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Can customers find you? Optimize for local search

Can customers find you? Optimize for local searchAmericans today spend a lot of time online socializing, playing games, reading the news, working or just killing time. Increasingly, that’s where consumers are also connecting with your business. And while your website is important, making sure it’s easy for local consumers to find you online is crucial.

For small businesses, understanding local search behavior may be the key to being found. An estimated 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches to find information about nearby businesses,* especially their locations and directions, hours, phone numbers and product availability. From there, half of consumers visit the store within 24 hours, and 18 percent make a purchase.*
People who read this article also read: Attracting Customers Who Use Smartphones   

So how can your small business best capitalize on local search traffic? These tips may help.

Local search optimization done right
Give them what they want. Make sure your address, phone number and hours appear prominently on your homepage and every internal page.

Provide a simple way to find directions. If appropriate, consider developing a tool to help visitors see your product availability.
Claim and update local listings. Claim your business’s local listing from top websites, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, YP and Facebook. Then correct any inaccurate information. You may also need to eliminate duplicate pages. Once you’ve claimed your pages, you can add information that will help attract potential customers, such as photos and your website URL.

Optimize your site for mobile users. An estimated 88 percent of local search traffic comes from smartphones, so it’s essential to ensure your site renders well on a small screen. A responsive website design automatically optimizes the page content for whatever size screen is being used, but it can be an expensive upgrade. Creating mobile-optimized landing pages for highly searched content could be a less expensive alternative.

Highlight individual locations. If your business has multiple locations, consider creating an individual page for each one. This helps search engines serve up information about the location most relevant to the consumer.

Keeping up with current search trends and consumer behavior is key to staying top-of-mind with current and potential customers. As your business makes the necessary adjustments, know that American River Bank is here to help. A Business Line of Credit can give you the flexibility to make quick buying decisions to keep your marketing efforts well-targeted.
Learn more about our Small Business Line of Credit!  

* Source: “Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior,” think with Google research study, May 2014