What is Google Local Search? Simply put, Local Search is an emphasis on local businesses in search engine results, especially when a search is performed on a mobile device or when certain keywords are used within the search query.
Why is this important? Imagine coming up on a mobile search when a potential customer in Waikiki wants to do something that your company provides. Wouldn’t it be great to be just a tap or swipe away from this potential customer? This is the potential of Google Local Search and why it’s important for local tourism-based businesses to take advantage of it as soon as possible, especially since most businesses are still emphasizing pre-arrival online bookings.
So, how do you get started? Read on.
Google Business Listing
If you haven’t done so yet, claim your Google Business listing on Google My Business. It’s free and is the most important step in taking advantage of local search. To do so, simply go to:
You can also call Google at 1-844-491-9665.
Make sure that you fill out as much information as possible, including your all-important website information in addition to your business address and phone number.
Encourage Google Reviews
If your business has been around for a while, chances are great that you already have a few Google reviews. However, if you don’t have any, it’s recommended that you start generating as many as possible via your customer base. Tap them while they’re on your premises or their on your tour, or send them a friendly e-mail reminder immediately after their experience.
And don’t forget about Yelp, Tripadvisor and other business directories
Having a Google Business listing is great, but making sure that your information is consistent across Yelp, Tripadvisor and other business directories such as Yext (http://www.yext.com) is equally important, as Google looks at the information found on these sites as a factor for ranking your website locally.
Make your phone number and address prominent on your website
This seems to be an obvious thing to do, but it’s surprising that there still are a few websites out there that don’t make their phone number or address as visually prominent. At the very least, add your phone number and address information on the footer of your website and on your contact page. It is also a good idea to embed a Google Map on your contact pages.
Ask for local links
Local link-building is also an important part of your local search optimization. Ask your local church, business association, and even businesses around your immediate area to link to your website. This will strengthen your appearance as a local establishment in the eyes of Google and will help Google determine your business credibility and rankings.
But wait, there’s more!
If you need more information on how to rank on Google’s Local Search, this Google support page can give you more information on how to do things properly.