungry from great links. Not Just links, but relevant high authority links. Having such builds authority in the eyes of Google and they will surely reward you with high rankings.
You can get high authority links from community sites. If you are a member of any local organization, find a way of getting them to link back to you. You could donate something and have them acknowledge it on your site. Maybe write a review about the site and have them link back to you.
Seek Help from Local SEO Experts.
Most of these things mentioned above are tedious to have done. It may take hours to find a great business listing. Somethings like optimizing a site for local SEO may need the help of someone skilled with experience.
Local SEO is the future as Google has completely rolled up the local algorithm and there is no turning back. This is because over 70% of searches originate from mobile phones, which use users location to search.
About the author
Jimmy Ombom is a webmaster and design mania atGETSALES KENYA. Very passionate about online marketing and product development. When he is not writing, you can find him reading everyday changes in marketing.
The views, positions, and opinions expressed by the guest writer are those of the writer alone and do not reflect those of the iHub or any employee thereof. The accuracy and validity of the information supplied by the guest writer are not guaranteed by the iHub. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement or intellectual property rights remains with them.