List Of Local Businesses Near Me – As previously reported in SearchEngine Journal on April 27, 2022. By in-house SEO expert, Jeff Ridall.
When we hear the term local SEO, we often think of the strategies and tactics that local retail or B2C businesses use to optimize their online visibility and drive traffic to their store.
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However, there are also B2B businesses and local B2B SEOs who may or may not work from a different location, e.g. commercial real estate agency.
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These types of businesses have similar, if slightly different, challenges for customers to find and connect with through organic search.
The primary goal of local SEO for B2B businesses (much like its B2C counterparts) is to establish itself as the most trusted authority on all topics related to products and/or services in a specific geographic service area.
As such, businesses must present themselves as active, trusted community participants who create real value for their customers and the community at large.
This means conducting a thorough web presence audit or SWOT analysis to determine where to focus your on-site or off-site SEO efforts, whether it’s a new or well-established business.
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The result of each of these exercises should be a list of prioritized items that form the basis of your core SEO efforts.
One particularly important local B2B SEO tactic is the use of local business schema or HTML tags to standardize the structure of information that search engines prefer.
“Page markup allows search engines to understand information on web pages and provide richer search results to make it easier for users to find relevant information online.
A business schema can be used to structure a business’s address, hours, departments, and overviews and translate into a similarly structured display in organic and mapped search results.
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Another potential use of the scheme is to create questions and answers in the FAQ section of the company’s website, which highlights a specialist area of the business. Questions and answers tagged in this way can appear in search results as searchable rich text snippets.
Schema can be a powerful and often overlooked tool that can drive a business’s visibility and content to the top of search results.
The Google Business Profile (GBP or previously the Google My Business page) is a critical component of B2B local SEO. It allows Google to verify the existence of a business in the area in which it provides services.
Any business can claim and verify its location, which must be a physical address, even if its customer business is not formally conducted at that address.
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GBP enables a business to provide all relevant details including opening hours, website links, categories, products, services, logos, images and/or videos.
Google recognizes that not all businesses are run in fixed locations and provides several B2B categories in which such businesses can operate.
GBP also provides an important venue for customers to provide business reviews, the importance of which is discussed below. Beyond the initial configuration, GBP can and should become the channel through which you communicate with your local customers. Ideally, set a cadence of posting relevant content at least once a week. Regularly posting events, promotions or general information helps improve local search visibility, as Google naturally favors active businesses.
NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone Number, which represent the unique identifier of each business and are also important from a local SEO point of view.
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Specifically, pay attention to the accuracy of the NAP anywhere on the Internet, from the company website to GBP and in local directories or other sites that link to the business.
Google and other search engines cross-reference all of these NAP occurrences and reward those businesses that maintain a consistent and accurate profile.
Pro tip: A quick and free way to start managing your NAP is to simply search for your company name and check the search engine results for any mentions of your business and its NAP.
However, many directories allow enhanced listings, including product or service information, images, promotions, or other lead generation features.
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Many of these directories also offer consumers the opportunity to provide reviews, which should be properly recorded and tracked.
Use the pro tip above to identify directories. Several paid listing management solutions also automatically find and update all of your business listings, allowing you to track and manage them on an ongoing basis.
A deeper analysis should include linking to the search results pages of your primary target keywords for all relevant directories.
Those that rank well should be of particular interest because by definition they are considered relevant and authoritative in the eyes of search engines.
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It is therefore essential that you encourage your customers to provide reviews through the platform of their choice, although you can and should lead them to your GBP first, as this will naturally carry significant weight when it comes to Google rankings.
A business’s ability to respond reflects its organization, customer service and the general strength of the business.
Some studies even suggest that consumers have more trust and are more likely to do business with businesses that solve problems effectively.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king,” and nowhere is this more true than in B2B local SEO. As mentioned earlier, the main goal is to convince Google that your business is an authority in the current fields related to your products and services.
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While not easy, there is significant opportunity to become a local expert by consistently creating relevant, high-quality content that meets your customers’ needs at every stage of the buying cycle.
Make your website, blog or other content, such as instructional or promotional videos, a source for customer questions and answers in your service area.
Therefore, the keywords you use in your content should include local identifiers, e.g. “Commercial real estate trends in [city]” or “office space for rent in [city]”.
This same content should then be linked to your primary ranking product and service pages where appropriate to further strengthen their overall authority.
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By all means, publicize and promote your participation in these activities through your business website and/or social media properties.
If possible, also look for opportunities to get inbound links to relevant pages on your website from any partner organizations.
Before you can analyze your competitors, you need to properly identify them, which can sometimes be instructive when it comes to online competition and local B2B SEO.
Once you’ve determined the current keywords you want to find, use them to understand which competitive domains are consistently showing up in search results, especially those that are outranking you.
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You can also look at the backlink profiles of your competitors to see if there are any websites where they have received relevant high authority links where you have not.
Finally, pay attention to the content they create and the frequency to manage your own marketing cadence.
As mentioned, the goal is to establish yourself as a local expert, which may take some effort if others are on the same path.
The final analysis of local SEO for B2B and your local authority and visibility depends on the validation of your business by your customers through their searches, visits, consumption, shares and ratings.
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Ultimately, it’s up to you and your business to make sure you provide your human customers with content, answers, products and a level of service that keeps them coming back and telling their friends and colleagues about you.
Local businesses that provide exceptional experiences and build a loyal and trusting human audience are recognized and rated positively by search engines.
If you are a small to medium business owner, we hope these tips have helped you to appreciate the importance of local SEO for B2B and optimize your online presence to sell your services.
Are you ready to implement the right strategy to increase your business’s online visibility? If so, check out local SEO services.
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Our dedicated marketing specialists can offer you the right skills to help you develop the best content marketing strategy and goals. Check out our related services to learn more!
If you have more questions about B2B local SEO, how to adopt best practices in content marketing, or how to achieve it with an experienced team, feel free to contact us anytime and we’ll be happy to discuss your next steps.
As previously reported in SearchEngine Journal on September 8, 2022. By in-house SEO expert, Jeff Ridall. Need submissions to local directories? On
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