Let's talk about search engines and local businesses.
You probably already know that search engines are powerful tools
for connecting potential customers with businesses.
But, did you know that they can prioritize your business in the search results?
if the person searching is nearby or wants options in your geographic area?
Let's head back to our bicycle shop as an example
to see how this works.
You've got a website where customers can order products online.
But they often need to buy replacement parts ASAP, which means they don't have time to wait for delivery.
You need to make sure those customers can find your shop, so they can buy what they need on the spot.
So how can you help your bicycle website show up in local search results?
First, you have to let search engines know what you consider is local for you.
Start with the basics, and make sure your website includes information, like your business name, your business address, or your service area
if you meet with customers at their location. Also, your phone number and your working hours.
Another way to help is to add relevant content that also helps identify your geographic location. Content goes a long way in helping customers and prospects connect with your business.
For a bike shop,
the content might include a blog about bike repairs and maintenance,
and details about the bike clinics that you host at your shop.
It could include descriptions, photos, and videos of local bike races, or popular biking trails in your area.
It might even include how-to articles about choosing the correct bike frame size, with an offer for local customers to visit your shop.
As you add more local information to your website, and search engines recognize its relevance to local searches, the chance of appearing in local results may increase.
Remember, the role of a search engine is to provide the right result at the right time and in the right place for the person searching.
In order to do this, search engines may use the proximity of that person to your business, or the geographic area they type in as part of their search.
And it's important to recognize this because you can't expect your bike shop to appear in search results
when somebody wants to find a bike shop in another country.
Just how well your business is known may also be a factor.
Just like in the offline world, some businesses are just more established than others.
Online, businesses that may have had websites around for a longer period of time, or have built up a lot of references and content over time,
can be rewarded by search engines in the results pages.
Don't forget to take advantage of the local offerings of search engines themselves.
Making sure that you're using services, like Yahoo Local, Google My Business, or Bing Local, will help the search engines know more about your business
and when to list you in their results. Once your business is listed and the physical location or service area confirmed,
these local search listings become another way local searchers can find you online.
Last but not least, don't forget that many searchers on the go are looking for local results on their smartphones.
If your website can be found in the mobile search results, it can be an important way to connect with customers.
So, make sure that you've got a mobile-friendly, quick-loading website that search engines can understand and visitors will love.
Remember, following these steps can help search engines understand if your business is local.
Add location details to your website. Continually add quality content that's relevant to your audience and highlights the location of your business.
Check your business listings in search engines and local business directories.
And ensure your site is mobile-friendly and easy for both search engines and visitors to understand.
It might take some work to get found locally, especially if you're a new business.
But if you take the time to add clear business information to your website, build great content, and promote your site in local directories,
your customers can start finding you on the other side of their local searches