How to Optimize Your Contact Page for Local Search
If you operate a brick-and-mortar business, a great way to improve local search visibility is to refresh your contact page. Most contact pages include a phone number, an address, and maybe a form. But with the rise of mobile search, there is a way to go above and beyond, to enhance the user experience and send stronger authority signals to Google.
Business owners who are new to the SEO space or aren’t up-to-date on best practices should know that Google places importance on user experience and contextual information.
How does this translate to your contact page, and why should you care? First, your users need to find what they are looking for on your page. That means you need to understand user intent. Luckily, if someone visits your contact page there are only a few things they are hoping to find: a phone number, an address, hours of operation, and/or maybe a few photos of your business.
The least you should do is have all of this information easily accessible, with a clickable phone number. Don’t know how to make your phone number clickable? Here is the HTML code:
<a href=”tel:2169304669”>(216) 930.4669</a> which will then appear this way: (216) 930.4669 – PSSSsssst, mobile users: go ahead, click it!
You will want to “wrap” the phone number in this code in the HTML editor of your webpage. When a user taps the number on his or her phone or tablet, he or she will be prompted to call your business. Make it as easy as possible for users to contact you!
Outside of the basic contact information, it helps to have a section of geo-optimized static content. This means two or three paragraphs that delve into the contextual location information of your area. All this takes is a quick Google search.
Making Your Shop Searchable
If you own a frozen yogurt shop in Columbus, Ohio, Google your business name. Do another Google search for your city. You’ll most likely see a Wikipedia page pop up that will give you the city, county, and neighborhood data. Work all of this information into a friendly paragraph about your area.
For driving directions, go to www.google.com/maps. Enter in your business address and click “enter.” Now zoom out until you see close yet prominent cities from the North, South, East, and West. Enter each city into Google Maps to get driving directions to your shop from those areas. For this particular frozen yogurt example, I would stay within a half an hour, but consider how far a visitor would drive for your goods or services; use your discretion.
Format the directions like this:
From the West – Westerville, OH
Pick up I-270W. Follow I-270 W to Sawmill Rd in Columbus. Take exit 20 from I-270 W. Follow Sawmill Rd to Yaourt Frozen Yogurt.
And repeat three times.
Finish out your geo-specific paragraphs by including the surrounding neighborhoods and local landmarks. For this example, our frozen yogurt shop is located in a plaza that also houses Whole Foods Market. Since drivers are likely to spot the WFM before a smaller yogurt shop, include that as a landmark.
In addition to creating copy that provides geo-locational context, you’ll also want to embed a Google map directly on your location page – this is fairly simply to do:
- Go to google.com/maps.
- Enter in your business address in the “Search Google Maps” field.
- Click “share”.
- In the pop up dialog box, click “Embed map”; this will generate a code snippet that when added to your location page will allow the user to interact with and access directions without having to navigate away from your website.
At the end of the day, you want to make it as clear as possible where your business is and what the hours of operation are. You want to qualify and disqualify customers, because the ones that are too far away or unable to visit during your hours should know that right off the bat. The last thing you want to happen is for a customer to enter your address into his or her GPS, drive out of the way to find you, and then discover that your shop is closed for the day. And this is where the importance of Google and Bing claiming come in, which we also discuss on the Linkmedia 360 digital marketing blog.
Have questions about location pages? Need guidance on your brand’s local marketing strategy? Simply contact us.