Everything is going online. Ask yourself when is the last time you used a phone book? Exactly. Not only are people using search engines to for all kinds of information, they are also using it to search local businesses. And the search engines are responding and making changes.
Go to Google and type in “Italian restaurants” and you’ll get local information at the top of the page. It used to be that you’d have to type “Toronto Italian restaurants” to get that information. Not anymore. At the top of Google will be an actual Google Map, with a number of local Italian restaurants showing.
Right under the map, will be a list those 3 to 5 local restaurants, with address, phone number and a nice picture. Do you think that would be valuable to an Italian restaurant in Toronto? Of course it would!
In addition, more and more of the listings below that information will automatically be local, as well. But those listings at the top stand out and will get most of the search traffic.
This means local Toronto SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial to the survival and success of local businesses in Toronto. With the phone book dying, not to mention print media, and the cost of online advertising skyrocketing, it’s imperative that local businesses get seen in search results. If they don’t, they won’t exist to most potential customers.
Here are some important tips for getting the most out of Toronto SEO.
- Make sure the local business has complete data on their web site but also in Google My Business, which can be found at http://google.com/business. The more complete the information is, the better the chance of getting a great listing in local search results.
- Be sure and conform and verify the location of the business as well. This can be done at https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778#verify
- It’s important to Toronto SEO to keep the business hours updated and accurate. This includes changes for things like holidays.
- Be sure to be proactive with customers in terms of feedback and reviews. Google is getting smarter and monitors your business rating from customers, as well as whether the business is responsive to customer feedback.
- Include quality photos of your business. The top listings under the Google Map all have photos.
There are other Toronto SEO ranking factors as well. These include distance from the searcher’s location. All other things being equal, a restaurant four miles a way will be more likely to get a top listing than one forty miles away.
The relevance of the business is very important as well. If a local restaurant serves Italian food but doesn’t mention that fact in Google My Business, there’s a good chance it won’t show up for that search term. Again, make sure your information is as complete and accurate as possible.
Finally, prominence is important as well. How well known a local business is, in terms of things like reviews, and other mentions of it on the internet, play a role in getting a local listing at the top of Google.
All of these things play a role in local search engine optimization for businesses in Toronto. This may seem overwhelming to a small business, and getting together with a local Toronto SEO expert may be the best approach.