Before the Boot Camp begins, let’s do something easy to improve your local SEO.  In recent years, Google figured out local search was the next big thing.  As a result, they created a mammoth business directory and tied it to Google Maps.  Now, when a search phrase like “Los Angeles limousine” is entered, a list of local businesses and a map appear before the search results.

Google local business listing

This may sound crazy, but most limo companies have never claimed their Google business listing!  If you haven’t already done so, GO CLAIM YOUR GOOGLE BUSINESS LISTING.  You will need a Google account, a short description of your business, your contact information, and a logo or other images.

You can also claim your listing through Google Maps.

Improve Your Local Search Position

Once you’ve created a listing, improving your search position is easy.  Google uses the following factors in its local search algorithm:

Reviews – The more reviews you get, the better.  If you collect email addresses, simply follow-up your runs with a request for a review.  Whatever you do, don’t fake them.

Proximity – This factor has been in flux over the past year, but Google typically gives more weight to the businesses closest to the city center.  In the above local business results, most of the listings are in downtown Los Angeles.

Coupons– Adding a coupon will add value to your listing.

Keywords– Adding keywords to your company name and description is important.  Simply extending your company name is a good way to do this.  For example, if you optimized Diva Limousine, the listing would be “Diva Limousine of Los Angeles.”  The search phrase “Los Angeles limo” could be added to the company description.  It’s important not to look spammy.  A listing like “Diva wedding limo, prom limousine, airport limo” will eventually cause problems.

Categories – Your business listing allows up to five categories.  Using correct keyword rich categories that target specific customers is essential.  An ideal category for Diva Limousine would be “Los Angeles Limousine.”

Description – This isn’t a huge factor for search, but it’s the most important factor for sales.  You have 200 words to sell your company.  Make it your best pitch.

Videos – Add a video.  The video doesn’t have to be fancy.  A simple slide-show posted on YouTube is perfect.

Links – Relevant inbound links improve the value of any page including your Google business listing.  Create a link from your company website to your Google business listing and encourage clients to write a review.

Wrap Up

Unlike regular SEO, which can take months to see positive results, local search listings rise quickly.  Within a few weeks, you should see an improvement.  It’s an incredibly easy way to expand your marketing.

Considering most online activity is related to local content, securing a high local search position is imperative.   Your customers want to see your listing.  Now that Google is placing local search results first, it makes sense to optimize the results.

As Google ramps up its efforts, local search will increase in importance.  It’s the future of search.  By securing and optimizing your listing today, you secure your high search position for tomorrow.