What’s the first thing you do when you want to find a new restaurant in your area?

Most probably, you grab your phone or open a new Google tab on your computer and search for the information you’re interested in at that moment. The businesses that have optimized their websites for local search will appear at the top of the search results. Those that have neglected this crucial aspect will lose a valuable opportunity to target and connect with prospective buyers.

The problem is that Google changes its local algorithm constantly. The last Possum update, for example, changed about 64% of local SERP. However, there are a few rules that remain consistent and that every small SEO services Calgary business, should follow if they want to target the right customers in their local area.

Here’s a list of the most important ones:

1.Get Listed in Google My Business

First thing first: set your Google My Business profile. Go beyond just adding your address, phone number, and business hours. You can also include a link to your website, the type of payment you accept, happy hours (if they apply to your business,) photos from your establishment, and so on. Make sure that the information you provide is accurate. For example, if you have different phone numbers for different locations, then make sure to mention that.

2.Embed a Google Map on Your Website

Consumers today have become extremely comfortable and are likely to choose the business that requires the least amount of effort. Therefore, instead of just giving out your address, make sure also to embed a Google Maps on your website and show your audience exactly where to find you. Put it on your Contact page, or in the Footer section, and don’t forget to link it to your actual Google Plus local listing.

3.Make Sure Your NAP Is Accurate on All Platforms

Regardless of where you choose to get your business listed (Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, Bing Places, Yahoo !Local), you need to ensure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is accurate and consistent. That’s how Google distinguishes your business from other ones – it collects data from website listings, and it looks for the NAP data to differentiate between websites that provide similar services. Your NAP needs to be consistent across all platforms if you want to boost your local SEO.

4.Get Reviews

Consumers trust reviews more than they trust your marketing messages. Aware of their importance, Google considers them when deciding which business to showcase in search results.

Now, the question you may be asking is: how do you get people to review or rate your business?

Well, the easiest way, of course, is to ask for reviews. For example, follow up a purchase with an email and ask people to rate their experience. Or let the customers that visit your establishment know that they can leave reviews online.

Make sure that you respond to people’s comments. Something as simple as saying Thank you or addressing their complaints can go a long way and show people that you truly care about the experience they had while doing business with you.

5.Publish Local Content

Whether we’re talking about general SEO or local SEO, content remains an invaluable tool for improving your ranking. Posting fresh, high-quality content regularly will get you on Google’s radar. Adding a local twist to it, such as targeting location keywords (eg.: “Best bakeries in Montreal) will help you reach a high position in local search results.

6.Promote Yourself on Social Media

Most small business owners treat SEO and social media separately when in reality they are just different sides of the same coin – inbound marketing. Here’s the thing: your social media profiles can help you advance your SEO goals, granted that you optimize them and post content regularly.

Share information about local events since that’s one of the easiest ways to make use of local keywords while also providing value to your audience. Discuss trending topics, offer coupons or discounts for in-store purchases, and so on and so forth.

People are searching for everything online these days. If you run a small business, don’t hold back. Incorporate these rules into your local SEO strategy, optimize your website for local search, and watch your business grow.