The Most Common Mistake for a Local Business Website
The local business error we see more than any other
You serve people within a limited geographic area.
So when consumers in your area search for what you do or what you sell, you need to show up in the search engine results. And to maximize the likelihood of that, search engines need to understand where your business is, and what geographic areas you serve.
Despite how much better search engines have gotten in understanding the focus of a web page, they’re not yet as smart as a person. If you have a page all about in-home widget repair, search engines will understand that very well.
And if you have another page about your service area, they can understand that. But what they don’t do well is connecting those dots. To a search engine, each web page is like an island. It connects with others via links, but it needs to do the dot-connecting itself. In other words …
You need location information on every page of your website.
Depending on your business, it’s good to have your phone number posted prominently near the top of every page. And make sure it’s a local area code. Toll-free numbers for local businesses make customers suspicious.
Then, make sure your address, including state and zip code is on every page. Beyond that, you might allude to your service area: counties you serve, or even the major cities and towns, as long as you don’t make that annoyingly long. The easiest place to include this is in your page footer because that allows you to put and maintain it in one spot that will be inherited by all the pages on your site. For example, if Rank Magic was limited to local business, I might place this in our footer:
Serving the north Jersey counties of Morris, Essex, and Sussex
from offices in East Hanover, NJ 07936
If you serve customers (or clients, or patients) at your office or store, you should obviously include the street address as well.
See also our discussion describing Local Search Optimization and how we help support it.
How do you deal with this on your site? Let us know in the comments below.
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