Aloha and Welcome!
On this journey to learn the basics of Local Search it’s always a good idea to reinforce your basic understanding so that we can keep pushing through and keep on learning. As your local Honolulu, Hawaii SEO expert I am constantly reviewing best practices for SEO or Search Engine Optimization weekly. It’s the only way to grow your business the correct way and not take short cuts that may not work.
As a local business owner in Hawaii, we have a very unique opportunity to reach our customers that are nearby. Our island is only 44 miles long and 30 miles wide and 112 miles around. When someone is looking for something they want it quick and close and that’s what this blog post is about.
- 88% of consumer local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. (Nectafy)
- 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.
- 97% searched online to find a local business (Source: Hubspot)
As of June 2018, Google accounted for over 72.47% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Baidu at 13.47%, Bing at 7.64%, and Yahoo at 4.74%. (NetMarketShare)
Now is the time for brands to show up in the local Google map pack. To show up and show the local relevant information for the varied searches that people are looking for. Now yes there are still searches for things like are you open on Sunday or what your address is but now customers want more information such as what your daily specials are or if you have a product in stock.
This doesn’t happen automatically or by magic it takes a strategy to make this happen. Let’s look at what’s involved to get you started on having your local business found in Hawaii!
Let’s first talk about what Local Search SEO is
I’m sure at this point you have heard about what SEO or Search Engine Optimization is but what about local search? But what is it? Local SEO is a sister of SEO however it’s based on the where your business is and where the customer is.
Local SEO is getting listed on search engines based entirely on location.
What does this mean in real life? Last month a buddy was traveling to the mainland to play some golf at a golf course he has wanted to visit for the past 10 years. Well wouldn’t you know it the airlines lost his bag! Nightmare right!
He was freaking out and knew that he would be able to rent clubs from the golf course but what about the other stuff. Buying balls and tees and gloves from the course is super expensive so he was able to use his phone to find a golf store near the golf course. “Ok Google find me a golf store near me!”
Because the golf store did a good job of doing what is necessary to get found locally he was able to find the store very easily. Not only did he get all of the tees, balls, and gloves he was looking for but found a super good deal on a new golf bag that he had shipped back home!
That in a nutshell is local search.
Be Found in Search Around Town
- How do I get listed in the Map Pack?
- Why are my reviews not showing up?
- I thought we were already optimized, what happened?
- What about social media?
- Does this actually work or am I just wasting money again?
I like to help my clients by keeping things as simple as possible. Below are the necessary steps to get your Local SEO on track.
These are the 5 things you must do today!
- Your Business Listings Need To Be Current and Accurate:
There are a ton of business listings that are out there that are just like the old yellow pages. A few include shops, services and businesses that are located here in Hawaii. It’s possible that your company’s information is already listed with no input from you which is great however the info might not be correct. A lot of these sites also want your listing current and for the most part updating them and or claiming them is free!
- Manage Your Reviews on Review Sites:
Yelp, Foursquare and Google encourage customers to submit reviews on businesses that they have visited in the past. One of the worst things you can do is not check all them once in a while to either acknowledge a great review or heaven forbid address a not so favorable one. It’s important to keep track of both the positive one and the negative ones alike. Webmaster Services Hawaii can help with that also.
- Review and Optimize Your Website Content:
It’s very important that you understand how your customers are looking for your business or service when doing a search. Your website content shouldn’t just have jargon that only you or your staff understand but maybe include keywords or phrases that your customers might reference. By doing this it makes it much easier for Google to scan your pages and deliver the content that someone might be searching for.
- Using Social Media Correctly:
Understanding the difference between the different social media platforms is another super important part of the process. If your product of service is B2B then LinkedIn might be the best choice. If your product or service is a on a need basis like looking for a dentist then Google is your best option. If your product is interest based like my love of golf then Facebook or Instagram would be the best options.
- Tracking Performance:
There are a bunch of paid and free applications that can help you track your performance. Google analytics is a good place to start. We here at Webmaster Services Hawaii use Google and also SEM rush to track how we are performing. With these tools it helps us ask the right questions to find the diamond in the rough keywords and phrases we may have not thought about. Without great data it’s difficult to know how you are doing and what steps to improve and get more customers and leads.
Hope this information was helpful to you to understand all that is necessary to implement a great local SEO campaign. For more information visit our Search Engine Optimization Strategy page or our Local SEO page for more information.