Today, just about everyone owns a SmartPhone, and reaching these consumers through local SEO can significantly improve your customer base. There was a time when small businesses would simply advertise in local publications, newspapers or even through television or radio spots; however, with the growing trend in SmartPhone use, finding new customers has taken a twist. Mobile users are a large segment of current customers and making sure they are finding your business is an important part of capturing these leads.

For example, many people turn to their SmartPhone to help them find a great restaurant, movie, dry cleaner or other service provider in their area. This means that making sure your business is optimized for local search traffic is extremely important. There are some simple strategies business owners can use to help ensure their business shows up at the top of local search engine results. Positive online reviews are critical for higher local search ranking, mainly because these customer reviews are so important to local consumers and can have a huge impact on their buying decisions. Of course, the more positive reviews your business has, the more traffic you’re going to see coming through the door. This translates into more profit.

Including important local ranking factors in your online content can help improve your search rankings. For example, NAP or name, address and phone number are important local factors that can work together with reviews, Google+ and Yelp to help your business become more prominent in local search results. While many businesses use online marketing as a way to help them rank higher with the search engines, local SEO is specifically designed to improve your ranking not only with organic searches, but also with local searches that could drive more customers to your place of business.

Unlike print media that is generally sent through the mail or even local radio and TV broadcasts, local SEO is designed to put your business in front of residents in your area; however, it is able to meet these potential consumers right where they are. Your TV or radio spot will only touch a very small segment of your potential target market; likewise, print media, more often than not, will be thrown out as junk mail or simply overlooked, meaning it rarely actually lands in front of a potential customer. Fortunately, quality local SEO can get your business seen by the vast majority of SmartPhone users searching for the products or services your business has to offer immediately.

When looking at effective local SEO campaigns, it’s important to consider factors such as the impact online reviews can have on your business and its search engine ranking. Many consumers not only search online using their mobile device, but they also read reviews before becoming a customer. Online reviews, such as those posted on Yelp, can make or break a business. While using local search factors, such as name, address and phone number can certainly help increase your ranking, quality reviews are also essential to helping potential customers make a buying decision. Of course, maintaining a positive online reputation is an absolute necessity, especially given the fact that the internet is a powerful tool when it comes to providing both positive and negative reviews for your business.

Business owners can help improve their local search ranking by making sure that their website meets the needs of their customers. This means that your website should be relevant to what your target customers are searching for. Additionally, you should have updated contact information, including your local address. Onsite map with directions is another way to insure customers can find you.

Google My Business is an excellent way to rank higher with local search results. By simply claiming your business listing in Google My Business, you can significantly improve the local ranking of your business. Of course, it’s important to make sure that your Google My Business listing is well managed and updated as needed in order to maintain relevance with the search queries of your target market.

Any business that wants to increase local search results should also consider how they manage online reviews. Today’s mobile users are dramatically increasing the need for a well maintained local presence, but it is also important to ensure that those local reviews are favorable for your business. You can easily view and respond to online reviews in order to help increase customer satisfaction. Most consumers who are searching for local listings put a great deal of trust and credibility in online reviews. Managing these reviews and building consumer confidence is extremely important in order to grow your local customer base.

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