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By Stefano Maruzzi, Vice President for EMEA at GoDaddy

If you’re running a local retail or services business, you will know about the importance of local search. Consumers often search the web for products or services near them when they’re close to making a purchase, and you need to be there to close the deal. The good news is there are some simple ways to optimise your web strategy to help reach more customers.

Here are some tips to help your small and medium business reach more customers in your area:

Make use of web directories and listing services

Local shoppers look online for everything from hair salons to gardening services. Local listings make it easier for them to find your business via web search and maps, and even improves your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO) ranking. It is worth ensuring your business appears in all the major web listings or claiming the listing they already have for you.

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Connecting your website to a Google My Business listing, for example, helps to ensure the information about your business on Google is accurate and discoverable. Remember to update your listings whenever your address, phone or hours change:

You probably have your hands full running your business, so setting up a listing and keeping it up to date can be time-consuming. One tip is to use the Google My Business (GMB) Listing feature in GoDaddy Website Builder.

The tool makes it simple to create and manage your GMB listing from the Website Builder dashboard at no extra charge and without complicated add-ons. Website Builder will guide you through the setup process and create your GMB listing using the information from your website. You can also respond to any reviews and manage your listing directly from your dashboard.

Optimise for smartphones

Once someone finds you via GMB, don’t lose them again because your website doesn’t work well on their smartphone. Test how well your website performs on mobile devices by copying and pasting your site’s URL into Google’s Mobile Friendly Test tool. Failed the test? Try these next steps:

  • Build a new website that’s responsive (it “responds” to the user’s device, whether that’s a laptop or a smartphone). A tool like Website Builder makes it quick and simple to do so.
  • Consider hiring a web developer to change your website’s code if you are unable to do it yourself. The cost may vary depending on your website’s platform.

Use site optimisation tools

Another pro tip for mobile optimisation: search engines and smartphone users love websites that load quickly. Use these three tools to help speed up loading times on your website:

  • Google PageSpeed Insights: Use this tool to determine whether your web page is loading fast enough and to discover any issues with your website.
  • Imagify: This tool helps you optimise your images. If you have photos on your site, it’s usually better to keep them smaller than 500 to 600 pixels in width. If your photos are larger than that, consider resizing them. They’ll load quicker and speed up your website.
  • CloudFlare: Add this popular content delivery network and website caching service to your website. It will stop a lot of the bad bots and bad traffic from visiting your website and cache your pages, so they load quicker.

Provide complete business details

Here are several things you should consider to help drive traffic to your site with local SEO:

  • Make sure your full company name, address and phone number are displayed on the footer or the sidebar of your website.

Ensure the NAP data (name, address, phone) matches your GMB listing information, down to the way the street address is spelled and how it’s shown.

Google My Business listings service offers a way to boost visibility for your business by displaying hours, phone numbers, and location in Google Search and Maps results. The service is now available in South Africa. In order to use it, GoDaddy customers will need to purchase the Business Plus plan and publish their website. From the Website Builder control panel, they can then choose the List Your Business on Google option.

About GoDaddy

GoDaddy is empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools to succeed online. With nearly 19 million customers worldwide, GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success.

Source: GoDaddy Inc.