How do you handle Local SEO for very small businesses with little obvious location info? How do you handle local SEO for businesses that are not storefronts but operate over the internet only? Google is continually evolving its stance on how brands can promote themselves, so, it’s easy to make mistakes, overlook updates, and miss out on opportunities.
It’s important to know which pathways to follow when marketing a local business. There are opportunities for businesses that have a physical location to promote their products and services to the local community. I will show the ones to follow in this blog.
First and foremost, there are different local business models. You will need to identify your niche to determine how to drive your Local SEO Campaign properly. There are four major categories, listed below:
- Virtual Business – Your business may be e-commerce or offer digital services, or sell via print catalogue or other remote methodology. Your customers may be in various regions or cities, but they never visit your locations.
- Home Based Business – Your home address is your physical location; you’ll either serve customers near your house or go to them, or you may do a combination of both.
- Service Area Business – You may or may not have physical street addresses that serve as headquarters or offices, but the defining feature of your business is that you serve nearby customers. These services include electricity repair, plumbing etc.
- Hybrid Business – This category deals with many variations in local businesses. This of it as one business but with a wide variety of products and services offered.
Local SEO For Home Based Business
Many home businesses prefer their addresses kept private. They don’t want confused customers showing up at their door expecting public premises.
A home-based business is more versatile than a traditional office. When marketing a home-based business, the owner selects which scenario best fits their model.
This business category can be sub-divided further into four different models:
- Business Address (home) is public and Customers are served from that same location.
- Address is private but customers are still served at that same location.
- Business Address is private, but customers are served at their locations, not the business location.
- Business Address is public, but customers are not allowed to visit due to Covid-19 restrictions. – Businesses that were previously serving customers in person, but have since transitioned to online appointments, are still being given coverage.
This is a great place to start if your business falls under the above-mentioned categories.
Local SEO For Virtual Businesses
Virtual businesses are e-commerce businesses, digital goods and services businesses and, large, national and international manufacturers and providers without storefronts.
There are limits to what online brands can do to compete with physical brands. To avoid wasting time and resources on dead-end strategies, it’s best to clearly outline what virtual brands can and can’t do to compete.
In Google’s world, without a physical address, it’s impossible to compete for local pack rankings. Just cross it off the books. Google will promote your website in the local pack. Only if you have a physical address. Google also promotes your website in local finder/maps rankings.
You can compete for organic rankings with the content you publish and the links you earn. You can compete for paid visibility via Google Ads with location targeting if that area is important to you.
Local SEO For Service Area Businesses
It is possible to boost Local SEO for Service Area Businesses through the ways listed below:
- Increase Personal Contact with the majority of your audience.
- Set accurate service areas where you are accessible.
- Set up more than one listing, especially in different locations.
- The use of paid Ads.
By and large, this is a fairly straightforward local marketing path for each non-brick-and-mortar business model.
Physical retailers will implement sophisticated e-commerce solutions on their own websites, become hybrids of local shops and online stores, and tiptoe into Google Shopping with its “available nearby” filter. And because of COVID-19, new entrepreneurs will begin to enjoy their first hard-won successes in 2020. They will run the gamut of brick-and-mortar, SAB, virtual and hybrid models.
For brands and their marketers, the task at hand is to identify the easy, medium, and hard local and organic wins. New Google announcements will result in changes to local search results. You should understand what changes are happening and how they might affect your search engine optimization strategy.
Reviewing Google’s basic principles for ranking pages and refreshing your memory on how to use them will help you determine whether there are any easy ranking opportunities.